Inspiring Speakers

Our workshop leaders and speakers have one thing in common: their love of mathematics education.

Maths Cake Competition

Networking and making new friends to collaborate with in the future are key aims of the event. What better way to get to know someone than over a cup of tea and a calculator shaped sponge cake?


(Times GMT+1)

  • 09:00 - Assembly

    Welcome and introduction, Mark McCourt, Chief Executive, La Salle Education
  • 09:10 - Form Time

    Andrew Taylor, AQA
  • Workshops
  • 10:30 - Morning Break

    Coffee Break
  • Workshops
  • 11:40 - Break

    2nd coffee break
  • Workshops
  • 13:00 - Lunchtime

    Lunch / Join in the Pringles challenge!
  • Workshops
  • Workshops
  • 15:50 - Break

  • Workshops
  • 17:10 - Graduation

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


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 Higher and beyond.

Sequencing an Interim Curriculum


Curriculum is a key focus for schools, and the movement in our professional dialogue to what makes the most optimal mathematics curriculum is a cause for celebration. But how do we pick up the pieces when we inherit pupils who historically haven’t had a good deal? Where should we make compromises in our curriculum choices for pupils and what should we focus on to provide the greatest chance of both mathematical, and human, flourishing?

In this session, Dan will be talking through some of the difficult decisions and compromises that he and his department have made in a school coming out of special measures and how he is approaching the ongoing challenge of aiming for the highest standards while meeting pupils where they are. While he definitely does not have all the answers, there’s at least the guarantee of some lovely maths and a frank and honest discussion for those of us in difficult curricula circumstances.

Dan Draper@MrDraperMaths

Dan is a maths teacher working in Derby and has worked in a variety of schools across London and the East Midlands. His current role focuses on curriculum design and staff development while previous roles have involved resource design and ITT subject knowledge enhancement at a county-wide level. His favourite number is the square root of 2.

Behaving Mathematically


As I often say to my Y7 pupils, "my job is not to turn you into calculators, but to make you mathematicians."

This workshop takes a look at the 'behave' phase of a learning episode with a selection of tried and tested problems and task to encourage pupils to 'behave mathematically' in your lessons.

A range of problems and tasks will be explored during the session, each are pedagogically rich, require minimal preparation and will add an important and exciting dynamic to your lessons. The behave phase is the most important phase in a learning episode, it's where connections are made and real, deep understanding happens.

Jonathan Hall@StudyMaths

Jonathan has been teaching Maths in secondary schools since completing his PGCE in 2005. Before becoming a Mathematics Lead for La Salle, he was a successful head of department at Leeds City Academy for over five years and continues to work there as a Lead Practitioner of Mathematics.

Over the past decade, Jonathan has made significant contributions to the maths community by the creation of several well-known websites, most notably MathsBot, used by millions of teachers and students each year.

Jonathan regularly presents at conferences where he shares his both experiences and ideas from the classroom and the resources he creates. He is a keen Twitter user and is often posting new resources or updates to existing ones based on feedback from the maths community.

Conceptualising Maths


Mathematics is a subject of concepts. To make sense of these concepts is to learn mathematics. To make sense of these concepts means to understand:

(a) The structure of each concept - what it is, what it isn't, representations of the concept.
(b) The procedures/processes arising within each concept - what they are/do, why they work.
(c) How concepts interact.

This session will look at a couple of concepts in maths and explore these three aspects of understanding.

Peter Mattock @MrMattock

Peter Mattock has been teaching mathematics in secondary schools since 2006 and leading maths departments since the beginning of 2011. Peter 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 and now works as the Secondary Mastery Lead for East Midlands South Maths Hub. 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.

Working with low attaining pupils


Working with pupils who have poor prior attainment is a tricky affair, but should be considered the pinnacle of one's career. Often their view of Mathematics is dilapidated and in need of repair - disillusioned by their lived experience in most cases, have thrown in the towel.

In this workshop, we examine the need for pragmatism, careful planning and common sense to make significant learning gains with pupils who have been the product of a conveyor belt system. Consistent routines, responsive teaching and incremental mathematical thinking opportunities are some of the ingredients that are paramount when developing a 'pedagogy of affect' with low attainers.

