Improving Learning and Teaching at National 5


Improving attainment at National 5 is a key aim of secondary schools across Scotland. This course aims to give fresh insights into the curriculum planning, pedagogical approaches, didactical models and assessment principles which can support raising attainment at this level.


This course examines a range of evidence informed approaches to enhance the effectiveness of teaching at National 5 level. In particular we will look at:

  • Didactics and pedagogy for topics which pupils find problematic.
  • Developing the mathematician instead of “covering” the mathematics.
  • How we can use variation theory to create appropriate question sequences.
  • The importance of multiple representations and CPA.
  • Lessons from cognitive science and how these can be applied to enhance retention.

Example Programme

  • 10:00   Phasing - Standard Deviation
  • 10:30   Straight Line
  • 11:00   Simultaneous Equations, as you've never seen them before
  • 11:30   Trigonometry
  • 12:30   Lunch
  • 13:00   Quadratics and functions generally
  • 13:30   Indices and brief thoughts on: Arcs and Sectors, Volume, Algebraic Fractions, Change of Subject, Pythagoras in circles, Converse of Pythagoras
  • 13:50   Distributive Law
  • 14:45   Behaving Mathematically and some practical considerations
  • 15:00   Finish

You will leave the course with...

  • A range of practical strategies, tasks and ideas for their classrooms.
  • A fresh insight into the underlying connections that exist in the content at this level.
  • Knowledge of how to teach for understanding at this level.

This course is appropriate for...

  • Secondary Teachers
  • Non Specialists
  • Newly Qualified Teachers
  • Maths Subject Leaders

Your Course Leaders

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!

Chris McGrane

Chris has 13 years of teaching experience, spread across 3 very different schools. Before becoming Mathematics Lead for La Salle in Scotland he was Principal Teacher of Maths at Hillhead High School and oversaw the design and implementation of a mastery curriculum - the first of its type in Scotland.

Chris has played a role in moving forward professional dialogue regarding mathematics education in Scotland. In addition to conference presentations he uses Twitter daily to share insight, ideas and opinion. He regularly publishes articles on his blog Recently, reflecting his interest in effective task design, Chris launched the website which shares tasks he has written and collated from colleagues.

Jonathan Hall

Jonathan has been teaching Maths in secondary schools since completing his PGCE in 2005. Before becoming a Mathematics Lead for La Salle, he was a successful head of department at Leeds City Academy for over five years and continues to work there as a Lead Practitioner of Mathematics.

Over the past decade, Jonathan has made significant contributions to the maths community by the creation of several well-known websites, most notably MathsBot, used by millions of teachers and students each year.

Jonathan has regularly presented at local and national conferences where he shares his both experiences and ideas from the classroom and the resources he creates. He is a keen Twitter user and is often posting new resources or updates to existing ones based on feedback from the maths community.

Locations and Dates:

  • Motherwell

    Venue TBA

    Thursday, 30th January 2020

    Twilight Course

  • Inverness

    Inverness Royal Academy (IV2 6RE)

    Tuesday, 11th February 2020

Course Fees

Full Day

£140 / 80


£50 / 40

First Attendee / Subsequent Attendees



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

Contact Us

By phone:
020 8144 4748
By email:
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Or find us at:
121 King's Cross Road