• Saturday 24th June 2023

  • 8.30am — 4.30pm

  • Chellaston Academy, Derby

"In the 59 years I've been on the planet, MathsConf has been the best day of maths ed I've ever experienced. Thank you so much, one and all! Still on a high... "


We're back with our 32nd Complete Mathematics Conference, aka #MathsConf32

Bringing together hundreds of maths teachers from all phases of education to collaborate and learn from each other.

The perfect way to spend a Saturday with easily digestible mathematics wisdom from educators around the country.


  • 08.30
    Grab your badge and first coffee of the day
  • 09.30
    Welcome and introduction, Mark McCourt, Chief Executive, Complete Mathematics and Main Sponsor, Andrew Taylor, AQA
  • 10.10
    Period 1
  • 11.00
    Morning break
    Chance to grab some exhibition goodies
  • 11.20
    Period 2
  • 12:10
    Morning Break
    Hunt down our treasure hunt clues
  • 12:30
    Period 3
  • 13:20
    Check out and taste test Maths inspired cakes or why not join the Tweetup?
  • 14:10
    Period 4
  • 15:00
    Afternoon Break
    Have a stretch and grab a final cup of tea
  • 15:20
    Period 5
  • 16:10
    Join the final remarks, including charity raffle draw — will you be a lucky winner?


Chellaston Academy
Swarkestone Road
DE73 5UB

Workshop Leaders

The best maths you don't teach

Peter Williams @mathsimpact

An exploration of some of the maths students cover in GCSE and A-level computer science, focusing on connections to the maths curriculum, and ways we can bridge the gap meaningfully for students.

Expect some hands on puzzle solving, but don't worry, no prior knowledge of computer science is required!

Teaching and Learning about Equality

Peter Mattock @MrMattock
The equal sign is often mis-represented in pupils' minds as an instruction to calculate "the answer" to a problem. Even when this isn't the case, the relationship defined by the equal sign is rarely fully exploited in maths teaching. In this session we will explore the properties of equality, and how we can teach (and pupils can learn) *about* equality.

A simultaneous equations journey from primary to sixth form

Matt Man @mr_man_maths

In this workshop, we will be looking through the journey on simultaneous equations.

We will be calling at:
Primary (KS2), secondary (KS3 and GCSE), and finally sixth form (A Level Maths and Further Maths)

Through each section, we will be looking at the curriculum, exam questions and resources related to each part of the curriculum on simultaneous equations.

This is useful for both primary and secondary teachers as we unravel on this journey of simultaneous equations!

Python workshop for school pupils and teachers

Dr Stephen Lynch NTF FIMA SFHEA @DrStephenLynch

This workshop will introduce delegates to Python, the most popular programming language in the world. The workshop leader is a National Teaching Fellow, winning the award for programming in the Maths curriculum, widening participation, and research feeding into teaching. Delegates need no programming knowledge, and they will be shown how Python is invaluable in the STEM subjects and provides a means of levelling up in this technological age. Stephen runs national workshops with the Institute of Maths and its Applications (IMA) on “Python for A-Level Maths and Beyond.” He also runs international workshops on “Python for Scientific Computing and TensorFlow for Artificial Intelligence.” A book of the same title is due to be published by CRC Press in May 2023, and includes an introduction to Python for new users.

What the Heck is a Rekenrek?

Amy How @rekenrek101

Have you heard about this versatile, visual, concrete manipulative? Perhaps you are curious… or even sceptical? If you are interested in encouraging mathematical talk, reasoning, deeper understanding and daily practice in a hands on visual method, then this session is for you. You truly have to see it to believe it. This is your chance to have a go at a few hands-on tasks. You will be amazed at how this tool can be the mess-free answer for children developing deeper understanding of number sense while naturally engaging in rich mathematical talk. Join in on this introductory rekenrek workshop and hopefully you too will be singing the praises of this simple tool.

Primary maths: time for change?

Tom Oakley @MrTomOakley

In this workshop we have a chance to talk about the bits of the primary maths curriculum we would change, add or remove. Tom argues (spoiler!) that the topic of teaching TIME should stay, but the way in which it's taught should change. What would you change, add or remove? Is it Roman numerals, negative numbers, coins, pie charts or even all of statistics. Whatever it is, come and join in this light-hearted session and have your say, just for the fun of it!

Picking up the Pieces: The untold story of Fractions

Stuart Welsh @maths180

Fractions, in their various guises, weave a thread throughout school mathematics. Despite the obvious importance of being able to work confidently and flexibly with fractions, pupils find this topic difficult to learn and often view fraction work as nothing other than a set of unrelated procedures to be memorised and reproduced on demand. Teaching fractions effectively is not straightforward. In this subject-knowledge session, Stuart will examine fractions through the lens of the Five Constructs and will share some thoughts on how teachers can help pupils build a deeper understanding of fractions. With practical takeaways and lesson ideas that can be adapted for pupils at any stage in their mathematical journey, this session promises to offer something for everyone.

