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Connecting primary mathematics and science - a practical approach

Published: May 19, 2016 2 min read

STEM learning

The ability of children to understand the world in which they live and play depends on how they see and make connections between subjects. Mathematics and science are at the centre of modern life and they will certainly be there in the future. 

This is why I am delighted to be able to speak at the mathematics conference this year and to be able to share some thoughts and ideas around how we can help children to see connections between primary mathematics and science. 

As a mathematics educator, I am acutely aware that mathematics is an abstract subject. We need to bring mathematics to life and give it purpose. Science is the perfect vehicle to do this. In contrast, science needs mathematics. 

Mathematics is the language of values, shapes patterns, proportionality, statistics etc. which science needs to describe and manipulate phenomena. However, children often view these two subjects as discrete and separate. This was one of the catalysts for writing the book – to help teachers and children make the links which seem obvious and intuitive, but are often missed.

Alison Borthwick and Alan Cross’ book (Connecting Primary Maths and Science: A Practical Approach) outlines key curriculum topics in both subjects and considers why it is important and beneficial to make connections between the two. 

As well as covering key subject knowledge (what you need to know) and teaching activities (what you need to do), exploring learners’ mathematical and scientific needs, and defines the characteristics of effective teaching and learning, bringing it all together with ideas which you can use straightaway in your classroom. 

There will be a range of optional sessions to choose from at the mathematics conference, which will enable you to tailor the conference to your requirements. This conference is to be held at the National STEM Learning Centre on 30 June.

I will be running a practical session which will explore the very best ways to combine two amazing STEM subjects – mathematics and science, aimed at key stages 1 and 2.

After the conference you will be able to:

  • inspire children and colleagues in mathematics
  • tackle the new mathematics curriculum with confidence
  • explore ways of linking mathematics with science
  • share best practice with other primary teachers and explore new resources


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