Designing Mathematical Tasks for Improving Learning


Task selection and use are fundamental in bringing about effective learning in the mathematics classroom. Designing tasks that improve learning not only enhances teachers’ awareness of the characteristics of effective tasks but also deepens their own subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. This course will take each of these ideas in turn: selection, use and design to discuss how we can think about tasks in the mathematics classroom.


In this workshop, we will design a range of tasks collaboratively, debating and iterating each proposal, considering best evidence and planning for the impact the task will have in the classroom.

The session will also include discourse on how to design tasks for maximum gains in learning, how to identify likely pitfalls in tasks, and how to draw on research findings to make more informed choices when building tasks. This workshop is suitable for all teachers of mathematics, but will be particularly useful to those who currently lead or are planning to lead mathematics in their school or college.

Example Programme

  • 10:00   The theory of tasks
  • 10:30   Task Selection
  • 11:30   Creating tasks from scratch
  • 12:00   Task presentation and tweaking
  • 12:30   Lunch
  • 13:00   Making the most of tasks and generating Mathematical activity
  • 14:00   Associated pedagogy
  • 15:00   Finish

You will leave the course with...

  • A theoretical understanding of mathematical tasks and their use.
  • What makes a 'good task'.
  • Ideas for how to modify and adapt task in order to maximise mathematical thinking.
  • Ideas and templates for creating mathematical tasks.

This course is appropriate for...

  • Primary, Secondary and FE 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:

  • Further dates yet to be announced

Course Fees

£140 / 80

First Attendee / Subsequent Attendees



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

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