Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract, Language


This full-day CPD event will include a broad discussion of the importance of connecting learning through high variation in modelling.

In order to secure greater depth of understanding and to give the highest possible chance for pupils to make meaning of mathematical structure, new learning should always include opportunities to explore ideas through concrete and image based manipulatives, all the time making connections to efficient symbolic and abstract approaches with explicit and precise mathematical language.

During this hands-on event, we will take a look at several mathematical ideas and how they might be taught through a CPAL approach.

  • The top ten manipulatives for teaching maths
  • Detailed exploration of addressing some of the most important concepts in maths through a CPAL approach
  • How to increase pupils' understanding and attainment


The session will include using:

  • Cuiseneaire rods
  • Algebra tiles
  • Fraction tiles
  • Polydron
  • Geoboards
  • Dienes blocks
  • Multilinks
  • Counting sticks

Course Leader - Mark McCourt

Mark is the UK's leading authority on teaching for mastery. He has trained over 2000 schools in mastery models for schooling in the UK and overseas.

A leading figure in mathematics education, Mark has led many large-scale government education initiatives, both in the UK and overseas. Mark was a Director at the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and has also been a school leader, an Advanced Skills Teacher, a school inspector and a teacher trainer. He founded and was Chairman of the Teacher Development Trust.

Mark has extensive experience of mathematics teaching and learning across all age and ability groups, having taught students from age 3 to PhD!

Delegates will take away:

  • An appreciation of the research and evidence behind CPAL approaches.
  • Deep understanding of using manipulatives to teach across the age and attainment range.
  • Lots of example resources and manipulatives to use in the classroom.
  • Ways to embed CPAL approaches in programmes of study and individual lessons.
  • An approach to teaching, learning and assessment resources for all key stages.

Outline Programme:

  • Time

  • 10:00 - 10:30

    An introduction to CPAL, its history and the evidence
  • 10:30 - 12:30

    Making connections in learning through CPAL
  • 12:30 - 13:00

  • 13:00 - 15:00

    Using manipulatives

Locations and Dates:


Edinburgh - FULLY BOOKED

Thursday, 2nd November

Friday, 3rd November

Course Fees



After the first delegate, any subsequent delegates are only charged £80



All Complete Mathematics members benefit from free access to courses and conferences from La Salle Education
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