The Mathematical Association eNewsletter

June 2019


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Peter Ransom Awarded MBE
We are absolutely delighted to share the wonderful news that our very own Chair of Council Peter Ransom was awarded an MBE for voluntary services to mathematics education.

Peter started teaching mathematics in state schools in September 1977 to students aged 11 to 18 years old. After teaching in three schools he was then employed in 1994 by SMP, the Schools Mathematics Project, to write textbooks for the age range 11-16.

When that work was completed in 1998, he returned to teaching 11-16 year olds in state secondary schools. While at The Mountbatten School in Romsey, he edited the HPM Newsletter from 2000-2004, supported by his school which distributed the newsletter.

Peter was delighted to receive notification of the MBE, with the citation ‘For voluntary service to mathematics education’. He has contributed to many mathematical communities in the UK (MA, IMA, BSHM, LMS, ATM, UKMT, Ri and Secretary for BCME9) and abroad since joining The Mathematical Association (MA) in 1980 and becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) in 1991.

He met John Fauvel in 1990 and worked with him on History in the Mathematics Classroom. This inspired him to join the BSHM and incorporate more history into his teaching and subsequently he distributed the BSHM Newsletter for a number of years and spent three years as Membership Secretary of the BSHM. He was President of the MA from 2013-14 and in 2015 became Chair of the MA Council, an office he holds until April 2020.

Peter does a number of mathematical sessions in period costume to students of all ages from 8 to 98. All this would not be possible without the help and support of his wife, Janet, daughters Madeleine and Claire and grandsons that help him keep a grip on reality. To relax he enjoys crosswords, bookbinding, sundials and playing the oboe. He is known to travel with a sword and canon balls to many parts of the globe.

2020 Conference Logo
2020 Conference: Prices Announced!
The Mathematical Association and the National Association of Numeracy and Mathematics in Colleges (NANAMIC) invite you to join us at the stunning Wyboston Lakes for the Annual Conference on 14th to 16th April 2020. 

We have recently announced our highly competitive prices for the 2020 conference. We are confident that our innovative packages will ensure that this event is accessible to all who wish to attend. Early bird rates for members, which are available until 31st December 2019, include a £299 residential rate for the full conference, and a £99 rate for a single day.

The online booking system will open soon. More information, including a full price list, is available on the MA website
Publications News

Subscribers will have received the latest issue of The Mathematical Gazette during June. The Mathematical Gazette is one of the leading journals in its field, publishing important and influential articles about the teaching and learning of mathematics.  It also features fascinating expositions of attractive areas of mathematics, book reviews, and a teasing problem corner.  Its readership spans the globe and includes school teachers, college and university lecturers, students, educationalists and others with an interest in mathematics.

Annual Stirling Conference now in its 14th year!

This brilliant day of professional development will take place on the beautiful campus of Stirling University. The programme will be led by a keynote from Andrew Jeffrey, and supported with sessions from Chris Smith, Monica Kirson, Adam McBride, Chris Pritchard, Keith Curry and more.

You can download the full programme for the event here and book a place here.
Monthly Puzzles
Each month we'll be posting a puzzle from Ed Southall (@solvemymaths). You can use them with your pupils, staff or even parents! Just copy and paste directly from the newsletter. 

It was great to hear about so many pupils enjoying last month's puzzleSpoiler alert: the answer to the primary puzzle was three eighths and the answer to the secondary puzzle was one quarter. 

Primary Professional Development Day

The 8th Annual Primary Professional Development Day takes place on 12th October 2019. 

The keynote speaker is MA President Ems Lord whose plenary is titled "Curiouser and Curiouser: From problem-solving to problem-posing in the primary classroom".

The following workshops are offered:

  • Ruth Bull - Stimulating Curiosity in the Primary Classroom: Ooh that’s interesting! How does that work? Will that always happen? Why does that happen?
  • Katie Crozier & Claire Gerrard - Developing Deep Conceptual Understanding of Number in the Early Years
  • Kate Frood – Raising the Game
  • Michael Hall - Curiosity, Creativity, Confidence and Competence
  • Ray Huntley - Using curiosity to enhance reasoning and problem-solving
  • Ems Lord - Embedding curiosity in the classroom
  • Bernie Westacott – Manipulatives

Read more and book online on the MA website.

