Steve Lyon's public profile

UsernameSteve Lyon
OrganisationNational STEM Centre
Current RoleTeacher educator

I have taught mathematics for over 20 years in a variety of secondary schools, to all abilities and age ranges up to further mathematics. I became a head of mathematics at a large comprehensive secondary school and successfully bid to become a mathematics and computing specialist schools. After a brief spell as an assistant head I became an advanced skills teacher working with teachers in primary and secondary schools in York. Since June 2012 I have been a mathematics specialist at the National STEM Learning Centre. I hold the NCETM Advanced Mathematics Professional Development Accredited Lead.



How to succeed as a non-specialist teacher of mathematics

It may seem a little strange to some people, but as a head of a large mathematics department, I actually looked forward to that time of the year when the timetable had to be constructed.It was like a giant Sudoku puzzle that would takes days, even weeks, to solve. It was a long, tricky process, but I loved it when eventually it all pulled...


Leading from the front: confessions of a head of mathematics

A clear, strategic approach is essential to becoming a successful head of department.I was once asked by my head teacher what my aspirations for the mathematics department were. I was a bit taken aback. Was he asking how many students will get GCSE grades A* to C? Or maybe what the A level results will look like? I must have looked a little...


What makes a good teaching assistant?

Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with a number of teaching assistants. Some were attached to the department and enjoyed the challenges of working alongside the mathematics team. Others were attached to students, getting to know the particular foibles of their charge as they worked alongside them in a variety of lessons.The most...


Is there a maths for science or is all maths the same?

 What is the difference between a histogram and a bar chart? Does a line of best-fit have to be straight or can it be curved? Do all axes have to start at zero? Is it OK to concertina axes on a graph? Is it ever OK to use a ‘calculation triangle’?Ask these questions to a teacher of mathematics and to a teacher of science and you are unlikely...


Becoming more adventurous in the mathematics classroom

I have met a wide variety of mathematics teachers throughout my teaching career, all with their own distinct style. Some stick in the memory, for different reasons, whilst others influenced the way I teach.One teacher, let’s call him Graham, was supremely organised. Lessons were planned to the minute, resources laid out on the desk, seating plan...


Problem solving in mathematics: not such a new thing after all!

Problem solving is a key requirement of the new mathematics curriculum. The assessment objectives for the new mathematics GCSE states that a quarter of the marks at foundation level are awarded for students demonstrating their ability to solve problems, for the higher GCSE paper, the requirement is 30%.But as we all know, problem solving in...


Ideas to make revising mathematics engaging

What did the early Easter mean to you? Time after the break to complete those last couple of topics or an opportunity to start revision sessions early?I am always on the lookout for new ideas to break up the monotony of completing past examination papers. It comes as quite a relief, in a strange kind of way, when we find a common problem or...


The challenges and benefits of attending mathematics specific CPD

As a head of a large mathematics department, each week I received a huge mail bag, both physical and electronic, much of which contained information about the latest ‘not to be missed’ CPD opportunity. Whilst I intended to read through them all and pass the details to the relevant member of the department, in reality, the majority ended up in a...


Smile and the world smiles with you

Smile and the world smiles with you’ so the saying goes. At the National STEM Centre we have something to bring a smile to the faces of mathematics teachers in primary and secondary schools up and down the country.Visit the eLibrary and explore the wealth of resources produced by the Secondary Mathematics Individualised Learning Experiment or...


Make mathematics magical

I am a little confused. Well, no change there then!Nicky Morgan has announced a war on illiteracy and innumeracy and is expecting students to learn up to the 12 times table.My first confusion came from watching the Prime Minister, at a news conference, refusing to answer 9 x 8, claiming that he only does times tables in the car with his children...