Manchester Enterprise Academy Central (M14 6PL)
Saturday, 14th March 2020

Join hundreds of maths teachers from primary, secondary and FE at the UK's largest events. Network. Learn. Share. Have fun!


The day is bursting with networking opportunities and workshop time. Delegates will leave with new ideas try and new people to share the results with.

Inspiring Speakers

Our workshop leaders and speakers have one thing in common: their love of mathematics education.

Maths Cake Competition

Networking and making new friends to collaborate with in the future are key aims of the event. What better way to get to know someone than over a cup of tea and a calculator shaped sponge cake?


  • 08:30 - Registration

    Arrival / Networking / Morning Refreshments / Exhibition
  • 09:30 - Assembly

    Welcome and introduction, Mark McCourt, Chief Executive, La Salle Education
    Welcome from Main Sponsor, Andrew Taylor, AQA
    Welcome from Key Sponsor, OUP
  • 09:45 - Form TIme

    Speed Dating - Your chance to share your favourite maths ideas
  • 10:10 - Period 1

  • 11:00 - Morning Break

    Coffee Break / Networking / Exhibition
  • 11:20 - Period 2

  • 12:10 - Changeover

    This is not a break… quick! Dash to Workshop 3!
  • 12:15 - Period 3

  • 13:05 - Lunchtime

    Lunch / Networking / Exhibition / Maths Cakes Competition / TweetUp and Do Some Maths
  • 14:10 - Period 4

  • 15:00 - Playtime

    Coffee Break / Networking / Exhibition
  • 15:20 - Period 5

  • 16:10 - Graduation

    Closing Remarks, Maths Cakes Competition Winners Announced, Prizes, Postcards and Farewells


Want to present a workshop?

MathsConf is all about teachers learning from each other, sharing what they've learnt in their classrooms and through their research. We welcome MathsConf workshops on a variety of topics from a variety of presenters - from primary to FE and beyond.

If you'd like to lead a workshop submit your proposal here.

Proving Tricky


The new A-level syllabus places a far greater demand on students' abilities to construct a mathematical argument, whether it be through an instruction to 'show that...', to 'fully justify your answer' or to provide a formal mathematical proof.

Students unused to facing such challenges need to develop strategies for attacking these problems. Based upon my interpretations of John Mason's work on specialising and generalising, this workshop explores approaches to task design that you can use to help students develop their mathematical thinking. In addition, you will get the opportunity to do some very tricky maths!

Sam Blatherwick @blatherwick_sam

Sam Blatherwick is Head of Maths at Ashby School in North West Leicestershire, one of the few remaining 14-18 schools in the region. He has been teaching maths for 10 years and has been Head of Maths for two years.

An introduction to Cuisenaire Rods


This practical workshop will explore how Cuisenaire Rods can be used to model mathematical concepts and secure a greater depth of understanding. The concrete - pictorial - abstract (CPA) approach is seen as a highly effective teaching method that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths in students.

More and more schools are adopting a mastery approach to teaching maths, this session will explore how to embed concrete representation into lessons using Cuisenaire Rods. We will look at practical ways to use manipulatives in both primary and secondary settings including examples of how to use manipulatives to teach early number, investigate magic squares and explore effective pedagogies to teach trigonometry.

Drew Foster @drewfoster0

Drew Foster is a maths teacher with over 20 years experience teaching in primary and secondary schools. He was a Deputy Headteacher and then Headteacher of a successful primary school before Drew teaming up with educational entrepreneur, Tony Cann CBE, founder of Promethean. Drew created the maths website and then devevoped the prototype for www.LBQ.ORG that developed innovative methods for teaching maths. Alongside his work in educational technology, he worked on studies focused on the teaching of maths with the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) and The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). His diverse career includes other highlights such working for AQA and even appearing on Teacher’s TV. He is currently a Maths Specialist at Mangahigh as well as full time maths teacher.

Percentages through the Key Stages


As featured on Craig Barton's MEI Conference podcast this is your opportunity to watch A level students struggle with KS2 SATs questions. This interactive workshop looks at the percentages journey from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 5. We'll have the chance to discover how students at different levels approach similar problems, and to develop an awareness of how we can build on students' prior experience. It is aimed at teachers of all levels.

Catherine van Saarloos @CoreMathsCat

After gaining her BSc in Mathematics, Catherine completed her PGCE in Secondary Mathematics in 2006. She has taught all levels of Mathematics in a Grammar School, a Comprehensive and a Further Education college. She left her role as Head of Maths in 2018 to begin working for MEI supporting schools and colleges establish and grow Level 3 Core Maths.

Maximising the Effectiveness of Examples


I have recently been having a lot of questions as to how I give examples in my lessons. I am honoured to be asked about this on a regular basis and am now excited to share all the types of examples I use for each topic with you. Many of us have read Craig Barton's book 'How I wish I'd taught Maths' and used his fantastic Variation Theory website, but have we ever thought about what else we can do to make presenting examples even better than what is suggested in this book?

The modelling of questions has been a popular concept in the past couple of years, but can we make this process better than it already is? In this workshop we will discuss the power of presenting examples in different ways. It all started back in my training year (not that long ago) when I picked up Craig's fantastic book. I was fascinated by the simple, but incredibly effective method of example-problem pairs. These problem pairs became a regular occurrence in all my lessons, however, this quickly got a little obsessive and I just thought that this was the answer to everything. I did not pay much attention to the rest of the chapter as I thought that my prayers had been answered! Turns out that there are more ways to present examples and it really does depend on the situation. I use example-problem pairs, supercharged worked-examples, examples by fading, supercharged examples with fading (my favourite) and examples whereby I use the power of self-explanation to aid student understanding.