Gary Lamb @Garyl82

Gary has taught for 14 years in four different schools and was Head of Mathematics in St Andrew's Academy. Now, Gary is part of the La Salle Education team working as a Mathematics Educator, leading CPD in Scotland. Gary’s main interest is mastery learning, effective mathematics pedagogy and particularly enjoys working with teachers on how to maximise the potential of pupils with low prior attainment.

Focus on the Mathematics: Using Autograph for T&L


Autograph has an intuitive interface for both teachers and pupils and this session will enable teachers to go back to the classroom with a focus on the mathematics - there's no requirement to be a ‘Tech’ expert.

Autograph is for users of all ages. This session will focus on ideas that teachers will be able to take back to the classroom to support pupils learning. There will be time to look at what makes Autograph so special and how Autograph can be used for many lesson ideas.

Autograph is designed for teaching and this session will hopefully be able to show you how easy it is to use in the classroom. There will be time to look at some great examples and to share good classroom practice.

This session is suitable for Teachers who want to be able to go back to school with ideas about how their pupils can learn. I aim to show how Autograph can be used quickly and easily in the classroom.

There will be supporting materials “How To” guides and “Tasks” available to take ideas back to the classroom. I hope you will share some of your learning to @AutographMaths It will include a ‘hint’ of what is to come in the future of Autograph. I hope to follow up on the successful 4-part webinar course that we ran during April 2020.

Robert Smith @RJS2212

Robert J Smith has been teaching maths for nearly 10 years and is currently the Maths Community Lead for La Salle Education. Robert has been involved with the East Midlands Mathematics community since his Teacher Training days and has helped to lead and organise several CPD, Masterclass and engaging mathematics opportunities. These sessions have been for Teachers, Lecturers, Students (and their parents) and also those generally interested in Mathematics.

Raising Understanding, Raising Attainment


This session will look at a few ingredients of the recipe for raising attainment. I will also take you on our pupils' journey of using the area model and bar modelling.

Siōbhán McKenna @shivmckenna55

Siōbhán has been teaching Mathematics for 9 years and has been a PT for almost 3 years. She is most interested in curriculum development and giving pupils the opportunity to experience mathematics. Siōbhán blogs occasionally and often communicates with other educators on Twitter.

Ipsative Ideas


Summative and Formative assessment. TICK. But could we be missing something by not doing more ipsative assessing?

What is ipsative assessing you may ask... it can be either teacher or student led with a focus on progress and not criteria referenced. It could hold bags of potential for unmotivated and/or low attaining students!

This workshop is designed to help give you some ideas on how ipsative assessing could help overcome some of those key barriers to learning.

Andrew Woods @Mr_Woods_Maths

Andrew has been teaching Maths for 7 years across the West Midlands, Bristol and Kent. He been KS coordinator, HoD, Lead Practitioner for Teaching and Learning and now Lead Maths Advisor for The Education People in Kent. He is particularly interested in ipsative assessment and its possible benefits to Maths classrooms.

Speak like a mathematician - The importance of the words we use


Pupils learn from us and follow our lead. As such, what we say, goes! But what if what we say isn't always accurate? We can cause real damage to the learning of our pupils.

This session will include the thoughts of many practitioners, and share research papers on the "tricks" that teachers use that do not promote conceptual understanding and how important our choice of words can be in the classroom.

The session will be particularly useful for KS1-4 teachers.

Tom Manners @Mannermatics

Tom teaches and works as a PGCE tutor with trainee teachers in the West Midlands, as well as supporting maths departments as a consultant. He is a NCETM PD lead as well as "Teaching for Mastery specialist," leading two work groups for his local maths hub. He earned a distinction in his master's degree in School Improvement and Educational Leadership at the University of Birmingham which inspired his interest into educational research, and he loves a good debate about maths pedagogy.

How to Discover Mathematics


In the school curriculum, mathematics is usually presented as “finished”: students just see the final version of thousands of years filled with exploration, discovery, mistakes, misconceptions, and surprises.

