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The West Midlands Core Maths Teacher Network meeting took place at the University of Birmingham on Friday 4 March 2022. After a two-year hiatus, teachers of Core Maths from across the West Midlands region were once again brought together to discuss, share and collaborate, supporting one another with classroom practice. The meeting aimed to update teachers with the latest information about the qualification, give an opportunity to share resources and sources of activities with each other, give insight to past pre-release materials, and offer teachers the opportunity to create resources collaboratively.

Initial discussion was centred around the topics of exam grading, university admissions, funding opportunities, and the advanced examination materials that had been release a couple of weeks prior. Conversation soon turned to classroom resources though, with teachers highlighting What’s Going On in This Graph?, Human Benchmark and Skew The Script to name but a few sources. The AMSP have also been working at increasing their bank of useful teaching materials. Integral has extended its content to include more classroom resources and assessments and schemes of work, and has also added interactive packages to further support independent student practice. Integral also has a selection of other Core Maths resources, including the use of Desmos activities, and resources based on the topic of climate change and how to visualise inequality, all of which have been developed from recent AMSP Core Maths Festival sessions.

Focus then switched to engaging with examination pre-release materials. This initially involved looking at materials from recent years from across the different awarding organisations. Teachers were challenged to consider how these materials could be used in the classroom to help students develop the skills required to have a secure understanding of the contexts involved and the maths that could be performed whilst engaging with these. They also considered the exam questions that could be asked on these and analysed how the exam papers actually used these materials. This in turn helped to create a picture of how the 2022 pre-release materials may be used. At the time, AQA and OCR B (paper 2 only) were the only organisations that had released their materials for 2022 so the teachers, whom were all following the AQA specification, engaged with the AQA materials. This involved reading and discussing the content, sharing ideas, researching useful links, generating quick questions, and collaboratively working on materials to use in the classroom. The results of this can be found on a Padlet that was created specifically for the meeting – you’re welcome to use the Padlet however is most helpful for you!

Further networking around the pre-release materials across all exam boards is on-going, with the opportunity to discuss them in the Core Maths Specification Networks that are happening online across the next few weeks. We’d love for you to join!

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