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The Core Maths Winter Conference season kicked off in Exeter on Wednesday December 4 with twenty-two delegates from all corners of the region making their way to the festive setting of the Mercure Hotel for a packed day of professional development which had a theme of societal contextualisation running through it. 

Whilst contextualisation of GCSE questions tends to be quite inwards looking, focusing on the individual, Core Maths usually takes a much broader approach when relating maths to life beyond the classroom. Societal, scientific and occupational contexts are far more frequently utilised in Core Maths questions and activities than is often the case in maths questions experienced by students in Key Stages 3 and 4. As well as a session on dealing with data in a ‘Core Maths way’ and an exploration of how to become a billionaire (it turns out nurses would have to work for quite a long time to achieve this!) we were delighted to welcome Professor Travis Coan from the University of Exeter’s Q-Step (‘Q’ stands for ‘quantitative’) centre to deliver our keynote session. Travis works within the Social Science department at the university and spoke about some of the maths that he does with his first year undergraduates. He explained how Core Maths provides such a good fit in terms of preparing students for the courses he teaches at degree level. He also offered some insight into how the admissions process works and how pleased he is by the prospect of Core Maths students coming through to study Social Sciences at Exeter.

With nine more conferences planned throughout the length and breadth of the country, each with a keynote speaker from a university Q-Step centre, we are excited by the prospect of connecting our current crop of Core Maths teachers with aspects of the work that many of their students will go on to do once they start their degree courses. 

There’s still time to sign up to the remaining Core Maths Winter Conferences this year. Visit the course page for more information and to register

By Tom Rainbow

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