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NCETM Newsletter - December 2019

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NCETM Newsletter - December 2019
  • Published: 13/12/2019

Christmas is nearly here, and, instead of our Primary and Secondary Round-ups in December, we’ve lots of suggestions for Christmas activities in our monthly newsletter, as well as news from the NCETM and the Maths Hubs Programme.

This month:

New feature articles

Throughout 2019 we’ve published a number of articles covering a wide range of topics, including calculator use in Years 6 and 7, variation, planning post-mock lessons and unitising. All of these, and more,can be found on our Features page.

This week, we’ve added a further two articles: one probes the exam boards about how students performed in last summer’s GCSE maths questions, and (if you’re short of present ideas) the other gives an overview of six maths books published this year.

News from the Maths Hubs Programme

A new issue of Bespoke has been published, bringing up-to-date news from the Maths Hubs Programme. This issue looks at a recent report on the impact of teaching for mastery and explores how primary and secondary teachers are getting the best out of the Mastery Professional Development Materials. It also highlights the unique opportunities available to teachers and schools by participating in a Work Group, the England-Shanghai teacher exchange, and a new video about the Maths Hubs Programme.

Christmas activity suggestions

This week’s #mathscpdchat discussed Christmas maths tasks that result in new learning – there’s a summary, including links to suggestions, here.

In place of this month’s Primary and Secondary Round-ups, we have dug out a few jolly Christmas activities for the last few days of term.

NRICH offer their usual Advent Calendar of activities, one activity per day in the run up to Christmas (an alternative to chocolate!). MEI’s latest Primary Newsletter has a fistful of Christmas activity suggestions. On Tes, J.M. Powell suggests six sheets of multi-step problems with irreverent Christmas themes. Or you could try some ten-minute Christmas fillers from Broadbent Maths for those moments between Nativity rehearsals.

NRICH also have an Advent Calendar for secondary students: this year each problem involves some sort of interactivity. There’s some lovely problem-solving in Is there enough wrapping paper? from OUP. Don Steward has a pair of Christmas quizzes. And Complete Maths has Christmas Catastrophe! and How to make an origami Santa.

BAFTA success for Numberblocks!

We are delighted that the CBeebies television series, Numberblocks, has won a BAFTA award! The NCETM’s Director for Primary, Debbie Morgan, was Maths Consultant for the series, created by Blue Zoo Animation Studio.

Numberblocks was nominated in the Pre-School Animation category and came out top at the recent awards ceremony, which Debbie attended.

The Numberblocks series follow the adventures of characters One to Twenty, encouraging children to explore the properties of number through the features of each character and how they relate to one another. Later series explore bigger numbers, place value and the number system.

We have published support materials for series 1 and 2, so that teachers can use the episodes with their children in Reception and Year 1, with ideas and activities to draw out the mathematical concepts.

In brief

  • The NSPCC is holding its 20th annual Number Day on Friday 7 February 2020. Since its launch, nearly £2 million has been raised. Registration is now open, and in return you’ll have access to classroom resources and activities for Early Years through to Key Stage 4.
  • The RSPB Big Schools' Birdwatch gives an opportunity to explore statistics in a meaningful cross-curricular context. You can register now, and the final day for results submission is 21 February 2020. Resources and more information are available on the RSPB website.
  • The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is again holding its CyberFirst Girls Competition, which aims to support girls interested in a career in cyber security. Registration is open until 21 January 2020 – full details are on the NCSC website.

Please do contact us if you have any comments on this newsletter.

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