Taking numeracy forward
The East of England is unique in having a Regional Maths Centre, managed by the Association of Colleges in the East of England (ACER). The Centre aims to:
- develop an infrastructure of experienced mathematics/numeracy teacher trainers able to offer advice, support and training to providers in the East of England
- provide direct support to practitioners to help them improve their own professional practice
- create a network for practitioners to exchange ideas and information around any issue/activity to do with the teaching and learning of maths and numeracy
- develop links with business in the East of England to help identify the workplace need and demands for maths and numeracy skills.
In support of these aims, a Regional Maths Week was held in conjunction with Adult Learners Week to encourage the public to learn some more mathematics and practitioners to further their professional development or to begin to teach the subject.
We hope that the following account may encourage you to try out some of these ideas where you work.
The following offer was made to providers: “If you host a Maths Week event, you can keep half the places for your staff and ACER will advertise the other half externally.” This allowed providers to access top-quality maths CPD delivered by an experienced team, in return for the use of a room. Fifteen providers took up this offer, hosting events attended by a total of 120 practitioners.
Some of of the events held were:
- Essex County Council ACL, County Hall, Chelmsford – giant maths floor puzzles, sample maths activities, opportunities to speak to advisers.
- National Construction College, Norfolk – a unique event focused on maths in the workplace.
- Army Education – this engaged specialist and vocational tutors in the embedding of numeracy/maths into everyday teaching.
- Literacy, Language, ESOL and Maths – this demonstrated how maths can be embedded into other Skills for Life sessions.
- Financial Literacy and Maths – this offered practitioners possible classroom-based approaches to budgeting and finance in these credit-crunch times.
- You do the Maths – held at several venues, this session energised and reinvigorated maths/numeracy teaching using new ideas and resources such as Top Trumps for statistics, and active maths with string and elastic for angles, shape and multiplication.
Every delegate who attended an event received a goody bag full of resources, information leaflets and booklets from donors such as BBC Raw Numeracy, NIACE, Move On and LSIS, as well as a unique tea-towel showing various methods of multiplication.
Regional Maths Week CPD Champion Award
This was awarded to a practitioner who had made a real impact with colleagues or with learners in the classroom as a result of CPD they had undertaken. The winner was Jan Rodwell, of Essex ACL, who beat off strong competition to receive a new laptop and a certificate at the Adult Learners’ Week award ceremony. Jan is a regular attendee at the Essex Maths Cluster, one of the regional practitioner networks set up by ACER.
The Impact of Regional Maths Week
Comments were highly complimentary. People had been enthused and took away new ideas and approaches to try out. There has been an increase of interest in future ACER CPD events as well in qualifications such as the L5 Diploma.
At the public events, Essex ACL had asked people to consider teaching maths/numeracy and Regional Maths Week had gone some way to provide a means of finding new staff. Advice was given and learners encouraged back into the maths classroom.
We’d be interested to hear of any local initiatives where you work. Please email us.
Taking the Numeracy Challenge Forward, Numeracy Case Studies