Joe Berwick @BerwickMaths

Joe is an enthusiastic mathematics teacher and is passionate about finding improved ways of teaching the mathematics curriculum. Currently, Joe works as a mathematics teacher in Sutton Coldfield, but the hope is to be a leading practitioner in the field of mathematics teaching in years to come. He is interested the use of Variation Theory, Atomisation, Covertization and the presentation of examples inside of the classroom. Joe has worked since early last year to bring his ideas to life by producing a website which will be presented in this session.

What's the problem with multiplication? 'Making sense of x' Classroom research in action


Are you worried that many of your Lower Key Stage 2 (LKS2) children just cannot seem to learn their multiplication facts? The Herts for Learning - Making sense of ‘x’ research project aims to measure the impact of providing children with a progressive pathway through multiplication concepts such as group structure, coordinating units, associative and distributive law. The project incorporates strategies such as skip counting, number pattern recognition and control of the array.

In this session we will be sharing our findings so far; what have we discovered through our diagnostic assessment, which teaching strategies work and why? Come and find out if we have managed to improve the trajectory of LKS2 pupils by increasing the number of pupils able to access multiplication understanding and facts fluently

Charlie Harber @HarberCharlie

Charlie Harber is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for Herts for Learning specialising in mathematics, predominantly within the primary phase but increasingly engaging with KS3. She is inspired by active research within schools, her previous areas of research include: the development of early fluency in KS1, embedment of bar modelling throughout primary (ensuring progression and purpose), and variation theory. She is about to embark on a new research project with colleagues at HFL exploring why multiplicative reasoning is so challenging for pupils and how we can improve children’s understanding, fluency and flexibility. Previously, Charlie has taught across all year groups of primary and still enjoys teaching pupils regularly.

Rachel Rayner @Rachelrayner54

A passionate advocate for her subject, Rachel works in schools nationally to drive up standards in mathematics. Through her engaging training, involvement in action research projects and speaking engagements, she provides easily actionable advice that is practical to the classroom and inspires teachers wherever she goes. As a blogger and writer of materials, Rachel seeks to spread the good word, support teachers and cause thinking as well as learn some more on the way. She still loves to teach.


Rachael Brown is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for Herts for Learning (HfL) specialising in primary mathematics. As part of the advisory team, Rachael has created planning materials, diagnostic assessments and leadership materials which are used in schools nationally. Rachael is currently co-leading a new research project with colleagues at HfL exploring why multiplicative reasoning is so challenging for pupils and how we can improve children’s understanding, fluency and flexibility. Rachael is passionate about strengthening leadership on the ground in schools and currently leads the HfL’s year-long mathematics subject leadership programme.

Intelligent Practice: Cracking the Textbook Crisis


Why do Textbooks have a poor reputation?

Are they a bad idea? Or does the UK produce poor textbooks?

Schools around the world use textbooks as a progression model. At United Learning, we are creating a mathematics textbook for our five-year curriculum.

A body of educational research underpins the United Learning resources made. We apply: Cognitive Load Theory, the principles of Direct Instruction and Variation Theory.

Naveen will explain the thinking behind the design and creation of the UL textbook. How are pupils supported to develop mathematical ideas? What is the impact? What are the pros? What have we learnt from the process? What changes will be made in the future?

Naveen Rizvi @naveenfrizvi

Naveen Rizvi is the mathematics curriculum advisor to the United Learning multi academy trust. She creates the instructional materials used by over 40 schools, hundreds of teachers, and experienced by thousands of pupils.


Speed Dating

At each conference, we ask delegates to bring along their favourite resources, ideas, hints and tips. Everyone has 90 seconds to tell a colleague about their idea, before swapping and hearing from them.

There is usually time for five or six 'dates', so be ready to spread the word about what is making your classroom buzz right now.

Feel free to bring handouts, weblinks, etc.

Happy dating!

TweetUp and do some maths!

Lots of us help each other out on Twitter. We give advice, support or just share jokes and experiences. But who are the people behind the Twitter handles? That's what a Tweetup is all about - a meet up for Twitter friends, putting faces to names or pseudonyms. Come along to the bonus session during the lunch break and say hello to the maths teacher Twitterati.

Be sure to identify yourself in some way! Surely someone will at least get a t-shirt made?!

You are welcome to join in and get stuck in to doing some maths.

This is an informal session - drop in as you like.

Maths Cake Competition

Our cake competition is always a highlight of the day. Dozens of delegates battle it out to be crowned the winner of the maths-themed cake bake-off.

Cakes are judged at lunchtime by our guest speaker and prizes awarded at the end of the day.

Be sure to visit the cake stands to see your colleagues' handywork. And, of course, to sample the cakes for yourself! They are delicious!

Event Location

Event Supporters

'La Salle Education'
'Manga High'
'Daydream Education'
'WJEC Eduqas'
'Association of Teachers of Mathematics'
'Oxford University Press'
'Mathematical Association

Contact Us

By phone:
020 8144 4748
By email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or find us at:
121 King's Cross Road