Penistone Grammar School, Penistone, Sheffield, S36 7BX
Saturday, 22nd June 2019

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.

Speed Dating & Cakes

Networking and making new friends to collaborate with in the future are key aims of the event.


  • 08:30

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

    Welcome and introduction, Mark McCourt, Chief Executive, La Salle Education
    Welcome from Main Sponsor, Andrew Taylor, AQA
    Welcome from Key Sponsor, OUP
  • 09:50

    Speed Dating
  • 10:20

    Session 1
  • 11:10

    Coffee Break / Networking / Exhibition
  • 11:30

    Session 2
  • 12:20

    This is not a break… quick! Dash to Workshop 3!
  • 12:25

    Session 3
  • 13:15

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

    Session 4
  • 15:00

    Coffee Break / Networking / Exhibition
  • 15:20

    Session 5
  • 16:10

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


Submit a Workshop Proposal

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.

Submit Your Proposal

How to Change the Subject of a Formula, 100% guaranteed


Changing the subject of a formula is a key part of secondary school mathematics, and yet it’s a topic so many students struggle to master. Some techniques like ‘flipping’ can cause misconceptions. Function machines break down when the rearrangement has to deal with the subject on both sides.

There must surely be a way that is consistent and works every time? This technique builds on Kris Boulton’s techniques of Direct Instruction from the conference in Birmingham to create a faultless approach to changing the subject of a formula.

Students can struggle with changing the subject of a formula because they get confused with the method that has to be applied. This ‘new’ technique aims to eradicate that struggle.

More research will have been done compared to the workshop given in March and more situations will be added.

Joe Berwick @BerwickMaths

Joe is an enthusiastic maths teacher and is passionate about finding improved ways of teaching the mathematics curriculum. Currently, Joe works as a mathematics teacher in Sutton Coldfield.

He is interested in the use of Variation Theory and Atomisation inside of the classroom. Joe has helped to build the material that is currently available on the Variation Theory website of Craig Barton, including a lot of the A-level material.

Not equal to the task? Alternative methods for teaching inequalities


Pedagogical approaches to inequalities can sometimes feel like a set of disparate methods that don’t seem to have much connection to one another, other than a shared set of symbols. It’s easy to resort to presenting inequalities as a set of tricks that work ‘like’ other topics, rather than demonstrating the many links within the topic itself.

This session will look at ways to bridge the gaps between various methods, from representing solution sets to solving quadratic inequalities. The workshop will explore strategies for building pupils’ conceptual understanding of inequalities by looking at how different approaches to teaching the building blocks can give alternative methods to solving the trickiest problems.

Sam Blatherwick @blatherwick_sam

Sam 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.

Problem Solving using Web Resources


The web is heaving with data, images, and information from all over the globe. Douglas brings his renouned talk to Penistone, and will show where to find the most relevant information that sets off any mathematically curious mind.

This includes a rich source of links to Excel-ready large data, and how best to analyse them, and images (including some from Google Earth) ready for analysis in dynamic software.

All attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the exciting new Autograph 5.

Douglas Butler @douglasbutler1

A lifetime teaching secondary mathematics, running the popular TSM workshops (Technology for Secondary Mathematics) and creating Autograph.

A Beginners Guide to Your First TLR


This year has seen me take on my first TLR as Second in Department, and resulted in my blog post; 'A Beginners Guide to Being Second in Department'. There was a huge response to this and since then I have shared my ideas and approaches to the job with many teachers locally and across the UK via Twitter.

Networking has helped me a to make sense of the job, and make it work for me. Though my ideas may not be revolutionary and are quite often stolen from other teachers, I wanted to share my experience with anyone that has recently taken on a TLR or is thinking of doing so. This is also a great place to add to the community that have helped me to be the best Second in Department I can over the past year.

Kathryn Darwin @arithmaticks

I am a Teacher of Maths and Second in Department at Manor Croft Academy in Dewsbury. I am a self-confessed maths and teaching geek, and love nothing more than to be improving the teaching practice of myself and others... except, maybe dogs... I regularly run #mathscpdchat for the NCETM on Twitter, and am the lead for Teach Meet Maths Icons.

What Maths is needed for the other GCSE's


We know that there is increased content for maths in new science GCSE, but what about PE, DT, geography?

