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Blogblast - Post-16 and FE

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 05 September 2007 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 11 September 2007 by ncetm_administrator


Post-16 and FE Highlights
www.ncetm.org.uk for forums, resources, blogs and courses on post-16 and FE mathematics.


Improving Learning in Mathematics.

Part of the National Teaching and Learning Change Programme. Resources designed to transform teaching, training and learning.

“This is an excellent resource – one of the best published resources I have ever seen & it’s free!!!“

“If it hadn’t been free I’d have bought the book. An excellent resource that can be modified/improved/personalised (coz we do) or used as is. After initial doubts have courage, give the learners time and be prepared to be amazed at their understanding. BUT it takes your courage to give them time and let them work things out. Good for the ego to tell them the answers but better if they discover them.”

“It is an excellent starting place if you’re trying to develop your style of teaching from teacher centred to student centred. The resources help as you can try out some ready made ideas and reflect on the student learning. Once I became comfortable with the style of teaching I found myself developing new resources naturally that fitted my curriculum but kept the student centred approach.”

Teachers Toolbox.

This is a website aimed at the FE sector, and full of good advice. Most of the content is generic. The video gives it an edge over the “ordinary” webpage. You can watch it for a minute or two, then either move somewhere else if it is not for you, or read in more depth using the additional links.

“Have just spent some time on this site. The video clips are an excellent resource for any teacher who wants to think about how to teach better. It also helps us make a link between what we do as teachers and how this impacts upon learners learning. I think I’d use this resource as part of a teacher development meeting. Thank you for highlighting it for us.”

View all the resources at


Subject Coaches Network Meeting.

The Subject Learning Coaches meet termly... It was lovely to see the “old faces” who have attended the previous 4 meetings but it was particularly nice to see the newbies welcomed into the group and commenting afterwards on the warm and supportive atmosphere.

It was a very full day: members talked about the work they were doing back in their organisations, shared ideas for sessions, considered strategies for making collaborative practice happen and did some mathematics. A couple of brave souls videoed themselves teaching and showed the footage to the group. They talked about their anxiety beforehand about seeing themselves teach but how afterwards they felt it was a rewarding and enlightening experience – one commented that seeing the things she does well in class has increased her confidence and that she can also look at the tape and think about the things she would do differently next time. Both teachers highly recommend it.

What always strikes me at these meetings is the motivation and enthusiasm of the members, how receptive they are to new ideas, the efforts they put in to give their learners the best experience of studying mathematics that they can and how they work with colleagues back in their organisations. So thank you to everyone who took part and I hope to see you at the next meeting.

Get a personal view on mathematics at


FE and HE Forum: Community Outreach.

Q. What successful strategies have you used to sustain the longevity of the delivery of maths and numeracy at Community Outreach Centres?

A1. I have found that by incorporating Numeracy into courses such as Healthy Eating/Maths for professionals, building a bike, you are able to promote enthusiasm for Maths and ensure that students attend regularly. I have found that short courses (no more than 10 weeks) work better than longer courses as I feel that it helps learners see an end and that they will not have to commit for a long period of time, which many individuals find difficult to do.

A2. The strategies and approach that I feel have worked were by understanding the needs of the learners. The learners also knew that they could progress with our help.

A3. The strategies that I used related to the development of resources. The resources were specifically designed with the learners’ interests and needs in mind. I also found that a great working relationship between the tutors enhanced the student experience.

Join the continuing discussion or ask your own question at

Mathemapedia – a Wiki for mathematics education:

Starting From Where Learners Are.

It makes sense to start from where learners are, but where exactly ‘are’ learners, and what do you do if they are all in very different places?

If taken too seriously, the slogan ‘start from where learners are’ requires detailed knowledge of what learners have mastered, experienced, and seen go by previously.

Starting by assuming learners have never seen ideas and topics before is probably ineffective. If you give them a test and then build only on what you know they have automated and internalised may result in lessons which go over old ground and so do not catch the imagination of learners.

Asking learners about a topic perhaps by asking them to write everything they know about it on a poster (and perhaps challenge them to include what they think was the “hardest“ thing) can be a useful technique that will give you information without the fear factor of a formal test whilst allowing all your learners to engage in a positive activity at their current level of knowledge and understanding. It may be particularly useful if you ask learners to work in pairs for this activity so that they can remind each other of things they may have forgotten or even be introduced to new ideas they have not come across before.

Read or edit the full entry, or add your own knowledge to the encyclopaedia at

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