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On Tuesday 10 March 2020, teachers of Core Maths from all over the West Midlands came together in Birmingham to work together and to improve their classroom practice.

The first aim was to identify the maths required in the A levels of other subjects, such as Geography, Psychology, Business Studies and Biology, and how that corresponds to Core Maths content. Could we use the contexts found in these subjects within the Core Maths classroom? Could we teach the mathematical topics that are not in the Core Maths courses that are required for these other subjects? Do we owe it to our students to give them a more rounded experience of maths and, as a result, can we encourage more students to take the qualification? These were the questions that the teachers asked of themselves and engaged with some maths-based questions of the other subject to identify the challenge that students were under.

A bigger part of the day was for teachers to understand the content of the examinations’ pre-release materials, identify how they could be used in the exams, and collaboratively develop resources to use in the classroom to support student understanding of the contexts. The teachers worked together to produce a padlet full of questions, ideas and resources based on the contexts of foreign exchange, Wimbledon, youth spending patterns and home ownership. Although the exams have now been cancelled, these resources are a great use for future student development in understanding pre-release materials, and were a great way for teachers to develop their own practice and work together with others.

With all face-to-face events in the summer now cancelled, online opportunities will become available for teachers to further their knowledge of teaching Core Maths. We are currently running Stage 1 of our Core Maths Online Festival which offers an extensive series of online sessions that are running until July. Further webinars will be added to the AMSP website as the summer progresses. You can also visit our events page to find out what Core Maths events we are hosting.

By Tom Carpenter

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