David Faram @DagsMaths

Having been to over ten Mathsconfs including number one I have gained various experiences. I have been Lead of Maths for six years at East Bergholt High School and was previously Head of Key stage 3 and Business Studies in Essex. Prior to teaching I had a varied career in financial markets. I have also coached sports mainly football and cricket and currently coach cricket and am a member of the ECBCA, having attended national coaching conferences as well. My current role has responsibility for overseeing DT and as such have sought out opportunities for overlaps in the the maths taught across the GCSE syllabuses.

Manipulatives: Double Sided Counters


Double sided counters are an incredibly versatile manipulative, which is great as they are also one of the cheapest!

In this workshop your will learn how to start getting the most out of this powerful manipulative, with tried and tested ‘low floor, high ceiling’ activities to use in the classroom, covering topics such as number, algebra, proof and probability.

Jonathan Hall @StudyMaths

Jonathan has been teaching maths for around a third of his life and his age is currently a square number. He also maintains and develops the MathBot website.

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.

Plan learning, not lessons!


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 through professional reading and CPD, we delve into effective explicit instruction, how to foster mathematical thinking, how to use visual modelling for understanding, and how to do all this in a time efficient way.

Gary Lamb @garyl82

Gary has taught for over a decade in four different schools and is now Principal Teacher in St Andrew's Academy, and has been so for the past three years. All of the schools have been in significant areas of deprivation and a wealth of knowledge and experience has been gained from this.

Gary has a keen interest in mastery and effective mathematics pedagogy and currently working with his department to implement a mastery model of learning to ensure every pupil achieves.

What does it mean to be "abstract"?


This workshop will examine both some specific abstract ideas as well as the very idea of being "abstract", and how we can make meaning of different abstract ideas through using manipulatives and developing multiple interpretations of a concept.

Peter Mattock @MrMattock

Peter Mattock has been teaching mathematics in secondary schools since 2006 and leading maths departments since the beginning of 2011. He is a regular presenter at mathematics conferences across the country. Peter is deeply involved in the work of the East Midlands South Maths hub and has been accredited as an NCETM Secondary Mathematics Professional Development Lead and a Mathematics Specialist Leader in Education. Peter is also one of the first secondary maths teachers to take part in the NCETM Secondary Mastery Specialist programme, which is aimed to explore how approaches for teaching for mastery can be developed for the secondary classroom, and now works as the Secondary Mastery Lead for East Midlands South. Peter tweets from @MrMattock and has run several organised Twitter chats on behalf of the NCETM, particularly around the subjects of the use of concrete and pictorial representations as well as other areas of teaching for mastery development. Peter’s book “Visible Maths: Using representations and structure to enhance mathematics teaching in schools” is available on the Crown House Publishing website, through or from your preferred local book shop.

Variation theory - more than minimally different questions


Variation Theory is a an aspect of mathematics pedagogy which has had increased focus over the past couple of years. This presentation will, through examples of tasks, questions and prompts explore this topic more fully. There is much more to variation theory, beyond lists of minimally different questions - come along to find out what!

Chris McGrane @ChrisMcGrane84

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.

Building Confidence in Lower Ability Learners


Do you have a bottom set that just struggle to get started? Are there pupils sat around wanting to avoid work at all costs? Do you have pupils that give-up before they even get going?

This session aims to provide with ideas and the tools to help you motivate and develop those reluctant learners into more willing and able mathematicians. The session is aimed mainly for teachers with lower sets/foundation GCSE students but is suitable for all teachers of KS3 and KS4.

Adam Mercer @AMercerMaths

I'm a regular maths teacher into my 5th year teaching in Derbyshire. In my time I've taught a wide range of abilities across KS3/KS4 but with a particular interest in lower ability students. I've been to various mathsconfs and through exchanging ideas/attending workshops and reading various books I've gained ideas and strategies that now form integral parts of my day-to-day practice.

Making Mathematicians


Students see mathematics as answering questions, yet the jobs mathematicians do require them to start with a scenario, ask themselves questions and then pursue a line of enquiry.

This session will look at how we can build these skills in our students taking into account some of the challenges we face in our classrooms. We will look at ways of introducing elements such as conjecture and mathematical thinking in students within our current structures and schemes of learning.

