Posted 2nd April 2019
So far as a White Rose Maths trainer, I’ve had the pleasure of working with 843 delegates across 22 sessions. From Southampton to Newcastle, Liverpool to Ipswich I’ve covered vast areas of England. Some members of the team have worked even further afield! Delegates also regularly fly in from around the world, and this is how we first met Amy How, now one of our Primary Specialists. Our Eventbrite CPD sessions are a melting pot of fantastic ideas from our content together with existing ideas from delegates.
From the moment they arrive people begin to network and talk about maths over a coffee. There is often talk of teaching for mastery, resources and progress. I enjoy hearing people’s reflections on mathematics teaching and often find myself contemplating them when driving home, and later recounting the various anecdotes to the team at White Rose Maths.
One of the most powerful aspects of our Eventbrite sessions is that they attract delegates from across multiple key stages. Looking at continuity across the curriculum is a great professional development opportunity. During my career I have benefitted from understanding how concepts can be first introduced to children in EYFS and KS1 and developed in a consistent, coherent manner. These principles can then be developed and synthesised as children progress through KS2, 3, 4 and even KS5.
My favourite example of this is in our Bar Modelling: Deeper Learning full day session. We begin with moving from pictorial to abstract approaches, and rapidly show the progression through from representing the four operations in KS1 to modelling complex problems at KS3. Everyone has the opportunity to see the benefit of incorporating pictorial representations not only in their year group but throughout the mathematics curriculum.
I thoroughly enjoy delivering all our sessions, but far more important than that is that delegates themselves invariably enjoy the sessions. Are they able to take ideas from each session back to their schools and have an impact on the children that they teach? Overwhelmingly, according to their feedback, the answer is yes!
The use of research to inform teaching is so important and drives so much of what we do at White Rose Maths. The sessions strike a fantastic balance between looking at the research and exemplifying it using practical examples and ideas for the classroom. In most cases delegates have the opportunity to try the ideas on the day using concrete resources that we bring with us. One example of this is in our CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) session, where we construct a number in a variety of ways and analyse the merit of using each concrete resource in turn. We then go on to look at flexible partitioning and can reflect on which partitions were best exemplified with each manipulative.
In my experience senior leaders, maths leads, classroom teachers and teaching support staff have all taken a great deal from each of the days. Some are often daunted about disseminating back to staff, but this is supported by the provision of a PDF copy of the slides that you will be sent at the end of the day.
Delegates often keep in touch with White Rose Maths trainers to let them know how ideas from Eventbrite sessions are being implemented in their schools. Having attended a Bar Modelling: Deeper Learning session earlier in the year, a maths lead recently emailed me stating that children had really enjoyed using bar models to solve problems. We regularly get updates from schools via Twitter such as the one below showing strategies in action.
If you’re interested in booking on to one of our Eventbrite sessions, click here to find out more details on each of the courses we have available and book your place. Our Summer Extravaganza sees a bumper crop of CPD events taking place nationwide. I can’t wait to meet teachers from around the country and have the luxury of taking a whole day out to talk maths!
Simon Bond, Maths Specialist at White Rose Maths