Saturday, 19th August 2017


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.

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
  • 10:00

    Speed Dating - Your chance to share your favourite maths ideas
  • 10:30

    Workshop 1
  • 11:30

    Coffee Break / Networking / Exhibition
  • 11:50

    Workshop 2
  • 12:50

    Lunch / Networking / Exhibition / Maths Cakes Competition / TweetUp and Do Some Maths
  • 13:50

    Workshop 3
  • 14:50

    Coffee Break / Networking / Exhibition
  • 15:10

    Workshop 4
  • 16:10

    Closing Remarks, Maths Cakes Competition Winners Announced, Prizes, Postcards and Farewells
  • 16:30

    Bar Opens - Please join La Salle Education for after conference drinks in the bar


Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract and Language - The Use of Algebra Tiles

 P1 - P7 

When teaching a new idea or concept, teachers can ensure that as large a number of pupils as possible are able to 'meaning make' and understand the mathematical structure at hand by varying the metaphors that they use to both communicate and engage with the new learning.

In this hands-on workshop, Mark McCourt will outline ways in which algebra tiles can help pupils to grasp several new concepts. Connecting the learning through the use of these concrete manipulatives and imagery before moving onto efficient symbolic methods in the abstract, not only allows pupils a higher chance of gaining initial understanding, but also improves retention by providing opportunities for pupils to truly think about the mathematics. It is by attending to mathematical structure that the mathematics, rather than some twee context, is committed to the long term memory. Throughout the learning of the new concept, the use of accurate and deliberate mathematical language again helps to connect the learning so that pupils can make new sense of familiar ideas as they mature and develop new schema from which to look at mathematical ideas.

Delegates will spend a lot of time in the workshop using algebra tiles themselves and considering ways that they can embed their use in their classroom practice across the age and ability range.

Come along, have some fun, play with concrete manipulatives and discuss with colleagues how they might benefit your pupils.

Mark McCourt (@EmathsUK)

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. He has extensive experience of mathematics teaching and learning across all age and ability groups, having taught students from age 3 to PhD!

Getting Out of the Box - Reasoning and Problem Solving

 P4 - P7 

Problem Solving and Reasoning are topics which people continually ask me about. Everybody is trying many different techniques and sometimes we feel we are making little progress. With emphasis on both of these skills increased for our students in both P4-P7 and S1-S5 I feel it is important we collaborate with each other and share ideas. Getting students to think outside of the box and connect information together is hardly ever easy.

So in this session I'm going to share how I've dealt with these areas particularly over this past year. Looking at what I've learnt and what I believe has worked and why. I've had to up my game with teaching a lower higher set and we've been rising to the challenge as a class. It's been a long journey and one I hope will pay off in August, however the journey continues into the next year with my current year S4's. Although the journey is bigger than a single class it's about a movement and getting things right from year S1 and even better primary.

In this session you will have a chance to share and collaborate ideas as well as been given a whistle blow tour of strategies I use which hopefully benefit students. From this session I hope you will take away a least one golden nugget of information that will help in your day to day practice and benefit your department, future classes and students.

Danielle Bartram (@MissBsResources)

Danielle is currently the Mathematics Lead Practitioner and Numeracy Lead at Acklam Grange School, as well as being the face behind Miss B's Resources. One of her main focuses is to make maths fun, memorable and accessible for all students. To develop good practice she runs her own website, where she focuses on designing and sharing resources for free, alongside blogging. These resources are used by hundreds of thousands of teachers across the world. She is the author of "forty pence each or two for one pound" published by Crown House and regularly speaks at events across the UK. Also she is a member of the UK TES maths panel and an AQA Maths expert panel member.

Please feel free follow me on twitter or Facebook @MissBsResources and get in touch.

Low Stakes Assessments in Mathematics

 P5 - P7 

Assessment is a vital part of our job as teachers. Good assessment lets us know when pupils are ready to move forward and when it's time to reteach a topic.

In this session I will share how I use low-stakes assessments in my classes. I will discuss how I began using these and the reasons why I have chosen to roll them out to all my classes. I will explain the benefits I've found for both pupils and myself as well as discussing the potential drawbacks and pitfalls. I'll explain the process behind how I plan and create the assessments I use and will happily share copies of these with all.

The second part of the session will provide an opportunity for informal discussion about the use of various formative and summative assessments being used with pupils and the benefits and drawbacks of these.

