From the editor
Welcome to the new school year, and to this issue of the NCETM Secondary Magazine. Although you may feel that you already have plenty to do as the term starts, the 5 things to do section points out important opportunities that you might be sorry to miss – such as the December NCETM conference about the benefits for you and your students of professional networking and collaboration.
As a result of participating in Mathematics Knowledge Networks many teachers and their students are already enjoying achievements beyond their previous expectations. For example, in response to the new KS3 Programme Of Study, the mathematics teachers in an all-ability secondary school had introduced into their scheme of work references to rich mathematical tasks such as those from NRICH and Bowland Maths. But they were not confident that they knew how to use such tasks effectively with their students. So the 15 teachers formed themselves into a network funded by the National Centre. By working together they developed understanding of the wide range of problem-solving approaches and strategies that they themselves already used, which opened their minds to what students might also do. This gave them confidence to encourage students to think for themselves. You can read more about the impact of this professional development collaboration in their report.
The teachers in this Mathematics Knowledge Network were fortunate to be guided, encouraged and inspired by Dr Jennifer Piggott, and by her article Rich Tasks and Contexts. In this article Dr Piggott shows how and why rich tasks and contexts provide powerful learning opportunities for students working in ‘communities of enquiry and collaboration’ that promote communication and imagination.
In this issue the subject of Focus on…, Quadrigon, is a rich starting point for classroom enquiry, as is the idea for using ICT in the classroom. You will also find rich ideas by following links in the other articles.
STEM Knowledge Networks (STEM KNs)
The National STEM Centre, in partnership with the National Centre, is keen to encourage teachers of mathematics in schools and colleges to form STEM Knowledge Networks (STEM KNs).
Funding of up to £2 000 may be available to support the development of a network, either within a single school, college or other training provider institution, or drawn from several establishments. STEM Knowledge Networks will be supported through regular contact with the National STEM Centre and the Regional Coordinator for the NCETM.
Closing date for applications is 30 September. For more information, including details of how to apply, visit the National STEM Centre website.