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Tom Rainbow, AC for North Somerset, Devon (East) and Somerset

Our Core Maths Conferences have recently finished their second tour of the country for 2018/19. This round – entitled ‘Keeping the Context Alive’ – brought Core Maths professional development to teachers from Gateshead to Southampton. Approximately 300 teachers attended the various days and delegates in the South West region formed typically enthusiastic and engaging audiences in the two events held in Exeter and Southampton. As well as the sessions planned and delivered by the AMSP’s Core Maths Professional Development Team, delegates were treated to sessions delivered by guest speakers, including one led by Professor Paul Glaister, who shone a light on how Core Maths is being received by universities.

Other guest speakers included Sue Hough, Frank Eade, Paul Dickinson from the Realistic Maths Education project, and Mark Dawes of Quibans (Questions Inspired by a News Story). In Exeter, our guest speaker was blogger extraordinaire and Core Maths champion Dave Gale, whose tales and resources from his first year of teaching Core Maths can be found at his Reflectivemaths blog. Dave gave an honest and fascinating account of the trials, tribulations and joys of teaching Core Maths for the first time, and we are hoping he will continue to support our work at future events.

Author, TV presenter, University Challenge finalist and maths teacher Bobby Seagull presented at our Southampton day. His fun packed but highly thought-provoking session included an explanation of the market crash in 2008, insightful comments on how maths is viewed by the media, a chance for delegates to explore the relative merits of two of the world’s top footballers – and a maths rap! Bobby is a big fan of Core Maths and, again, we hope to work with him again in the future.

Our Summer Conferences are now being planned and it is hoped that these days will prove to be just as popular. With the addition of optional workshops, as well as some big name keynote speakers, the Summer Conferences should be vibrant events offering tailored professional development to teachers of this exciting and ever more popular course. Make sure you’re signed up to Stay Informed so you’re notified when the conferences open for booking – you’ll need to get in quick to ensure you get a place on your preferred session!

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