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Nearly 100 maths teachers were officially ‘inspired’ by OCR’s first Maths Teaching and Learning Conference held at Queen Mary University in London last week.
Under the theme of “Inspired Maths”, the conference provided lots of teaching ideas, rooted in real classroom practice, to help teachers engage their students and enhance their mathematical understanding at the same time. Two guest presenters – the Stand-up Mathematician, Matt Parker and science writer Timandra Harkness – shared teaching experiences and ideas on how to make maths interesting and deliver great results in the classroom. The conference was aimed at anyone teaching maths at GCSE or AS/A Level. As well as providing ideas for teaching and learning, the event also highlighted clear progression pathways for students, and the accessibility of OCR’s new qualifications.
Timandra Harkness addressed the topical issue of ‘Big Data: does size matter?’ and gave teachers knowledge and examples to use in the classroom when discussing one of the decade’s big ideas. Ex-maths teacher, Matt Parker (pictured below), AKA the Stand-up Mathematician, closed the day with a presentation on The Magic of Mathematics. As Public Engagement in Mathematics Fellow at Queen Mary University, his first love is still visiting schools to give maths talks and run hands-on activities. His favourite number is currently 496.
Teachers who attended the conference responded positively. One commented: “The choice of talks was great and the presentations were engaging.” Another said, “Lots of ideas to integrate into schemes of work to support problem-solving at all levels.”
For those who could not make the event, there’s plenty of support for maths teachers in the form of training, resources and subject expertise from our maths team. Next Spring, OCR will be offering a range of CPD from half day ‘Get Started’ courses that provide an introduction to the newly reformed OCR and OCR (MEI) AS/A Level Maths and AS/A Level Further Maths specifications for first teaching in September 2017, to ‘Get Started’ Live online training twilight sessions which will explore components of the new specifications. Another option is our regional Teacher Networks where teachers can discuss the new specifications and share subject knowledge and passion.
OCR is the only exam board to offer the choice of two suites of new Maths and Further Maths AS and A Levels for schools from 2017. One suite is based in part on the current OCR specification and the other has been developed in collaboration with longstanding partners Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI). This allows schools to choose the qualification structure that suits their students, and also offers schools the widest possible range of optional pathways in Further Maths. Our qualifications have been designed with the help of teachers and members of the wider education community, and informed by a survey of over 4000 undergraduates in mathematics and mathematical disciplines.
Take a look at www.ocr.org.uk/maths or get in touch with the maths team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @OCR_Maths.