Neil Tilston (@MrTilston)

I've worked as a maths teacher for 11 years. This included 10 years working in the Maths department at the Royal High School in Edinburgh and 1 year at my current school Monifieth High School in Angus. I have taught classes of all ages and levels of the Scottish secondary Maths curriculum. From 2nd level CfE in S1-3 to Advanced higher Mathematics and Mathematics of Mechanics.

During my time in Edinburgh I had two spells working as Acting Curricular Leader for Numeracy and Mathematics. I was part of a team that delivered a number of highly successful CPD events for Maths teachers across the council about the then new higher Maths course.

I have also been involved in work with SQA as a question paper reviewer and marker for AH level.

Playing with cards: from active learning to classroom management

 P1 - P7 

Playing cards are believed to have originated in China in the 9th Century. Since then, they have developed in various guises and formats. In Britain, they have become 52 cards with a wealth of potential not only recreationally, but educationally.

In this workshop, I aim to give as many different ways to introduce cards educationally to your classroom environment from basic numeracy which can be implemented in the Primary sector to the Senior Phase of Secondary to classroom management suitable for all. I will then open the floor to ideas from the audience so be sure to bring your own ideas to share.

Something for everyone is on the cards....

Kenny Drummond (@MrDrummondMaths)

Maths Teacher/Geek/Enthusiast looking to share ideas and have stimulating discussions. When I am not in a world of Maths, I love F1 and climbing hills!

Digital resources to enliven mathematics teaching!


This session will start by chasing some surprising mathematical objects around the world on Google Earth, then we will search the web for interesting data sets to download and analyse in Excel (or Google Sheets).

We will then consider a number of tried and tested lesson plans using dynamic software, including some new approaches to teaching polynomial graphs, transformations and some topics in the Higher syllabus: the exponential function, trigonometry, and calculus.

Douglas Butler (@douglasbutler1)

After graduating in Mathematics and Electrical Sciences at Cambridge University, and a spell with EMI Records, Douglas taught secondary Mathematics in England, and was Chairman of MEI in the 1980s. A keen pianist and dinghy sailor, he frequently speaks at international conferences on the effective use of digital resources for mathematics teaching. He is a lead author of Autograph Mathematics (version 4 Sept 2017). He maintains his TSM Resources site and organises the popular TSM workshops for teachers.

e⁽ᵇᵃʸ⁾ : Geeky auction wins ⇒ Exponentially better classroom

 P1 - P7 

Over the years, I've picked up a plethora of items from eBay that have ended up in my classroom...

Some are historical artefacts- fascinating antique reminders of what teaching was like decades or centuries ago.

Some are undeniably ridiculous- toys and machines with a Mathematical connection that entertain students at the end of a lesson.

Some are flamboyant props or gimmicks- ideal for adding a "wow" factor to unique, memorable classroom activities.

Some are unusual teaching tools- inexpensive bits and pieces that can be used as a creative springboard for a Mathematical investigation or handy equipment used in a flexible lesson activity. the workshop I'll talk through a few of my all-time favourites, you'll get a chance to see them up-close, chat about how you might use them in your classroom. Hopefully we can turn the session into a geeky "Show and Tell": feel free to bring along any Mathematical gem you might have uncovered when shopping online and subsequently used in class!

Chris Smith (@aap03102)

Chris Smith teaches Maths. And loves it. Such is his obsession, for the last ten years he's painstakingly crafted a weekly Maths newsletter which is emailed out to over 2000 subscribers these days.

Chris is a member of the Scottish Mathematical Council, the TES Maths Panel, the organising committee for the Enterprising Mathematics in Scotland competition and is a Global Math Project ambassador. Chris regularly presents at Maths conferences in Scotland, has given a TEDx talk entitled "My Life of Pi", has written for the Times Educational Supplement Scotland and has been interviewed for US podcast "The 10-Minute Teacher Show".

When he's not involved in various Mathsy endeavours, Chris will probably be hanging about with his incredibly understanding wife and three adorable kids, or getting involved at his wee local church (Townhead Church, Newmilns), or playing piano for legendary ceilidh band "Jiggered".

Ten Things Every Maths Teacher Should Know


No one likes making lists more than mathematicians... so after nearly 30 years of maths teaching, it's probably time I fessed up to the top ten things I've learned along the way.

Which is more effective for maths: student-centred or teacher-directed instruction? Why do students forget everything they've learned? Are iPads really of the devil? And will the world really end if I give a class a maths test?