In this workshop, we want to discuss what it feels like to “discover” mathematics, and how you can give students this experience in the classroom. There will be history, problem-solving – and of course, you can actively participate yourself!

Philipp Legner @MathigonOrg

Philipp is the founder and CEO of, an award-winning learning platform for secondary mathematics. He previously studied mathematics at Cambridge University and mathematics education at the UCL Institute of Education, and he worked as a software engineer at Bloomberg and Google.

How "Teach Like a Champion" techniques can improve maths understanding


Developing the work of Doug Lemov in Mathematics has helped students gain the knowledge retention needed and enabled better problem solving.

Peter Mckinniss @PMcKinniss

Peter has been a teacher for 14 years and is currently a Senior Assistant Principal in a secondary academy in Cornwall. Peter has experience in raising standards as a head of maths and a senior leader as well as maintaining an active classroom role. Finding techniques to raise standards in maths for many student that have been disengaged or struggled to progress has been a driving principle throughout his career.

Solving Mathematical Word Problems - 5 Activities to Build Understanding


Word problems require a strategy beyond abandoning RUCSAC; appreciating quality activities/discussion over the quantity of problems attempted and focusing on the whole problem and pondering the possibility that the numbers themselves might be a distraction.

After 10 years of personal research and a recent teacher innovation group, this workshop provides 5 accessible activities to look at approaching word problems a little differently.

Jean Knapp @MissJK24319629

Starting a career in teaching over 25 years ago (involving 7 years as a Mathematics Coordinator/Lead Teacher and AST) in Greenwich and Hillingdon, Jean has been involved in Mathematics Consultancy for the last 15 years (starting in Hillingdon LA) delivering hundreds of courses and in-house school development, writing publications for the DfE and BEAM and delivering conferences all over the UK.

Following Jean's work as Primary Mathematics Lecturer at Kingston University, since January 2018, she now works as part-time Consultant and part-time Maths Specialist/T&L Lead in Year 6 teacher for two Slough schools.



The 'Do It > Twist It > Solve It' or 'Do It > Secure It > Deepen It' lesson design structure created by Steve Lomax (@MaxTheMaths) supports a teaching for 'mastery' approach.

The lesson design was inspired by a teacher exchange visit to Shanghai and developed to support teachers in Primary and Secondary schools across the UK to teach for 'secure and deep understanding'. It has been used in hundreds of schools since 2014 and embraces the core principles of Variation Theory by supporting teachers to design examples and exercises to secure and deepen pupils' understanding of mathematical ideas through the use of:
- 'What it is' (standard)
- 'What it is also' (non-standard)
- 'What it is not' (non-examples)
- 'What problems can I solve'

Please note ... the use of the labels 'Do It, Twist It, Solve it' / 'Do It, Secure It, Deepen it' ... Do It, Bop It, Zap it, Kick It, Whack It (now that's just being silly) is pointless without respecting the pedagogcial principles behind them. The workshop will use lots of examples from schools across England to explore these principles in detail and critical to ensuring the #DoItTwistItSolveIt lesson design has the desired impact on pupils' achievement and enjoyment.

Steve Lomax @MaxTheMaths

Steve is currently the Maths Lead for the Balcarras Teaching School and GLOW Maths Hub working with both Primary and Secondary schools. Steve is also the co-founder of with his good buddy Matt Nixon and with his other good buddy Liz Hopkins.

Explode your mind with Exploding Dots: A Global Phenomenon


It's a global phenomenon in mathematics! Over 6 million people -- students, educators, maths enthusiasts – from over 170 countries and territories across the planet are united by the stunning wonder of a common piece of school mathematics.

It’s the story of Exploding Dots. Let me share this mind-blowing story with you too!

See the school mathematics you thought you knew so well in astounding new light. Witness curriculum mathematics as a portal to human joy, wonder, and awe.