Thinking like a university mathematician: what MESME Maths Circles can offer your high-attainers

Gwen Tresidder @MESMEastMids

MESME Maths Circles are designed to support high-attaining students (particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds) to develop the skills and aptitudes that will support them to pursue maths in higher education. Our curriculum introduces important mathematical ideas, that are beyond the scope of the NC. In this workshop, you will experience some of the maths from our Maths Circles, in the way that students do - adventurously, discursively and with a focus on process rather than answers. You can find out more at www.mesme.org and ask further questions about delivering Maths Circles in your school at the session.

Phasing learning episodes

Dave Taylor @taylorda01

In this session, we'll look at the 'Teach. Do. Practise. Behave.' phasing of a learning episode, delving into the characteristics of each phase and look at examples of how we can plan and deliver more impactful learning episodes.

Delegates should bring an objective or two to consider a learning episode for, for discussion with other delegates.

Simple prompts to rich tasks

Jonathan Hall @StudyMaths

What does it mean to behave mathematically?
How can we expect our pupils to behave mathematically if we can’t do it ourselves?
How can we turn the simplest of problems and turn it into a mathematically rich task?
This session looks at how we can take a simple image, question or prompt and develop them into engaging problems and tasks to encourage mathematical thinking in the classroom.

The use of mathematical and logic games in the classroom

Robert Smith @RJS2212

For centuries, games and puzzles have been an integral part of human culture. However, only recently have people started recognizing their educational benefits.

Using games in the classroom can provide an interactive and stimulating way for students to learn mathematical concepts and enhance their problem-solving skills. These games can serve as introductions to new topics or as reinforcement for previously learned concepts.

During this session, we will explore various mathematical and logic games that are suitable for classroom use. From classic favorites like chess and Sudoku to modern games like Set, there is a wide range of games to choose from.

We will also cover diverse mathematical topics, including number-based logic puzzles, and examine problem-solving strategies and logical reasoning. Moreover, we will explore the use of games to teach geometric concepts such as symmetry, tessellations, and spatial reasoning.

In addition to discussing specific games, we will provide general tips for integrating games into classroom teaching. These tips will include how to choose games that are appropriate for students’ age and skill levels and how to adjust games to make them more challenging or accessible.

In summary, this session on mathematical and logic games in the classroom promises to be an exciting and captivating way to explore effective teaching methodologies and strategies. Incorporating games into their teaching can help educators instill a love for mathematics and deepen students’ understanding of mathematical concepts.

What every HoD needs to know about primary mathematics

Kieran Mackle @KIERAN_M_ED

Early mathematics is, on the surface, deceptively simple and, as such, it can often be overlooked. In this session, we will explore the building blocks of mathematics, the hidden complexity contained within, and how we might focus our attention on those blocks so crucial to the success of our pupils.

Key concepts in GCSE Maths

David McEwan @AQAMATHS
What are the really key concepts to know before starting a GCSE in Maths? What prior knowledge helps a student to understand the content, to make good progress and acquire new skills? Explore these questions with AQA’s Maths Curriculum Manger, David McEwan, as he opens the floor to what the implications are for teaching and how it might affect assessment for learning as students progress from year 7 to year 11. 
There’ll be plenty of opportunities for discussion and lots to talk about for teachers of all exam boards. You’ll have time to share best practice and to draw your own conclusions. So, please join David for a thought-provoking discussion that you’ll want to continue after you’ve left the room. 

The Nuance of Generalisation - how many of our students recognise how infinite their methods are?

Paul Rodrigo @PaulRodrigo2718

Since MathsConf5, my first ever MathsConf in Sheffield in my NQT year (as it was called) I’ve been an avid attendee and consumer of all things mathematics teaching. This session will be a reflection on standard methods we’ve all taught our students over the years and considering the combinatorics of our pedagogy. While there is an opportunity cost to the examples and methods we use and demonstrate, how many of our students are aware of the number of ways a problem can be approached? How many of our students are aware when there are infinitely many ways of approaching a method? I look forward to sharing both mine and my students’ observations across Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.

Teaching Quadratics

Helen Konstantine @giftedHKO

I will share the choice of sequencing I used, the tasks I made and used, questions I selected when teaching quadratics. I will look at Factorising, Completing the square, Quadratics equations, Graphical representations and how I incorporated Algebra Tiles.

Challenge without Acceleration

Jo Morgan @mathsjem

In this workshop we’ll discuss how to challenge students without rushing through content or accelerating onto future topics. We’ll look at how we can use challenge both to develop a deeper understanding and to build learners’ mathematical skills. We’ll explore some lovely indices tasks include some Don Steward classics.

