The Mathematical Association eNewsletter

November 2019

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Black Friday Discount

Visit The Mathematical Association Online Shop on 29th November, 30th November and 1st December and enter the code BLKFRI for a 15% discount off everything.

We have some new items in stock:

Challenge Your Pupils 4
This fourth book of puzzles taken from past Primary Mathematics Challenge papers contains over 200 multiple choice problems which aim to interest and motivate pupils. They cover a full range of mathematics topics and are provided with answers, notes and follow-up ideas. The problems can be used by primary and secondary teachers in class, for homework, and maths clubs.

Redesigned Higher GCSE Mathematics Revision Cards
This pack of 90 engaging cards is designed to enable students to master the key facts they need to know for the Higher Tier GCSE Mathematics examination. Diagrams and colour are used to make facts clear and memorable. The back of each card has space for personal revision notes and some questions to test understanding.

14th International Congress on Mathematical Education

Mathematical Association council member Ed Southall has had a paper accepted for ICME14. He will also be taking part in the UK national presentation as a representative of both The Mathematical Association and Huddersfield University.

The MA and the JMC have a small number of bursaries of 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.

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. The conference programme is now available to download from the MA website where you can also book your place at the conference. Early bird rates are only available until the end of December so book soon!
JMC Call for Interest
The Joint Mathematical Council of the United Kingdom is calling for expressions of interest to further develop JMC's work on its two projects:

The purpose, role and impact of additional ‘extension’ papers for entry to mathematics courses at English universities

A comparative analysis of 5 - 18 mathematics education across 4 countries of the UK. 

Click on these links for more information.
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.

Putting the Magic back in Mathematics

The Mathematical Association in cooperation with Exeter Maths School is delighted to invite you to apply for the inaugural South West Primary Professional Development Day on Saturday 14th March 2020.

The opening keynote will be by Ruth Merttens (Education Director, Hamilton Trust). There will also be workshops from Ray Huntley, Jill Mansergh, Victoria Anthony, and Richard Perring.

Bookings will be open soon.

Amazon Smile

Doing your Christmas shopping on Amazon? You can nominate The Mathematical Association on Amazon Smile at no cost to yourself. The MA will then receive a small donation every time you place an order on Amazon Smile.

Liverpool Branch
Branch Contact:  Peter Giblin

Christmas Lecture with Tom Rocks Maths (aka Tom Crawford)
2.00pm – 3.00pm on Thursday 12th December 2019
Lecture Theatre 3, Teaching Hub 502, University of Liverpool

Yorkshire Branch
Branch Contact: Alan Slomson

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

London Branch
Branch Contact: Mark Horley


Visible Maths Pedagogy with Alba Fejzo and Tiago Carvalho
10.00am – 12.30pm on Saturday 25th January 2020
UCL Institute of Education

The Visible Maths Pedagogy participatory action research project, based at Stoke Newington School, is a collaboration between Alba Fejzo and Tiago Carvalho (both mathematics teachers at the school) and Dr. Pete Wright (UCL Institute of Education). The study focuses on developing strategies teachers can use to make their pedagogy more visible, i.e. to help all students recognise their intentions as teachers, whilst adopting progressive approaches to teaching secondary mathematics in mixed attainment groups. It aims to explore the potential of these strategies to reduce the large gaps in mathematics achievement existing between children from different socio-economic groups. In this session we will model some of the activities and strategies developed through the project and discuss some of the findings. You can find out more about the project at:

Mathematical Reasoning, Justification and Proof with Charlie Gilderdale
10.00am – 12.30pm on Saturday 28th March 2020
UCL Institute of Education

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.

Exeter Branch
Branch Contact: Richard Perring 

Escher's Horses with Dr Bob Burn
6.00pm - 8.00pm on 5th February 2020
Exeter Maths School

2020 Joint Branch Event with Mark McCourt
6.00pm - 8.00pm on 30th April 2020
Exeter Maths School


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!

Trafalgar with Peter Ransom
5pm on Tuesday 28th January 2020 (date tbc)
Burgess Hill School for Girls, Keymer Road, Burgess Hill, RH15 0EG

Annual Problem Drive 
March 2020 (time and date tbc)
Roedean School, Brighton

Manchester Branch
Branch Contact: Rosa Archer

Variation Theory
Meet at 10:00 for 10:30 start and finish at 12:30 on Saturday 18th January 2020
Manchester University, Ellen Wilkinson Building B4.3

Participants will share their experiences of variation. 

Cambridge Branch
Branch Contacts: Lynne McClure,  Mark DawesEms LordLuke Rolls 

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

University of Cambridge, Faculty of Mathematics, Wilberforce Road, CB3 0WA
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.

PRiME Event

The Mathematical Association is supporting the Practitioner Research in Mathematics Education (PRiME) event taking place in London on 7th December 2019. 

The aim of the PRiME event is to provide a platform for EYFS - KS5 mathematics teachers to share their classroom research projects about any aspects of mathematics teaching and learning with fellow practitioners. The event also aims to develop practitioners’ research skills through a keynote talk, workshops and presentations by fellow practitioners. 

The day is organised and supported by BERA Special Interest Group on Mathematics Education, in collaboration with the British Society for Research in Learning Mathematics (BSRLM) and The Mathematical Association (MA).

Visit the BERA website for more information.


News from Journals

The Autumn issue of Equals is now available on the MA website. 

All five of the 2019 copies of Mathematics in School are available as pdf files to subscribers of MiS here.

Paper copies of the November Gazette should have reached subscribers by now. The index can be downloaded here

Competitions for Students

Here are two competitions that might be of interest to students of mathematics.

CyberFirst Girls Competition
The CyberFirst Girls Competition aims to support girls interested in a career in cyber security. The competition is aimed at Year 8 girls in England and Wales, Year 9 in Northern Ireland and S2 in Scotland. Registration for the CyberFirst Girls Competition 2020 opens on Monday 2 December 2019. Teams start by taking an online round of puzzles and challenges, all related to the world of cyber security. They don’t need to know anything about the field yet though: they’ll learn it all along the way. More information is here.

2019 Student Technology Competition
The Bank of England's student technology competition is all about data and climate change. They want students, aged 16 to 18, to show them how they would use data to measure the impact of climate change on the economy. Winners and runners up will secure a paid internship with the Bank of England in summer 2020. More information is here.
Resource of the Month
Every month we'll share a maths resource for teachers. This month we have a puzzle from website This website is full of multiplication puzzles suitable for all ages, with difficulty ranging from Level 1 to Level 6. This one is Level 5. 
From the Archives
Every month we'll share an interesting or amusing extract from an old maths textbook. Here we have an explanation and set of examples from A Treatise on the Elements of Algebra by Bewick Bridge. Whereas now we would use double brackets to multiply two algebraic expressions, it used to be done using a column method. 'Long multiplication' is still widely used for multiplying numbers but rarely seen for multiplying within algebra in modern classrooms in the UK.

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