What is the way forward for Maths exams 2021?

A personal viewpoint from Cathy Smith, Mathematics Education lead at the Open University. Ofqual and DfE are currently consulting about their proposals for giving students GCSE, AS and A level grades this summer, a change of plan from the problematic … Continue reading

What does it mean to understand probability: with diversions into parrots, children and sweets

One of the lockdown conversations that has stuck in my mind was with a colleague whose 8-year old does not really want to go back to school. One of his reasons is a tribute to her homeschooling arrangements: he has … Continue reading

…  even if you don’t get to a solution you’ll learn more about the environment around you What makes some people love doing maths and others not? This is a question that inspires our research at the OU? We are … Continue reading

Meet an OU statistician

Rebecca Would is  a year 12 work experience student who has visited the Maths and Stats department of the OU. She interviewed Karen Vines, a senior lecturer in statistics, to find out about her and her work Maths and Stats students at the … Continue reading

School Maths Conference at the OU – A-levels, Dragon Races and Codes

Rebecca Would is a sixth-form work experience student who visited the Maths and Stats department of the OU and supported the School Maths Conference. This is her report. In July the OU ran a maths conference in conjunction with some … Continue reading

Discussing mastery: ‘small enough’ steps and what they add up to.

This blog is part of a conversation between Cathy Smith, Ruth Edwards and  Jayne Webster, discussing a ‘mastery approach’ lesson. We have taken some topics from the conversation: setting a context, careful choice of language, different representations, small steps  and reasoning. … Continue reading

Getting to grips with specialising

There is a question in a recent Foundation level GCSE paper that asks: How would you go about this question? I can think of three ways. I could set up algebraic expressions for the length and width. I could draw … Continue reading

Ribbons, Friezes and Mathematics

This is a time of year when I pay attention to ribbons and wrapping paper. When I saw this  oak leaf ribbon, I had to buy some – just because of its beautiful symmetry. But what kind of symmetry is … Continue reading

Thinking aloud: the Open University and teaching post-16 Mathematics

Cathy Smith and Charlotte Webb discuss the Open University and Adrian Smith’s Review of post-16 Mathematics Charlotte: Cathy – you have recently joined the Open University team. Welcome. Tell me a bit about your experience and interests in mathematics education. … Continue reading

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