Drawing a regular 3.5 sided polygon: encouraging thinking skills in more able learners (KS3 & KS4)

Greg Thomas @AQAMATHS
In this hands-on session Greg will draw on his teaching experience to encourage more able students to think outside of the box, move them outside of their comfort zone and to create a ‘wow’ moment in the classroom. Questioning and problem solving will be at the heart of the session and hopefully there will some awe and wonder created along the way.

Statistical modelling for A Level

Paddy MacMahon @paddymac_maths

A hands-on workshop on the use of technology to enhance teaching of the statistics content of A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics.

We will use freely available web-based packages to generate, visualise and work with data sets and probability distributions, including getting an idea of the meaning of critical values used in hypothesis tests. Participants will develop resources for use in the A level classroom.

It is recommended that participants have a laptop.

Resources to give GCSE students a ‘Boost’

Nicola Woodford-Smith

Join Nicola Woodford-Smith for this unique session on the ‘BRAND NEW’ resources that have been created to give your students the ‘Boost’ they may need particularly those who may be in a post-16 setting. The resources include a new ‘core topic’ focused Scheme of Work with supporting lessons plans and new FE course-centred practice papers.  We are also proud to have released a FREE ‘online diagnostic’ testing platform and there is plenty more to come. 

Mental Models of Multiplication

Jason Gottfried @mathsbycolour

Multiplication is often learnt and understood by times tables facts first and foremost. These might be reinforced with pictorial or concrete examples of the amount of objects arranged in such a way as to highlight the relationships given in the particular multiplication bond.

This really just stretches the model used for addition to include repeated addition (which it has been argued is not multiplication at all) which leaves some students without the ability to interact directly with the concept of multiplication and others to find
it for themselves.

In this session, I would like to share with you a system that helps primary aged students interact directly with concepts within multiplication such as multiples, factors, primes and ratios in a similar way that they might with sums and differences in addition. I will introduce the system and then look at how to help children learn it and some activities to help them interact with it.

What does differentiation in Maths look like?

Jack Hancock

Differentiation is a crucial component of Maths lesson planning and delivery. However, many people look at differentiation as limiting students to low ability Maths questions or only teaching certain aspects of a course. In my workshop, we will:
- Address specific ways of differentiating and scaffolding Maths knowledge.
- Look at how to find and exploit learning opportunities in Maths.
- Ensure that students can meet all lesson objectives through choice.

Valid, Useful, Robust: Angles

Dan Draper @MrDraperMaths
Before we even step foot in our lesson we've already made lots of decisions: how to explain something; what questions we'll ask to stretch thinking; what pupils will do to practice and consolidate. But how do we decide the 'best' method to use? Where do we anticipate room for enrichment? In this session we'll look at using 'valid, useful, robust' as a framework for these decisions at both a classroom and curriculum design level by focusing on angles.

Is dynamic software worth the effort?

Douglas Butler @douglasbutler1

So much to do, a bewildering choice of online resources, worried about it going wrong, no time to be trained . . .

This session will hope to get you on board by running through a few topics that can be hugely enhanced by using dynamic software, including:

- the straight line and inequalities

- the quadratic function

- trig functions and identities

- geometry theorems

- exploring images from Google Earth

- using zooming to reveal calculus secrets

Embodied cognition - manipulatives, movement and memory

Charlotte Hawthorne @mrshawthorne7

In this workshop I will share how I’ve been using manipulatives, movement, and gesture in the classroom to improve student’s understanding of key concepts and what embodied cognition may have to do with this. This is a hands-on workshop using two-colour counters, cuisenaire and other manipulatives to explore directed number arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. There will be plenty to take away and use in your next lesson and also to think about and explore over time.

Teaching Problem Solving

Craig Latimir @Teach_Solutions

If students cannot problem solve then merely giving them more problems to solve is unlikely to solve the problem.

This session looks at where the lines can be drawn within domains and what high leverage, explicit problem solving skills can be taught to students in order for them to better tackle those parts of the National Curriculum assessed under the banner of “problem solving”.

Be ready to do some maths, reflect on your method, and discuss explicit techniques we can codify and teach.

Mathematical Reading

Anne Crosby

The Problem
• Teachers of exam years have all experienced the frustration of students who understand the work in class but who struggle to access the mathematics through the fog of words that sometimes surround exam questions.
• Many students simply turn the page if they see a long wordy question.
• Some students go straight to the calculation and do not answer the question, or they get distracted from what they can work out by the wording of the question.
• Some students get distracted by trying to incorporate too much information into a specific calculation
• In complex, real-life, problem-solving questions, students often complete a calculation but can’t remember why they were doing it and so they do not know what they have found out.
• Sometimes questions ask candidates to correct a fictional student’s incorrect answer to a question. These questions are much easier to answer if the candidate has already worked out the correct answer.

