Principal Teacher of Maths: National Conference

10th January 2020

Leading mathematics in a school means being at the forefront of the discussion around mathematics content and pedagogical knowledge. It is vital that those leading maths teams are engaged with the latest thinking and evidence around effective practices in mathematics education as well as being able to draw on the canon on knowledge we hold as a profession. Join us in Edinburgh on Friday, 25 January 2019 for a chance to hear from researchers, mathematics education experts and fellow mathematics leaders from schools across the country as we debate and explore a range of issues in mathematics teaching and learning.

As ever, delegates will come away from the conference with new insight into what makes for the most impactful teaching in the maths classroom, practices and strategies that can be implemented straightaway back at school, and an increased network of fellow Principal Teachers of Maths who are supporting and learning from each other throughout the year.

Our Principal Teacher of Maths conference is always a good mix of thought-provoking input from colleagues, time for discussion and networking, and opportunities to contribute to the debate. The conference is suitable for anyone with responsibility for leading the full mathematics team or areas of mathematics (such as curriculum leaders) in a school or college currently or those aspiring to do so in the near future.


Leading outstanding learning in mathematics...

Our key focus as Principal Teachers or Heads of Maths is to ensure that all students have a great learning experience.

The conference will focus on having real impact in the classroom, with a range of thought provoking sessions from: Chris McGrane (@ChrisMcGrane84), Siobhan McKenna (@ShivMcKenna55), Paul McLellan (@Paul_mclellan30) and Stuart Welsh (@maths180).

Delegates will leave the day with lots of examples to take back to school as well as practical advice on implementation and leading change.

More details about the sessions will be released closer to the time.

Sign up today and join a day of thought provoking debate, networking and practical hints and tips.


Maths, Maths and more Maths – no more ‘down-time’ in lessons - Gary Lamb

Pace, rigour and challenge have been lost amidst the era of curriculum change and in this workshop we look into how maximum 'up-time' can be achieved by phasing learning using an 80 : 20 principle for planning. At St Andrew's we strive for mastery with every pupil and taking an evidence based approach, we explore how to initial instruction impactful, how to foster mathematical thinking, how to use visual modelling for understanding, and how to do all this in an intuitive and time efficient way.

Gary is Principal Teacher of Mathematics at St Andrew’s Academy in Paisley and has been in the role for 4 years. Gary has a keen interest in mastery and impactful pedagogy in the mathematics classroom.

Give them the power - Siobhan McKenna

This session will focus on the development of a topic which is critical for success at Higher level and beyond. Sióbhán will share her thoughts behind how this topic can be atomised so as to support improvement of pupil understanding. You will have the opportunity to try some tasks which you can take back to your own classroom and department.

Sióbhán has been teaching Maths since 2011 and has been a PT for 1 year. She is passionate about curriculum development and improving pupils’ engagement of Maths through sequencing of effective tasks and discussion. Sióbhán blogs occasionally at

Powerful Pedagogies in the Mathematics Classroom - Chris McGrane

This workshop will focus on a range of evidence based pedagogical approaches which can have a significant impact on pupil attainment. I will share a range of ideas for improving the effectiveness of maths lessons as well as sharing a variety of tasks and resources which you can take back to your own classroom.

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. The work was been hailed as sector leading, while attainment improved over this time. Chris is an avid reader of literature relating to mathematics education and has shared both this learning and practice from his own classroom regularly at conferences, where has been a popular speaker. Chris has appeared on recent episodes of Craig Barton's podcast and is scheduled to appear for an extended interview in the coming year.

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 Chris is the lead of the Glasgow branch of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM), which regularly puts on events with expert speakers. Recently, reflecting his interest in effective task design, Chris launched the website which shares tasks he has written and collated from colleagues.

Why kids find learning Maths hard... and what we can do to help them - Stuart Welsh

Drawing on research, personal experience and conversations with people who know about this stuff, Stuart will discuss why - for some - learning Mathematics in school can be such a challenge. This session will offer some suggestions that can lead to improvements in knowledge acquisition, concept formation, course design and assessment, as well as the importance of routines, expectations and responsive pedagogy.

Stuart Welsh has been teaching Mathematics in Scotland for 12 years and has been Head of Mathematics at The High School of Glasgow since 2014. Since 2016, he has held the additional role of Research Lead, giving him the opportunity to engage critically with research and current thinking on many aspects of education; from curriculum and assessment to pedagogy and metacognition.

Stuart has co-authored textbooks for National 4, National 5 and Higher and is the creator of where you will find practice papers, 100's of video lesson for N5 and Higher and ready-to-use resources for teachers. Stuart also hosts live online tutorials for Higher Maths in the run-up to SQA summer exams. All maths180 content is available free of charge. You can follow Stuart on Twitter @maths180.

BGE 2.0 - A journey - Paul McLellan

At Lourdes we have completely overhauled our BGE Curriculum. We are using CPA and multiple representations to improve knowledge, leading to improving outcomes at Nat 5.........and it's working.

I am Paul McLellan, PT Maths at Lourdes Secondary in Glasgow, a school with 65% SIMD 1-3. I have been PT for 6 years and still love my job! Interested in problem solving, forward thinkers and pro-active change!

Outline Programme

  • Time

  • 09:00

    Welcome and introductions
  • 09:15

    Workshop Session 1 - Gary Lamb
  • 10:15

    Workshop Session 2 - Siobhan McKenna
  • 11:15

    Coffee Break
  • 11:35

    Workshop Session 3 - Chris McGrane
  • 12:45

  • 13:30

    Workshop Session 4 - Stuart Welsh
  • 14:30

    Workshop Session 5 - Paul McLellan
  • 15:30

    Closing Remarks
  • 15:45

    Conference Ends


Course Fees





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