Two New Primary Conferences!
We are delighted to announce that due to the success of our Annual Primary Professional Development Day we are launching two more primary maths conferences. One will take place in York on 30th November. The keynote speaker will be Judi Sayer.
In the Spring term another primary maths conference will take place in Exeter with keynote speaker Ruth Merttens.

More details of both events will be announced soon.
New Feature: Resource of the Month
Every month we'll share a maths resource for teachers. This one is an extract from Calculator Maths (Book 7) by Ken Tyler and Hugh Burkhardt. The full resource can be downloaded from the STEM Centre website.
Ofqual Feedback

Ofqual are looking for teachers to attend workshops to help them evaluate the impact of reformed A level mathematics and further mathematics. The workshops will be held in November at the Ofqual office in central Coventry. If you have taught either qualification (in its legacy and reformed version) and you wish to comment on the changes and challenges of the new qualifications and how they have been addressed, you can register your interest here.
Liverpool Branch
Branch Contact:  Peter Giblin
5.00pm on Tuesday 17th September 2019
Details tbc
5.30pm – 6.30pm on Thursday 17th October 2019
University of Liverpool

Christmas Lecture with Tom Rocks Maths (aka Tom Crawford)
2.00pm – 3.00pm on Thursday 12th December 2019
University of Liverpool

Yorkshire Branch
Branch Contact: Alan Slomson
Venue: University of Leeds

Let's work together: Effective collaboration in the mathematics classroom with Ems Lord
7.30pm on Thursday 3rd October 2019
A talk by the current Mathematical Association President, Ems Lord, Director of NRICH.  In this highly interactive workshop, Ems will share some of her favourite rich mathematical activities, exploring ways to maximise their potential for developing collaborative problem solving skills. During the session, Ems will offer an insider's guide to the NRICH website, including top tips for classes hoping to see their solutions published on NRICH.

The YBMA Famous Christmas Quiz
7.30pm on Tuesday 3rd December 2019

Exeter Branch
Branch Contact: Richard Perring 
Venue: Exeter Mathematics School

Title tba with Colin Foster
6.15pm – 8.00pm on Tuesday 17th September 2019

Birmingham Branch
Branch Contact: Tom Francome
Venue: University of Birmingham

Favourite Lessons with Kyle Gurney and Sam Brace
7.00pm - 8.45pm on Thursday 11th July 2019

This session will be a sharing of each of our favourite lessons. Sam and Kyle are both secondary teachers. Together they will each share one of their favourite lessons and why they find these lessons so productive. In addition, they will be asking you to come prepared to share one of your favourite lessons as well to a small group of five other teachers, who will also share theirs with you. You will have only five minutes each for that sharing, so do not plan a long speech! So come prepared to get a lot of lesson ideas which have worked well for other teachers as well as being prepared to share your own favourite lesson.

For more information about upcoming branch events please see the branch events page on the MA website. If there's not a branch near you then why not consider setting one up? Details here.
CPD: Teaching Ratio and Proportion

The Mathematical Association is delighted to invite you to apply for a day of professional development on teaching ratio and proportion at secondary level.  

"Praying souls out of purgatory: ratio and proportion in the secondary classroom" will be run by Peter Ransom on Saturday 6th July 2019 and MA Headquarters in Leicester. The cost is £59 for MA members and £84 for non-members. Online booking is now 
Seeking New Members of Teaching Committee 
Members of The Mathematical Association who are interesting in joining Teaching Committee should get in touch with its secretary Rob Smith to express an interest in joining. 

The aims of Teaching Committee are: 
  • to keep under review matters concerning the teaching and learning of mathematics and to address matters of potential future importance;
  • to advise the Council on response and representation by the Association to outside bodies on matters which affect the teaching and learning of mathematics; to initiate, in collaboration with other Committees of the Association,
  • the dissemination of its findings through publications, conferences, meetings and other appropriate means.
New Feature: From the Archives
Every month we'll share an interesting or amusing extract from an old maths textbook. Here we have some 'spurious proportion questions' from 'Teaching the Essentials of Arithmetic' by P B Ballard which was published in 1928.

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