James Tanton @jamestanton

Dr. James Tanton earned his PhD in mathematics from Princeton University. He is an author, a consultant, and ambassador for the Mathematical Association of America in Washington D.C., chair of the Advisory Council for the National Museum of Mathematics in New York, and founder of the Global Math Project, an initiative to transform the entire world's perception of what mathematics can, and should, be. This initiative has reached over 6 million students and teachers across the planet. James has taught mathematics both at university and high-school institutions. He advises on curriculum, consults with teachers, and gives demonstration classes, and facilitates professional development across the globe. James is also recipient of a Joint Policy Board for Mathematics communications award for 2020.

Why learning Maths is hard... and what we can do to help


Mathematics may be the most interdependent and hierarchical body of knowledge we expect students to learn. In this workshop, Stuart will explain why some students find learning Mathematics so hard.

He will discuss how to sequence content so that students can build robust knowledge structures and share how he teaches for conceptual understanding. Stuart will highlight the dangers of shortcuts, tricks and "received wisdom" and explain how we can help students use their own "awareness" to construct rich mental schema.

Stuart will share a wide range of research-based, easy to implement approaches that you can use to help students take control and "see" Mathematics for themselves like they never have before.

Stuart Welsh @maths180

Stuart has been teaching Maths for 15 years. Until recently he was Head of Maths & Research lead at a school in Glasgow, Scotland. Currently teaching Maths at an International School in Spain.

Mathematical Beauty: Ideas and Tasks to Promote Awe, Wonder and Pleasure


How might we induce positive aesthetic experiences in the classroom?

This workshop aims to highlight key features of mathematical beauty and delve deeper into ideas and tasks which might help meet that aim. This workshop will be balanced with some theoretical discussion, followed by individual and/or collaborative doing of mathematics.

Dan Pearcy @DanielPearcy

Dan Pearcy has worked as a teacher, a Head of Mathematics and a Senior Leader in various curricular around the world. He acts as a visiting presenter on the iPGCE Durham University teacher training programme, has created Geogebra applets for a well-known online IB textbook and he currently creates video content for IB Diploma courses at InThinking. He recently published a book called "Mathematical Beauty", which is aimed at teachers, post-16 students and anyone who wishes to develop their understanding of the wonderfully rich world of mathematics.

From Abacus to Zero - The Etymology of the Words of Mathematics


A look at the roots of mathematical words, their origins and links to other vocabulary, and the history of some mathematical symbols.

Why not call a triangle a trigon? How are 'million, 'one' and 'onion' connected? Why is it that an octagon has eight sides yet October is the tenth month?

Ed Southall @edsouthall

Ed is the Secondary PGCE Course Leader for the University of Huddersfield , mathematics specialist and author of "Yes, But Why? Teaching For Understanding in Mathematics."

Mathematical Thinking is Powered by Play


Playful mathematics is the engine that drives learning; a gateway towards uncovering a sense of wonder, belief and beauty.

By building mathematics programming with playful mathematics as the foundation, students are provided with meaningful and enjoyable contexts so they can make sense of, and mathematize their world. With the development of reasoning and communication as the focal point, students are better equipped to make conjectures and justify solutions with increased precision.

The ability to think and reason is and reason is fundamental as students develop their ability to understand and apply mathematics. While students may be able to solve problems with a memorized procedure, they may not have developed the necessary skills towards building a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of key math concepts; they might just be good at following steps and procedures.

Jordan Rappaport @JRappaport27

Jordan has spent his career teaching in Ontario with the York Region District School Board and he currently teaches in Thornhill, as a grade 6/7 Teacher and Math Coach. Jordan holds specialist qualifications in Mathematics, Reading and Special Education, also works as Principal Designate and leads our schools PLC’s. Jordan has written curriculum units and presented at board and system level conferences and workshops, and believes that playful mathematics is the engine that drives learning; a gateway towards uncovering a sense of wonder, belief and beauty.

Fractions - Multiple Representations


Fractions is one of many topics where misconceptions at the early stages can be missed.

Concrete manipulatives such as relational rods and tiles along with with pictorial representations including bar models and number lines can support all pupils. The use of multiple representations can develop understanding of the mathematical concept rather relying solely on a written algorithm.