Join me to discuss, debate and quite possibly disagree with a wide variety of classroom practices, resources and even a bit of educational research in the field of maths education.

Darren McKinnon (@dazmck)

Darren spent nearly 20 years as Principal Teacher/Curriculum Leader of Mathematics at The Royal High School in Edinburgh before leaving the classroom to work supporting the development of mathematics education across the City of Edinburgh as a QIO.

Darren has done work for the SQA and is the original author of the highly successful booklet "Help Your Child With Higher Maths", which can be downloaded for free from any number of departmental websites across Scotland. He also ran the very popular CPD course "Becoming An Even Better Teacher of Maths" for City of Edinburgh schools, training over sixty teachers over three years.

He still misses his interactive whiteboard terribly, and wishes he had a better job title.

Lies Maths Teachers Tell; And The Beautiful Truths Behind Them


When I was in high school we had a fantastic Maths teacher who made us sing out this mantra, “There are two things you cannot do in Maths: square root a negative and divide by zero”.

Us Mathematicians are always telling our pupils cheeky white lies: move the decimal point to divide by ten, if you multiply a number gets bigger, if you divide a number gets smaller, cross multiplying is a perfectly valid thing to do, and in some ways these can be helpful as a stepping stone for understanding (and more importantly getting them to write down the correct thing in those all important exams, which is what maths is all about, right?! But that’s a rabbit hole for another day).

But there are a few huge clangers we drop all the time, whether we mean to do it or not, and they are depriving our young people of some really awe-inspiring, beautiful, Mathematical truths (and if we’re honest finding truth is probably what Maths is actually about).

Can you square root a negative number? Yes! Kinda, and its an awesome thing to do.

Will there really be a point in your life where you walk into a supermarket and they’ve replaced all the price tags with algebra and you need to figure out the cost of a can of beans? No! But there is actually maths everywhere in the world and it is stunning.

Is the answer always going to be a sweet little integer waiting to be ticked when the answer is read out? A thousand times no! And we should embrace that!

Maths is messy, its complicated, we don’t have all the answers, sometimes we make things up and see where is goes, it isn’t always useful in “the real world” and its not a set of rules to memorise.

Maths is about truth


it. is. beautiful.

So join me in this workshop where we conspire about all the ways we can unleash these Mathematical truths on our students. We will discuss when is the right time, some different ways to do it, and share activities and resources to help them discover this for themselves.

P.S. You actually can’t divide by zero (or can you? (I’m just joking, you can’t))

Ayliean MacDonald (@ayliean)

This girl once drew the seventh iteration of the Hilbert Curve by hand, you can watch it on YouTube (The Mathemactivist).

Founder of TEDxInverness.

Part Time Principle Teacher of a Maths Department.

Basically just trying to find any possible avenue through which to unleash the beauty of maths.

One time re-tweeted by Carol Vorderman (achievement unlocked)

The Wonders of a Worksheet


Fed up with spending hours looking for the perfect exercise in a textbook or online? Then, after not finding what you wanted, compromising on something that "will do".

In this session I will share why I now make my own worksheets, discuss the thought processes behind making the 'perfect' worksheet (including breaking down benchmarks, interleaving and systematic variation). I will share some of my worksheets and where I look for inspiration.

Also in this session, there will be the opportunity for you to discuss the ideas shared and start creating worksheets.

Julie Morgan (@fractionfanatic)

I have been teaching maths for 13 years. Mostly in the Scottish Borders, in Hawick, and now in Moray where I am the PT Maths at Keith Grammar School. I love teaching maths and am always looking for ways to improve my teaching.

My Best of Twitter and Other Online Finds


Maybe you're not sure about using Twitter to enhance your teaching so hopefully I can filter the best that it has to offer and demonstrate some of the other awesome things there are online...and maybe convince you that Twitter is the some of the best CPD there is.

Fiona Philips (@MrsPhilipsMaths)

I started teaching at a school in Edinburgh in 2010, moved up to the Highlands after a year and have been here ever since. I just completed a one year stint as Faculty Head in my current school and am starting a year as Maths Development Officer.


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!

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!

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.

Event Location

Event Supporters

'La Salle Education'
'Hodder Education'
'Cambridge University Press'
Leckie Leckie

Contact Us

By phone:
020 8144 4748
By email:
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Or find us at:
Unit 11
10-12 Bache's St
N1 6DL