Event report: RSS teacher training day for maths scholars

Written by Scott Keir and Sophie Carr on . Posted in Features

The RSS held two workshops on Core Maths and statistics for current scholars on the Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship programme. Here we give some background to the scheme and report back from the day

The RSS is one of the partner organisations running the Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship programme, which identifies and supports people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the mathematical sciences, and who have the potential to be an inspirational teacher.

Scholars receive a £27,500 tax-free allowance to train as a secondary mathematics teacher (provided by the Department for Education) and a range of membership benefits and exclusive support from organisations across the mathematical sciences community, including the Royal Statistical Society, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the London Mathematical Society, the MEI, the Mathematical Association and the National STEM Centre.

These benefits include access to a series of professional development events, where scholars can extend their learning and maintain and develop their professional relationships with fellow scholars. One of these was a day of workshops in Manchester, hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University, on Core Maths and statistics.

Corinne Angier from the White Rose Maths Hub for the Core Maths Support Programme and Neil Sheldon from the Royal Statistical Society shared their passion and inspired our scholars in the way only those who truly love their work.

Core Maths is a new qualification designed to maintain students’ mathematical and statistical skills from age 16 to 18, and develop the application of these skills to problem-solving and practical applications. Core Maths is one of the post-16 pathways that the Society supports for students in England as set out in the RSS Data Manifesto.

Showing how maths permeates every part of everyday life was wonderfully brought into the classroom by Corinne Angier. Stimulating debate abounded as to how you could work out which item was the best value for money, how to develop assumptions for modelling and logic puzzles - and all before morning coffee! A range of fantastic resources, many of which are available on the Core Maths Website (www.core-maths.org) were explored. A wonderful interactive session which showed clearly how by encouraging pupils to carry on studying maths post-16 will help not only their studies, but provide invaluable workplace skills.  

In the afternoon, Neil Sheldon (pictured left), vice president of the Royal Statistical Society, introduced how the study of variance (statistics) is pivotal to understanding so much of everyday life. With engaging case studies scholars investigated how statistics is needed to fully understand and explain the story of the world around us.  Have you ever really thought about variations in height? Did you know your height varies with time of day - how that would affect working out the average class height? Using a variety of spreadsheets in Gnumeric, he showed how simulation can be used to help students to understand probability and variance. Neil also discussed the use of technology and large data sets in teaching statistics, including for the new A level Mathematics, which is being introduced for first teaching in September 2017.

Both workshops were thought provoking, engaging and provided opportunities for those with a passion for teaching maths to extend their technical knowledge and teaching ability.  

To find out more about the scheme, including how to apply, visit the Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship website. You can also read a report from the day from maths scholar Aimee Carmichael.



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