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English & Maths Fest! 2015 Resources

Following the success of last year’s Math fest, WMCETT held a joint English & Maths Fest on June 29, 2015, aimed at both maths and English practitioners and managers in the FE and skills sector.

The keynote speaker was Sue Johnston-Wilder, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Warwick, who spoke on Developing mathematical (and language!) resilience in learners, which was based on research Sue and colleagues have carried out with young apprentices (resources right). Sue's talk looked at her experience of unlocking learners’ emotional barriers to maths by focusing on what it takes to develop a growth mindset and resilience. There was much positive feedback, including delegates calling the talk 'inspiring'.

After Sue's talk, and an introduction form WMCETT's Maths PD lead Steve Pardoe and English PD lead Catriona Mowat, and Norma Honey from the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, delegates took part in a number of workshops. Where there are resources and presentations available to be shared, they are shown below and right:


New GCSE maths qualifications - structure, content and implications: Revised GCSE content and assessment is being introduced from September for first examination in summer 2017. This workshop run by Joanna Deko of OCR provided an overview of the changes, and allowed participants to discuss the implications. Her presentation can be read here or right, and there is also information about the new GCSE on the OCR website here.

Making algebra accessible: What’s the point in algebra? This workshop, run by WMCETT Maths Regional Lead Steve Pardoe, looked at different ways that algebra could be introduced to learners to increase their conceptual understanding of the subject, and the role that it played in vocational subjects and beyond. Steve's presentation is here and right, plus other resources, right.

Developing Mathematical Resilience: Sue Johnson-Wilder, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Warwick, on addressing learners' emotional barriers to mathematics. See several useful links, right.

Level 3 Core Maths - lessons from an early adopter: Martin Newton, from Stoke-on-Trent College, shared his experiences of delivering core maths this year – and some of his ideas and activities. Hiis powerpoint presentation can be seen here, and right, and there are many more resources used in his session right too.

Geogebra masterclass: Ben Washbrook, from Birmingham Metropolitan College, lead a practical session and shared his ideas on how to make the most of this powerful free app in GCSE maths classes and beyond.

Maths and English:

Promoting maths & English across the organisation: Most 16-19 learners don’t come to college or join apprenticeships to learn maths and English.This workshop lookedt how all staff can play a role in promoting these subjects to learners – and included input on how one college, Stoke-on-Trent, put on a cross-college event. The powerpoint presentation used during this workshop can be seen here or right, and includes links to other resources, plus an action plan.

Technologies that engage and enhance learning: Technology-enhanced learning can be a powerful tool for engagement. This workshop, run by Sara Hattersley, E-learning Manager at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Warwick, explored a range of approaches and freely-available tools which are easy to use in the classroom and for distance study/homework, many of which learners can access on their own devices. The workshop explored the potential of technology to engage and sustain learners, and the place of these tools in curriculum design, assessment and collaborative learning. There is a webpage with Sara's presentation and links to resources here.


"The Importance of Knowing Ernest" - building your GCSE scheme of work on your learners' individual needs: This session, with Sue Lownsbrough, Regional English Specialist with HUDCETT, looked at the traditional use of initial and diagnostic assessment but also at finding out about what learners bring including their study programme, career aspirations, interests and values. This, together with their views of what they need to know, matched to our knowledge of the skills they will develop on the GCSE course, will then inform the skeleton scheme of work. Sue's presentation is here and right, plus other resources, right.

Critical Language Awareness (CLA): Leaners are not always able to recognise that texts have ‘deeper’ meanings: to control, to influence etc. This session, run by Anne Schofield, Assistant Manager ITT at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Warwick, was designed to support teachers in raising their learners’ awareness of the use of language through CLA. With practice, learners can become empowered by analysing texts and reading critically. This technique is also appropriate for those teaching GCSE. Participants received a ‘worked’ copy of a text to give practical ideas to adapt for use with their own learners. Ideas for teaching critical language awareness can be seen here (or right) and questions for use with a text here.

E1-L2 English Teaching – identifying gaps in knowledge and skills – signposts to support: This session, with Susan Salter, OCR Sector Specialist for English and Maths, focused on why reading and spelling skills are important and signposted tutors to support materials to deepen their understanding and confidence in teaching these skills. Sue's presentation is here, and right.

The three things that make the biggest difference: making English even more interesting: Examiners tell us the three ingredients to include that make the biggest difference to the recipe for student writing. This workshop, run by Catriona Mowat, Regional English Specialist with WMCETT, explored these and included ways to make grammar interesting (anot not just for GCSE). The powerpoint presentation is here and right, plus another resource.

For further information contact WMCETT Project Manager Julie Chamberlain on 024 7615 0661 or

Resources from English & Maths Fest! 2015

New GCSE maths qualification:

OCR Presentation

Website link to information

Making algebra accessible:

Powerpoint presentation

Real life graphics

Guide to developing contextualised resources

Developing mathematical resilience:

Developing coaches for mathematical resilience

Developing coaches for mathematical resilience: level 2

Overcoming Mathematical Helplessness and Developing Mathematical Resilience in Parents: An
Illustrative Case Study

International Conference on Mathematical Resilience: Addressing mathematics anxiety in teaching, learning, home and work, 12 - 14 November 2015

Mathematical Resilience website

Mathematical resilience blog

Level 3 Core Maths:

Powerpoint presentation

Body surface area exercise

The Apprentice Task, Park Plaza Poster, Titanic Hotel poster, West End hotel poster

Maths pictures

Code resources pack

Promoting maths and English across the organisation:

Presentation with links to other resources and sites.

 Action plan

Technologies that engage and enhance learning:

Sara Hattersley has created this webpage containing her presentation , and lots of links to resources

Building your GCSE scheme of work:

Powerpoint presentation

What your learners bring


 Critical Language Awareness:

Teaching critical language awareness

Questions for critical language awareness

E1-L2 English Teaching – identifying gaps in knowledge and skills – signposts to support:

Susan Salter's presentation

Making English even more interesting:

Powerpoint presentation

Word sentenct text