The Mathematical Association eNewsletter

September 2019


Learning times tables has never been so much fun! 

This innovative and exciting card game embeds number relationships - so developing the understanding of times tables and the inverse. 

A brilliant resource; easy to implement in the classroom and so much fun! 
Visit for more information.


See how one school is using Discovering Mathematics in OUP's new video

Thank you to Rehana Akhtar and her Key Stage 3 class at St Michael’s Catholic School in High Wycombe, who made us so welcome on our recent visit!

Watch our new short video to find out more about the series and how it can support your teaching.

New Membership Structure

The Mathematical Association has recently launched a new pricing structure for personal memberships. You can now join for only £2.50 a month. As a member you will receive MA News, Mathematical Pie and SYMmetryplus, as well as discounts on conferences and publications. Membership of a subject association also gives you a voice in your profession.

In addition to membership, you can choose any combination of journals (The Mathematical Gazette, Mathematics in School, Primary Mathematics) to add to your basic subscription.  There are three issues of each journal per year with the exception of Mathematics in School for which there are five issues.  Equals is available to all as an online journal.

Book now for the annual Stirling Conference

This brilliant day of professional development will take place on the beautiful campus of Stirling University on 5th October 2019.

We are delighted to welcome keynote speaker Andrew Jeffrey. The programme will be supported with sessions from Chris Smith, Monica Kirson, Adam McBride, Charlie Gilderdale and Alison Kiddle, Keith Curry, Phil Moon, Chris Pritchard, Donald Smith, Chris Sangwin, Mike Smith, Andrew Gallacher. In addition there will be a Technology Strand with Douglas Butler and Mick Blaylock. 

This event is being run is association with Maths Week Scotland 2019.

You can download the full programme for the event here and book a place here.

Primary Maths Challenge

The PMC Team celebrates 20 years of the Primary Mathematics Challenge, that’s a total of 975 funny and tricky questions given out to over 1.5 million pupils, over the last 20 years!

To celebrate we are giving schools 20% OFF entry.

We have also made the first 15 questions slightly easier to give all your pupils the opportunity to participate this year. Don’t worry however the final five questions will still be the tricky brain teasers you know and love!

Schools can register for the Primary Mathematics Challenge at
2020 Annual Conference
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 our Annual Conference on 14th to 16th April 2020. 

Our conference theme Exploration and Insights is intended to offer delegates an invaluable opportunity to explore new ideas in a lakeside setting designed to maximise face-to-face learning and sharing.

As an organisation we have responded to the financial challenges faced by many schools by restructuring our conference packages. Delegates are able to select from a competitively-priced range of cost-effective options.

The Presidential Address will be delivered by MA President and Director of NRICH Ems Lord. We are delighted to announce that our plenary speakers will be Chris Smith, Jo Morgan and Craig Barton. 

The online booking system is now open. Visit the MA website for more information, including a full price list, and to book your place.
Monthly Puzzles
Each month we'll post a puzzle from Ed Southall (@solvemymaths). You can use these puzzles with your pupils, staff or even parents! Just copy and paste directly from the newsletter.


Loughborough University Mathematics Education Network (LUMEN) is an exciting new network designed to support teachers of mathematics in schools and colleges.

Launching in Autumn 2019, the network will provide members with completely free participation in three continuing professional development events across each academic year. Identical events will be available at both our Loughborough and London campuses, and are suitable for teachers of Key Stage 3 to 5 mathematics. All of these events will focus on practical ways of applying mathematics education research to the classroom. By engaging in the year-long programme, members will gain outstanding input into their teaching of mathematics.

The first events (Thursday 7 November in Loughborough or Thursday 14 November in London) will be led by Craig Barton (Mr Barton Maths) and will focus on formative assessment and diagnostic questions.

Free or discounted travel may be available for teachers from schools in areas where progression to Higher Education is lower than might be expected. If you would like to discuss this further, then please contact us

For more information, and to join the network, visit or contact us via email at

ICME Bursaries

The MA and the JMC have a limited amount of bursaries up to £500 available for people who will attend ICME-14 in Shanghai next year (12 - 19 July 2020). Full details of both bursaries can be found on the MA website.

The deadline for applications is 30th November 2019.

New Primary Conferences

Save the date for our new primary maths conference which takes place in York on 30th November. We are delighted to welcome keynote speaker Dr Judy Sayers of the University of Leeds. Judy is an Early Years expert.

We are also delighted to be running another new primary conference in Exeter on 14th March 2020.

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".

