Lecturer in maths James Maloney has shared best practice from Reaseheath with peers at a national maths festival delivered by the Advanced Maths Support Programme.

The Core Maths Festival, held on-line to provide CPD to professionals, covered a wide range of mathematical topics and resources and James attended to gain ideas and inspiration in preparation for our awarding body switch from OCR to AQA.

As one of the presenters for the festival finale, James talked about lesson structure and described how we successfully modified the 5Rs framework we use in GCSE for Level 3 Core Maths. This framework gives students the confidence to ‘have a go’ at problem solving and is more applicable to the new way of thinking that Core Maths involves.

James also described how we work with the structure flexibly so, for example, a routine could become the whole lesson if necessary, based on the ideas and solutions the students produce during that section. He confirmed that our students appreciated having the structure in place as it meant they knew where they were in a lesson simply and could concentrate more on the maths.

James also described how we change the context of the set task to reflect our students’ area of study. We deliver Core Maths in the main to Animal Management and Equine Science Technical Baccalaureate students plus some agriculture, engineering and countryside students, so use animals, crops and real-world financial examples for contextualisation. Most delegates taught in general FE colleges or schools so were interested in our approach.

James’ presentation also included the use of game app Kahoot which led to ideas from peers on other quiz apps which would be suited to distance learning.

Mathematician Tom Rainbow, who was moderating the chat, messaged: “Wonderful James…lots of people loving it!”
The Advanced Mathematics Support Programme is a government funded initiative which aims to increase participation in Core Maths, AS/A level Maths and Further Mathematics, and improve the teaching of these Level 3 qualifications.

Click here to see James’ presentation.