SMC Northern Conference

I’m a bit late updating this one but it was the first time the SMC had run a conference in the North of Scotland so I figured better late than never in terms of writing about it.

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The conference itself was organised by Deirdre Murray from Alness Academy and her whole maths department came along to provide support on the day including presentations from Fiona Philips and Elaine Page on ‘Using concrete materials in secondary school’.  As you’ll know I’m a huge advocate of concrete materials to support making sense of maths and it’s great to see this promoted all the way up into secondary school and not just S1… into Higher as well.

Other presenters from Highland included:

Seonaid Cooke (Marybank Primary School) who presented ideas to support the learning of times tables while pupils engage extensively in discussion on strategies.

Julie Brewer (Milton Primary School) and myself (Sarah Leakey) were presenting on supporting pupils to move from Counting on to part-whole strategies.  We were specifically looking at the one that usually causes issues when there is some sort of regrouping involved.  We explored the importance of underlying knowledge and the move through concrete materials and visuals to screening and finally abstract number properties.  This was supported with video footage of the teaching in action with a pupil.

Kirsty Yoxan (Portree High School) who was presenting on the use of G Suite within the maths classroom.  I’ve attended a virtual session with Kirsty before and learnt lots from it so I’m sure attendees to her session would have found it very informative.

In addition to this, there was a wide range of other presenters from other areas with sessions aimed at both Primary and Secondary (and in some cases both).  It was great to see the coming together of the two.

The whole day kicked off with an entertaining and informative start from Andrew Jeffery who explored the creativity of maths and got you making sense of some mind bogglingly large numbers!

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It was a great day and it was fantastic to see so many teachers from across Highland (and beyond) come to the event.  Hopefully it will be the first of many and continue to grow in the coming years.

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