Kate Milnes @katban70

I have been teaching Maths for 12 years and currently lead an improving Maths department in Blackburn. I am also the organiser of the Blackburn branch of LIME (Leaders Improving Maths Education). Over the past three years I have been increasingly inspired by the maths specific CPD available, such as La Salle Mathsconfs, Craig Barton and Mark McCourt and would like to share some of the ideas we have found most useful and effective.

The Evolution of Vocabulary in Maths Education


Language changes all the time. Words become obsolete, words are superseded, words fall out of fashion.

Through my research into maths textbooks from the last 500 years I have discovered all sorts of delightful and surprising vocabulary. Come along to develop your subject knowledge and (hopefully) to be entertained and amused.

Jo Morgan @mathsjem

Jo is a maths teacher at Harris Federation in London. She writes the website where she shares teaching ideas and resources for secondary mathematics. Jo is a member of the TES Maths Panel and AQA Expert Panel, a regular guest on Mr Barton's podcast and an enthusiastic collector of old maths textbooks.

Yes But Constructions...


An interactive workshop looking at the topic of constructions - tips on how to teach it more effectively, ideas for interesting and purposeful task design, alternative approaches to methods and a bit of "yes but why" does this work? If you have a preferred pair of compasses, bring them!

Ed Southall @solvemymaths

Ed has taught mathematics since the second Matrix movie came out. Previously a head of maths, maths consultant in the desert somewhere, and one of those expert teacher initialisms. Author of "Yes, But Why? Teaching for Understanding in Mathematics" and the "Geometry Snacks' choose your own adventure books.

Building Creativity into your Classroom


In this interactive session we will be looking at ways of introducing creativity into regular secondary maths lessons and why it is important to do so. Be prepared to get your hands dirty with interesting maths as we will be doing a variety of engaging activities to help stir up the same curiosity in you that we hope to develop in students.

I spent years keeping creative maths problems separate from my curricular lessons, saved for the end of term or as interesting starters juxtaposed with the rest of the lesson. There’ll be practical tips as well as an outline of the history of psychological research into creativity and education.

Andrew Sharpe @asharpeducator

Andrew works as the NRICH Roadshow Coordinator and Liaison to the Millenium Maths Project at the University of Cambridge. He is the founder of (a free international puzzle competition for schools) and also works as an associate for Maths Inspiration and Stand Up Maths. Andrew spent over a decade working as a secondary maths teacher (in the UK and internationally) holding various departmental leadership roles. He has presented and run workshops around the world on subjects such as digital learning, assessment for learning, metacognition and problem solving.

The Inverse Department: Reducing Workload, Improving Consistency


Have you ever picked up a class in September, began a topic and heard the phrase - "we were shown this differently last year"? Are you part of a department where ten Y8 classes will be learning about fractions, where ten different lessons are planned and delivered? Does the ITT/NQT/Non-Specialist in your department know as much about the misconceptions coming up in angles in parallel lines as the teacher who is 3 years away from retirement?

The numbers don't lie: more and more teachers are leaving the profession and often it is down to the stress and the workload required to do the job.

In this workshop we will look at the ways in which a department can share planning and teaching methods to help deliver consistent lessons whilst reducing the amount you plan as an individual teacher. We will demonstrate a way to share ideas to decide on a curriculum, the lesson content and the consistent methods used when delivering certain topics. We will also discuss the idea of marking policies and how we haven't marked a book all year!

This is for anybody who teaches maths in secondary schools across any key stage and we will discuss methods from KS3 up to and including KS5.

Jason Steele @steelemaths

I'm a Maths teacher now in my 8th year in the classroom. Second in department. Allotment tenant (ask me about my purple sprouting broccoli).

Luke Modiri @modirimaths

I'm a Maths teacher in my 5th year of teaching. KS5 Coordinator. Waistcoat connoisseur.


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 - Penistone Grammar School, Penistone, South Yorkshire

Event Supporters

'La Salle Education'
'WJEC Eduqas'
'Daydream Education'
'Mathematical Association
'Tarquin Books'
'Association of Teachers of Mathematics'
'Rekenrek 101'
'Oxford University Press'
'Manga High'
'Science Studio'

Contact Us

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