Visiting Student Teachers

As part of my work with Sheffield Hallam University, I have the real privilege of visiting the next generation of mathematics teachers in their host schools in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Each time I observe a lesson, I always learn something and it gives me the opportunity to reflect on my own teaching and CPD delivery. Today I’ve been thinking about the structure of questions offered to pupils after watching a year 7 lower set tackle the topic of algebraic substitution. Why did I use to throw more complex expressions alongside negative numbers, BIDMAS?….recipe for disaster really. It also made me consider how these Y7 pupils can be exposed to reasoning and problem solving with their newly practised skills. This very much ties in with my work as a NCETM work group lead looking at ratio and proportion and how we expose pupils to the different types of questions.

On another note, I am always amazed about the tenacity and rambunctiousness of  young people and their capacity to still make me smile. Quote from a Y8 pupil: “I don’t mean to be rude, I’m enjoying your company but who are you?”

Using Numicon and Other Concrete Resources to Develop Secure Understanding

Tuesday 19th Jun 2018, 9:00am – 12:00pm

venueThis course is aimed at teachers and TAs and will discuss the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach and why it is so important for teachers to use manipulatives in the classroom at both KS1 and KS2.

We will explore how different manipulatives (Numicon, Multilink cubes, counters, bead strings, Cuisenaire rods, counting sticks, place value cards, hundred squares, digit cards, dice, dominoes) can support conceptual understanding in the primary classroom as well as being developed to be used as a reasoning tool.


Course Content:

  • To gain an understanding of how to make best use of manipulatives in the classroom;
  • To explore the use of resources such as Numicon as both a calculating and reasoning tool;
  • To experience activities that allow learners to express themselves mathematically using apparatus;
  • To explore a variety of strategies to ensure opportunity for depth for all learners including the recording and scaffolding of learning.

To book your place, please go to: for further details.


Forward Planning


Inspiring Maths has been working with Karen Lawley of Prime Maths Solutions to put together an offer for  mathematics CPD for 2018-19. I am already taking bookings for next academic year and can provide high quality, relevant, engaging CPD for your school and staff. If you have already identified mathematics as your priority for next academic year, then please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss further. You also might like to click on this link.


Times Tables Rock Stars On Tour

TT Rockstars will be visiting the Birmingham area in July 2018 to find out who will be crowned the Supreme Ultimate Rock Hero for Eternity, and win a local helicopter flight for themselves and their team!
Each Rock Wrangle will see up to 150 students, aged 10 to 12, compete in a series of heats and head-to-head times tables offs and the event will be hosted by Ounsdale High School, Staffordshire on Thursday 12th of July. The competition is open to 50 teams of Year 6 and 7 students, from schools currently subscribed to Times Tables Rock Stars, or those trialling a subscription at the time of the event. Teams should be made up of three students and accompanied by a teacher.
The cost is £30+VAT for a team of 3 if you book on or before Friday 25th May.
Booking opens on 4th May just head to your subscription details page and select the Wrangle you’d like to attend.


Inspiring Maths is working with Jane George of JG Education moderating English and mathematics in years 2 and 6 next week. If you’d like to work with us in a similar way, please get in touch. We are already taking dates for cluster moderation for 2018-2019.