Roisin McArdle @McArdleNumeracy

Having previously taught in the primary sector, Roisin made the move to secondary through her role as Principal Teacher of Numeracy working across 3 Glasgow Schools. In this role her appreciation of concrete resources and their use in the classroom led her to focus her development in this area before moving to a full time teaching position within secondary mathematics.

Teaching Exact Trig Values


After the initial controversy surrounding the addition of exact trig values to the GCSE specification, particularly at Foundation tier, this topic now seems to get very little attention. But it has such great potential - it presents a wonderful opportunity to deepen our students' understanding of trigonometry. What a shame that it is often allocated a single lesson in Year 11, and then left as a memorisation exercise.

In this workshop we will look at approaches, resources and interesting problems for this often overlooked topic, as well as taking a closer look at how it is examined at GCSE.

Jo Morgan @mathsjem

Jo is a maths teacher and Assistant Principal at Harris Academy Sutton. She writes the website where she shares teaching ideas and resources for secondary mathematics. Jo is a trustee of The Mathematical Association, a regular guest on Mr Barton's podcast, and an enthusiastic collector of old maths textbooks.

Method Selection: Practical strategies to help students interpret problems


Solving a maths problem requires 2 main steps: the first one is to identify what to do; then secondly, to perform the steps necessary to find the solution.

This session aims to share practical strategies to help teachers model decision making to their pupils. We will also look at how to design and use resources that give students opportunities to make decisions in their maths lessons.

David Busby @mrdbusby

David has been in maths education for 7 years, starting in London and now in Bristol. He's been a KS3 coordinator, 2nd in department and is now HoD. David is passionate about the opportunities that a strong maths education provides. He believes the best way to achieve it is to develop teachers into expert practitioners with high quality CPD.

Preparing year 11 students for A level Study


In the current situation we find ourselves in, our year 11s will be starting year 12 having had no face to face teaching for over 5 months.

We are going to talk about how we can prepare our year 11 students for A level teaching and how we might need to adapt in the Autumn term to meet their differing needs as inevitably some will have worked more than others over the long break they have had. Lots of practical ideas and resources will be shared.

We will also talk about how we can support our year 12 students going into year 13 and also look at some of the potential issues for those students going on to take University Entrance Examinations.

Sheena Flowers @sheena2907

Sheena has worked in schools across Peterborough for the last 15 years. She has just taken on the role of Curriculum Area Leader of Maths and have been 2nd in Department with responsibility for KS5 for the last 3 years. Sheena loves doing maths problems recreationally and playing board games. "I'm a massive geek and my students all think I'm a bit bonkers, which I think is the best type of teacher to be."

Always teach 'what' before 'why'


Mathematics is a discipline full of reason. There's a reason we can add indices together when multiplying, there's a reason we flip the second fraction and multiply to divide, there's a reason we flip the sign in the bracket to get the quadratic's root, there's a reason the area is given by a half base times height.

The reasons, the links, the logical justifications, are inherently beautiful. "Mathematics is not numbers, it's between the numbers." Conversely, "Ours is not to reason why, just invert and multiply," is ugly.

And so we strive to justify, explain, and reason why mathematics looks and works the way it does. In so doing, I argue, we all but doom our students to fail.

This workshop is all about how to develop and guarantee mathematical success in all that it means: thinking, reasoning, understanding, and grades. It's also about how to get there we first have to do something most of us don't want to do; something counter-intuitive, and ugly.

Kristopher Boulton @kris_boulton

Kris Boulton is an international teacher trainer, and education writer. He spent five years working as a maths teacher in inner-city schools, including the game-changing King Solomon Academy. He has blogged and written 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. Previously, Kris was an Associate Tutor, and a Director at Teach First, where his work included reforming the participant development programme, and working to recruit and train 200 new teacher educators. He is currently Director of Education at Up Learn, an online platform that provides A Level study and revision courses powered by cognitive science and AI, that, if exams come back next year, guarantee students an A or A*, or their money back.


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

#MathsConf23 will be our first virtual conference. So you can sit back in the comfort of your own home, join us online, and spend a full day listening to your fellow educators share their ideas, thoughts and innovations.

Event Supporters

'La Salle Education'
'WJEC Eduqas'

Contact Us

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