There's a wide range of excellent workshops on offer. Read more and book online on the MA website.

Maths Week England

November 2019 marks the inaugural Maths Week England, and The Mathematical Association are proud to be supporting it. It is a week where the whole country is encouraged to enjoy some maths, whether in the workplace, the street, school or university. There are many free resources available on the website, as well as competitions with fabulous prizes, and all free to enter. If you have pupils in Years 5 to 8 there is even the chance to take part in a Guinness World Record attempt!

If you work in a university or other HE institution, why not invite kids from your local secondary schools or sixth forms to an interesting maths talk? You will get a chance to build relationships, or even drum up some new clients into the bargain!

Maths Week England has the support of all the major mathematics organisations in the country and is going to get bigger each year as more schools and universities discover Maths Week. So help spread the word and join the adventure - visit the website today!

Resource of the Month
Every month we'll share a maths resource for teachers. Here we have an extract from a SMILE resource on Algebraic Structure - the full resource can be downloaded from the STEM Centre website.
Liverpool Branch
Branch Contact:  Peter Giblin
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

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

London Branch
Branch Contact: Mark Horley
Venue: UCL Institute of Education

Mathematical Reasoning, Justification and Proof with Charlie Gilderdale
10.00am – 12.30pm on Saturday 9th November 2019
In this workshop Charlie Gilderdale from NRICH will select some of his favourite problems and show how they can be used to introduce students to mathematical reasoning, justification and proof, so that they can learn to develop convincing arguments.


Sussex Branch
Branch Contact: Dr Paul Harris

The Room in the Elephant with Chris Pritchard

4.30pm on Tuesday 3rd December 2019
Lancing College, Lancing, BN15 0RW.

Suitable for students in Year 9 to Year 13, this is a talk about many aspects of area, but not the aspects found in textbooks!

Manchester Branch
Branch Contact: Rosa Archer
Venue: University of Manchester

Feedback from the Spring Conferences with Sylwia Glazewska and Abisoye Akinpelu (ATM) Mick Blaylock (MA)

Meet at 10am then 10.30am - 12.30pm on Saturday 2nd November 2019

Cambridge Branch
Branch Contacts: Lynne McClure,  Mark DawesEms Lord, Luke Rolls 

Collaborative Lesson Research: What can we learn from Japanese models of professional development? 
4.30pm - 6.00pm on Thursday 7th November 2019

University of Cambridge Primary School
The Collaborative Lesson Research (CLR) is an independent group of educators with an objective to improve student learning and teaching practices through collaborative action research in classrooms. CLR takes its inspiration from Lesson Study methods used in Japan, which is a key factor behind Japan’s excellence in teaching practice and well-trained teachers.  CLR promotes the development and dissemination of high quality Lesson Study practices adapted to fit the UK environment.

NRICH: Making the potential of our rich mathematical resources in your classroom
4.30pm - 6.00pm on Tuesday 11th February 2020

University of Cambridge Primary School
In this highly practical session, members of the NRICH team will introduce some of their latest rich mathematical resources alongside classroom practitioners who will share their insights into maximising their potential with your learners. Be prepared to explore, reflect and have fun! NRICH was recently recognised as Resource of the Year at the Above and Beyond Awards and continues to attract huge worldwide interest in both our resources and professional development opportunities, including our attempt with Maths Week England to deliver the world’s largest-ever mathematics lesson.

The Symbols and the Symbolised
4.00pm - 6.30pm on Thursday 11th June 2020
Faculty of Education, 184 Hills Rd, Cambridge CB2 8PQ

We can be lured into thinking that the symbols we use in mathematics are the mathematics itself. During the session we will explore ways in which learners might be given some control over symbolling these situations themselves.  Pete Griffin is Assistant Director in the Secondary Team at NCETM and has had a varied career in teaching, advisory work and higher education. He is well known for his engaging CPD session.

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.

The Mathematical Gazette

The November Gazette goes to print this week. Click here for a table of contents.

You can read sample articles from previous issues of The Mathematical Gazette here.

Women in Leadership

Women & Leadership International is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across the UK’s education sector.

The campaign is providing women with grants of up to £1,000 to enable participation in one of two leadership development programs: Leading Edge (for junior and aspiring leaders and managers) and Executive Ready (for mid-level leaders and managers).

Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form here prior to Wednesday, 16th October:

From the Archives
Every month we'll share an interesting or amusing extract from an old maths textbook. Here we have 'a synopsis of the nature of number' from Samuel Jeake's A Compleat Body of Arithmetic, in Four Books from 1701.

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