Thursday 2 July



Session A10:00-10:45

Introduction to data science

With the quantity and speed of data now being produced there is huge demand for data scientists and, more generally, a need for young people to develop intellectual and technical skills to use and reason with data. This is not fully served by the existing curricula for either statistics or computing.

During this session, we will take a grounded look at where we are going, and the promise and potential of data science in maths education up to age 18. We will also explore the Introduction to data science materials that MEI is piloting this summer.
Session B11:00-11:45

What not to do in an online classroom – learning from our mistakes

Since the lockdown, many thousands of teachers and students have encountered online classrooms for the first time and it seems likely that, in not-too-distant future, more of us will be rising to the challenge of moving to this unfamiliar environment. Here at MEI we’ve been using online classrooms for well over a decade and we’ve made a lot of mistakes in that time – and learned a lot about how to make this medium work for us, to deliver teaching and professional development to a standard that we can be proud of, not just as a stop-gap for emergency situations, but as a valuable addition to our face-to-face work. In this session we’ll look at the practicalities of teaching online, and how to optimise the use of these rooms to ensure that students get the best out of the system and easy ways to let your invaluable expertise shine through.
Session C12:00-12:45

What do we do with Year 13?

Some thoughts about the support available to teachers to support their students as they start Year 13. How do they get up to speed? Some of this session will be about the support available to teachers of the MEI A level but there will be enough to interest all A level teachers.
Session D14:00-14:45

Using graphing technology for exploring the large data set

Exploring the LDS is challenging. Students can struggle to relate different statistical representations and write coherent, accurate explanations. We will explore how to analyse the LDS on a graphic calculator to bring statistics alive and deepen understanding. This provides the basis for writing good explanations and descriptions of data which are now an important part of the A level exam. The skills will apply to all large data sets and are suitable for all A level Mathematics teachers.
Session E15:00-15:45

KS2-3 Transition

Transition from KS2-3 always has its challenges for both students and teachers but never more so than this year. In this session we will consider ways to support transition by looking at curriculum and pedagogical continuity in maths. Can the situation in which we find ourselves in 2020 perhaps strengthen our practice in the years to come?

The Art of Statistics

Statistics has played a leading role in our scientific understanding of the world for centuries, yet we are all familiar with the way numbers can be used to support sensationalised claims, whether political or scientific. As data becomes more influential in our society, data literacy becomes an increasingly essential skill. But statistics education in schools is not exactly a shining beacon of success, forming an uneasy interface between maths and the real world, with statistical ideas potentially ending up appearing just a 'bag of tools' - a bewildering mix of tests and rules to which data is subjected.

This suggests a new approach to statistics education is necessary, in which real problems provide motivation for ideas, technicalities are delayed as long as possible, and the whole topic is seen more as data science than part of maths. In the book The Art of Statistics, I use this approach to construct a first course in statistics that is driven by questions which data might help answer. These include: could Harold Shipman have been caught earlier, should I take a statin, who was the luckiest passenger on the Titanic, and why do old men have big ears? Thus is the true power of statistical science revealed.

Slam Poetry

A live performance of slam poetry by Poetry World Slam Champion Harry Baker.


Following Harry Baker, stick around for some quirky quizzes and geeky games. Rope in willing members of your household or simply play by yourself. Alternatively, why not challenge your department colleagues and run a simultaneous group chat to see who can get the best score? Includes the answers to the big picture quiz, which will be released on Thursday morning.

Friday 3 July

Session F10:00-10:45

Rethinking the teaching of Trigonometry at KS3&4

What can we learn from the research in to the best way to teach trigonometry? Why is transition from Key Stage 2 to 3 important and why is trigonometry a crunch point for misconceptions? How are MEI’s new materials addressing these issues?

We will explore key representations and resources from work currently in development at MEI, so expect to engage with some maths and reflect on pedagogy.
Session G11:00-11:45

Using graphing technology for exploring lines in 3D

Visualising and solving problems of straight lines in 3D is often problematic for students. We will explore ways in which graphic calculators can help students make sense of these for themselves. Suitable for teachers who are familiar with 3D vectors and solving intersections. No knowledge of scalar or vector product is required.
Session H12:00-12:45

Maths careers tapas

Following the introduction of the Gatsby Benchmarks, all teachers are expected to contribute to subject-specific careers guidance. Although there is plenty of external support out there to help reduce this burden, for busy teachers it can be hard to know where to start. Rather than overwhelming you with an all you can eat buffet, this session will offer bite-sized tasters of a sample of opportunities, with a take-away menu provided to satisfy whetted appetites.

If possible, please complete this short activity in advance of the session; it should take under 15 minutes.
Session I14:00-14:45

A new GCSE maths curriculum for post-16 resit students

MEI received funding from the Nuffield Foundation to develop a new curriculum in maths for post-16 GCSE resit students, with a greater emphasis on applying maths in realistic contexts. We worked on the project in 2019, reviewing relevant research and similar qualifications and developing example resources and exam papers. This session will give a presentation about the project, followed by an opportunity to ask questions. The project report and other outputs are available on the MEI website.
Session J15:00-15:45

Measuring space using Key Stage 4 maths

In this session we’ll look at some historical examples of measuring different aspects of space, from the ancient Greeks to modern satellite telescopes. How can we use school maths to help us estimate distant objects? This session will have some ideas on how to contextualise Key Stage 4 maths topics including trigonometry, similar shapes and Pythagoras. No knowledge of Space or Astronomy is required!
Session K16:00-16:45

Some great starters for a Core Maths lesson

The presenters will showcase a series of ideas for starting a Core Maths lesson, with suggestions of how these ideas may be developed.

Closing comments

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