Saturday, 6th October, 2018


The High School of Glasgow

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
  • 09:40

    Keynote Speaker - Craig Barton
  • 10:40

    Speed Dating - Your chance to share your favourite maths ideas
  • 11:00

    Coffee Break / Networking / Exhibition
  • 11:15

    Workshop 1
  • 12:15

    Workshop 2
  • 13:15

    Lunch / Networking / Exhibition / Maths Cakes Competition
  • 14:00

    Workshop 3
  • 15:00

    Coffee Break / Networking / Exhibition
  • 15:15

    Workshop 4
  • 16:15

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

    Conference Ends


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.

Reflect, Expect, Check: My Take on Intelligent Variation in Mathematics


Since my book, How I wish I'd taught maths, came out in January, I have become increasingly obsessed with the power of intelligent variation in mathematics. In this workshop I will look at four different categories of activities - Practice, Rule, Pattern and Demonstration - which I believe can be used across all topics and all classes to help students think harder about the questions they answer and the concepts they encounter. I have begun to collate these activities on my website,, and I have come in for a bit of stick! So, in this workshop I will also address some of the questions and criticisms these methods have encountered. So,whether you are intrigued, excited, concerned or entirely unconvinced by intelligently varied practice, hopefully this workshop will be of interest.

Craig Barton @mrbartonmaths

Craig Barton is an Advanced Skills Maths teacher, the TES Maths Adviser, and the creator of,, and He is also the author of the best-selling book "How I wish I'd taught maths", and the host of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast.

Evidence into Practice


This session will take a research-informed look at how students develop deep and durable learning. In particular, we will discuss retrieval practice, elaboration, spacing and interleaving and consider how these approaches can be incorporated into lessons and what they mean for course design.

Stuart Welsh @maths180

Stuart Welsh has been teaching Mathematics for 12 years and has been Head of Mathematics at The High School of Glasgow since 2014.

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 National 5 and Higher and ready-to-use resources for teachers.

Smashing the Bell Curve - Rethinking the Curriculum


At Hillhead, we've gone back to the drawing board to design and implement a mastery curriculum from S1 to Higher maths. Our aim: to smash the bell curve!

This session will be a walkthrough of our latest thinking based upon reading and research on: the mastery cycle, formative and summative assessment, variation theory & mathematical tasks and effective pedagogy. There will be an outline of our maths specific professional learning model. Finally, there will be discussion of the issues we've faced so far and, of course, offer some data that offers some encouraging signs of improvement.

All previously undelivered content.

Chris McGrane @chrismcgrane84

Chris is in his 13th year of teaching and 4th as a PT. His main areas of interest are the design of curriculum, assessment and effective tasks.

He blogs occasionally at and runs the new website called Starting Points

Love Maths Island


Do you know that more people applied for Love Island than Oxford and Cambridge combined? Reality TV and Quiz Shows offer an opportunity for engaging learners in Mathematics. Real-life statistics and data can enhance the learning experience and provide applications for problem-solving set in familiar contexts. Utilising formats from quiz programmes allows for the formative assessment of pupil learning in a fun/competitive environment. In this interactive session ideas will be shared for encouraging collaborative and co-operative learning.

Michael Gray

Michael is an experienced Mathematics teacher from a large comprehensive school in Edinburgh. He has experience of learning CLPL sessions for teachers from P1 to Advanced Higher. Since 2013 Michael has been part-time seconded to a teacher-training institution, helping to prepare the next generation of teachers.

Provocative Statements About Mathematics Education


"The spirit of the lesson is more important than the content"

"If I don't know 7 x 8 I can always look it up"

"Speed and accuracy are the enemies of learning"

Are these statements excellent, rubbish, or somewhere in between?

This session will challenge some of the assumed truths and beliefs about mathematics education.

Tom Carson @offpistemaths

Tom teaches mathematics at St. Paul's High School in Glasgow. At the moment, he is particularly interested in the phenomenology of mathematics and getting other people to argue.

Maths, Maths and more Maths - no more 'down-time' in 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.

An Introduction to Cognitive Load Theory


Some of the main things we will cover in the session are:

What is Cognitive Load Theory?

How can we make the best use of examples to help pupils make sense of new learning?

What are the implications for minimally guided problem based learning (or discovery learning)?

How should we structure lessons and examples differently for novices and experts?

How should we design our slides (PowerPoint/SMART Notebook) to maximise students’ understanding?

What is the difference between working memory and long term memory?

I will share examples from my practice and allow opportunities for discussion.

Michael Allan @mrallanmaths

Michael is a maths teacher working at Glenrothes High School in Fife. Michael has presented workshops on use of Glow and OneNote and on Cognitive Load Theory at the Scottish Mathematical Council's annual conference.

A year to remember


This session chronicles a year in the life of a PT attempting to translate his own and his department's learning into practice. We'll look at: mixed ability v setting, implementing research-based strategies, variation theory, mathematical etudes, and the tension between creating mathematicians and creating SQA exam-passers.

Lee Gray @mrgraymath

Lee Gray is the Principal Teacher of Mathematics at Trinity High School in Renfrewshire, having recently moved from the same role at St Mungo's Academy in Glasgow.

He enjoys learning with (and from) others and sometimes reflects on his learning on Twitter, where he recently found out that he has been asking his pupils "One of the worst questions existing in education today."

