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Two cohorts of teachers from across England have been meeting weekly for our Core Maths Common Topics LOPD sessions. In eight sessions, each 90 minutes long, the course is set to cover the main topics which are common to all Core Maths specifications. The groups are small enough to allow plenty of opportunities for interaction and discussion of the ideas covered in each session. Besides covering the subject knowledge and sharing teaching ideas, pedagogical approaches and resources, we also look at past paper questions and mark schemes to understand what is required during the exam.

In the most recent sessions, we covered using current affairs as a context in the classroom which sparked really good conversations among participants. When is the right time (if ever) to use sensitive topics such as coronavirus, medical testing, and cancer research in the classroom? Does it depend on how confident the teacher is with the context? Or students? Does it depend on which year of the course the students are in? Many interesting thoughts were shared on the topic, and great discussions carried on through the sessions.

In previous sessions, we discussed Fermi estimation which led to a great conversation among participants, mainly on the topic of students’ engagement in discussion in the classroom, and how different Core Maths delivery is by comparison to GCSE Mathematics.

As Core Maths LOPD sessions are coming to a close this term, you may be interested in joining the next cohort, which we are planning for spring. Please keep an eye on the AMSP website for new dates as they are revealed.

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