The Solution
• We have developed a process of precise reading of exam questions and writing down information and calculations in an organised fashion which helps students stay in control of the process.
• We use the process with GCSE as well as functional mathematics students. Early indications are very positive.

In this workshop we will look at a number of prepared questions before working in groups looking at exam questions to discuss how we would guide students in the process of “Mathematical Reading”.

Mathematical motivation: focusing on motivating and engaging reluctant learners

Julia Smith @AQAMATHS
In this session, Julia will deliver strategies and advice on how to approach reluctant learners of maths ahead of the new academic year. Her session will focus on those teaching year 11, post-16 GCSE maths students and functional maths learners. 

You too can be a maths "genius"

Rob Eastaway @robeastaway
In a recent episode of The Apprentice - You're Fired, comedian Tom Allen described Bobby Seagull as being a "genius" for being able to multiply 45x400 in his head. On that basis, many of your students could be geniuses too. Come and learn some nifty ways to do impressive mental calculations, from exact percentages to square roots. (Warning - this workshop is unsuitable for anyone who thinks it's dangerous to teach arithmetical tricks or shortcuts).

Chanting in maths: creating a collective, or just cringey??

Dani Quinn @danicquinn

For most people, the idea of using chanting in maths sounds terrible. Whether it makes you think of rote learning, with children parroting phrases they don’t understand, or teachers from the USA being earnest and loud in a way that strikes fear into the hearts of most Brits, it is hard to imagine embracing it. This session will look at the theory around how it can be a powerful tool pedagogically, as well as for building a strong classroom culture. I will share strategies that I’ve learned from great teachers who have paved the way. This session is not for the faint-hearted: expect to leave your comfort zone with some calling, responding and maybe even (tuneless) singing!

Mathematical thinking and problem solving

Ursula Kaul @ursulakaul

How do you get students to think mathematically rather than just following procedures? How would you deliver open ended tasks in a classroom?

Mathematical Literacy & Communication

Emma Weston @emmaemma53 and Amie Meek @alcmaths

What does it mean to be able to communicate mathematics? How do we help our pupils to become mathematically literate? In this session, we explore how we can increase fluency in speaking, reading, writing and comprehension of mathematics. Along the way we'll consider etymology; strategies to get pupils speaking mathematically; building understanding of key terms with examples and non-examples; and ways to break down bigger problems.

Functions Fundamentals

Sam Blatherwick @blatherwick_sam

In this workshop I'm going to explore how students' understanding of functions is developed through secondary and post-16 studies. How can we teach higher level functions so that students have a good grounding of what functions are, and so that they can make good progression to understanding functions at Key Stage 5 mathematics?

Giving your GCSE outcomes the ‘Midas’ touch

Hannah Gillott @HannahLVG

We all know that every one of our pupils has knowledge gaps, and have all seen that every pupil quickly improves if we successfully address their highest priority gaps — that’s why teachers give up hours of their time to run intervention sessions during breakfast clubs, lunchtimes, and after school. However, a lack of time, money and resources means those sessions often become a one-size-fits-all approach to reteaching a ‘best guess’ topic with limited demonstrable impact. 

The Midas Project—concerned with maths intervention delivered at scale—seeks to transform the way we intervene by making truly personalised and hyper-targeted intervention possible for huge groups of pupils. By analysing the ‘live’ diagnostic data TUTOR generates across schools or—even more powerfully—across school groups, we can identify relevant interventions to deliver to selected pupils across year groups and school groups, so that each instance of teacher time is used best, and drastically reducing teacher workload.

First introduced at MathsConf31, the Midas project is now underway in secondary schools across the Midlands.  In this workshop Complete Mathematics Head of Partnerships, Hannah Gillott, will reflect on how the unique combination of the technology and curriculum powering TUTOR is transforming the way schools support their pupils’ maths education. 

All attendees to the workshop will be offered a discounted rate for access to TUTOR in their school(s) after the session.


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.

Be sure to check out your colleagues' handywork on Twitter at #MC32Cake. And, of course, remember to tweet a picture of your own cake before you finish it all! We know how delicious they are!

Treasure Hunt

Throughout the day you will have a collection of mathematical questions that you need to find and solve, with each question labelled with a greek letter. Solve the questions, and using our cipher, convert the greek letters to give you a mathematical word. If you get the correct word, you will be entered into a prize draw and be in with a the chance of winning an Amazon Fire Tablet.

Charity Raffle

As with all of our conferences, we want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to contribute to worthy cause! We will be running a raffle where you can win a selection of mathematical prizes, with all proceeds going to the Macmillan Cancer Support.

Friday Night Meet-up

It's a MathsConf tradition for delegates arriving on Friday to meet up at a local bar to catchup with the community, network and talk all things mathematics.

We'll be sending out further information to all ticket holders nearer the time.

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2023/24 school-wide subscriptions for the Mathspace Classes package