How to solve linear equations, 100%, guaranteed


Solving linear equations is core to so much secondary mathematics, and yet it’s a topic we struggle to introduce and help all pupils master. Techniques like ‘flip and ping’ build misconceptions. ‘Reverse function machines’ break as soon as we hit ‘unknowns on both sides.’ ‘Conceptual approaches’ like algebra tiles rarely translate into procedural fluency with abstract, written algebra.

But, surely, there must be a way to teach pupils to solve equations that would guarantee every one of them would be successful, quickly, without doubt.

In this session, Kris Boulton will explain how he has applied the principles of Direct Instruction and Atomisation to create a logically faultless approach to solving equations. Once you see the four steps that really go into solving supposed ‘one-step equations,’ it will not only become obvious why so many pupils struggle, but also how to adjust your teaching to completely eliminate that struggle.

Kris Boulton @Kris_Boulton

Kris Spent five years working as a maths teacher in inner-city schools, including the game-changing King Solomon Academy. He blogs and writes for the TES, and his interest in teacher education stems from the belief that it's one of the biggest levers we have for school improvement.

The Pareto Principle of Lesson Planning!


Does planning your lessons take forever?

Do you feel that your pupils aren’t making the right mathematical leaps in their understanding that you planned for them to make?

Do your pupils understand the concept being communicated on the third or fourth attempt, very rarely the first?

What If I could tell you that it is possible to plan your lessons so your pupils can learn the concept being taught on the first attempt, especially your weakest pupils!

In this session, I will talk about how the Pareto Principle can be applied to your planning. How is it possible to plan your lessons where 20% of what you have planned accounts for 80% of your results. We will look into how to plan a particular unit of work, break down the topic being taught into component skills, and plan worked examples and practice exercises to allow the highest percentage of your pupils to understand the concept being taught, on the first teaching attempt.

Let’s get rid of the common practice of re-teaching by learning about the Pareto Principle of Lesson planning!

Naveen Rizvi @naveenfrizvi


Enabling Technology in the Maths Classroom


Who says we can’t do tech in maths? Join us for a hands-on session where we’ll be exploring an incredible tool to help integrate technology effectively into the maths classroom. We’ll be addressing the challenge of ‘making maths’ digital and discover ‘EquatIO’. A powerful tool that makes technology integration simple, EquatIO provides pupil engagement, helps teachers be more efficient and enables amazing workflows, leading to meaningful assessment opportunities.

We’ll take a deep dive into how technology can reduce cognitive load, help structure approaches to mathematical concepts, and enable new ways for students to express their learning. We’ll take a look at how best to integrate Desmos graphing, using mobile devices and how we can make maths accessible for everyone.

The session will challenge your approach to tech in the maths classroom from S1 to S6 with new ways to explore and express the subject across every platform - so whether you’re using G Suite or MS Windows, we’ll have you covered, and you’ll leave with a free copy of EquatIO for life!

This session is led by former Maths teacher, John McGowan, who created EquatIO with a simple goal in mind - make maths digital - easily!

Facilitated by Texthelp - helping every pupil to understand and be understood.

John McGowan@jmacattak

John is a certified Google Education Trainer and the creator of g(Math), which had over 13 million worldwide users before it retired in January 2018. A math teacher of over 15 years, he loved to adapt the fail-forward mentality and push the bounds of technology integration in the math classroom. In 2016 he embarked on a new career to leave the classroom to join up with Texthelp to make a greater impact on teaching and learning by making digital math easy and accessible to all. EquatIO was released last year and is the first step in that journey!

Some Surprising Geometrical Proofs through Paper Folding


In this hands-on workshop, we will use a range of paper folding procedures to precisely construct a variety of 2-d and 3-d shapes. We will consider mathematical relationships including congruency, similarity, symmetry and enlargement. At the heart of the session is the challenge of mathematical proof; how can we be sure our shapes are what we think they are? This will draw on a wealth of knowledge and reasoning and will, quite possibly, result in some surprising findings.

The workshop is suitable for teachers from both primary and secondary schools. We will work collaboratively, sharing our thinking and discussing the proofs.

So, if you would like to spend an hour getting your head around some interesting geometry problems, which you can take back and use in your classroom straight away, I’d love to see you there.

Mark McCourt @emathsuk

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!

Making Maths Memorable – Progression in Fractions


You will be fully involved working on developing conceptual rather than procedural understanding of fractions.

You will engage in solving problems, each one at various levels and experience how representations support children’s understanding, reasoning and making connections. Each problem will be approached in multiple ways and we will look at how to use manipulatives and the CPA approach to demonstrate understanding and greater depth.

Bernie Westacott @berniewestacott

Bernie taught maths in independent prep schools (ages 3 to 13) from 1973 to 2012. He introduced Singapore Maths into his school in 2006 and continued to develop that style of teaching across the school. During that time, he worked with his school’s early years staff to develop their own EYFS maths programme. This programme was based on the Singapore Kindergarten programme and heavily influenced by educational research relating to developing Number Sense in young children.

Since retiring, Bernie has worked as a consultant, both for OUP and independently, helping schools in both the maintained and independent sectors to implement a Singapore approach. He has also been involved in developing materials with OUP to support teachers in the classroom. In order to still have a role working with pupils, Bernie agreed to return to his school in a support role working with teachers, and pupils who need either support or enrichment/challenge. Bernie feels that although there have been many developments in primary maths teaching in the UK, there is more to be achieved at EYFS and secondary levels


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.

It's an 'unconference' session - a chance to meet people and do maths - run by you, the delegates, so bring along some maths games or activities, grab a table and have fun.

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'
'Oxford University Press'
'Science Studio'
'Visions in Education'

Contact Us

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