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Workshop 5: Making the Strange Familiar: Emphasising the role of Mathematics across the curriculum

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 24 March 2011 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 30 March 2011 by ncetm_administrator

Workshop 5
Making the Strange Familiar: Emphasising the role of Mathematics across the curriculum
NCETM-funded project: Mieka Harris & Sarah Pattison, Swavesey Village College

The Workshop
The aim of this presentation was to encourage investigation of cross curricular teaching methods to promote pupil enjoyment and achievement. The presenters summarised how establishing a Knowledge Network can ensure that mathematics is no longer perceived to take place just in the mathematics classroom and how one can contextualise learning in real life situations, taking what students are already doing in other subjects and emphasising the links so they realise that mathematics can be about problem solving in different situations.

The session started with two pictures as a stimulus to explore responses of teachers in a range of subjects. Delegates worked in groups of 2 or 3 and came up with a wide variety of subjects and ideas, including possibilities for geography, science, and ICT. Facilitators had used this same approach in starting their project with a group of different subject teachers. 

Teachers had created the following activities:

  • Maths and ICT – transformations and animations
  • Maths and Music – musical instruments, mental maths, games and water in a bottle
  • Maths and Drama
  • Maths and Science – collecting data from experiments and drawing graphs
  • Maths and English, History and Citizenship - elections
  • Maths and Science, Geography and MFL and Ethics.

An important aspect of the projects had been the learners’ reflecting on the project, and explicitly making the connections between the subjects. The project planning had included developing a reflection sheet. A key factor in the success of the project had been having time to get everyone together and to plan across departments.

The success of the project has led to departments building these approaches into their schemes of work and these approaches are becoming embedded in the thinking of their teachers.


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