Non-linearity of Sine

While at a meeting yesterday the following question came up due to a student “Why isn’t “. My immediate response would be to say “because isn’t a linear function”, but this isn’t a terribly satisfactory response since the likelihood is that the student doesn’t have a deep understanding of the difference between linear and non-linear […]

Thoughts on the A-Level Reforms

As usual Jo Morgan (@mathsjem) has beaten me to it with a great post setting out some of her thoughts concerning the A-Level reforms for Mathematics. Here are some of my thoughts in a less ordered structure than Jo’s. Teaching Structure and Specialisms Jo has outlined a good structure for teaching the content for the standard […]

Approximating the Binomial Distribution

As part of the Edexcel S2 course students study the Poisson distribution (which I have written about in two posts here and here before) and also it’s application as an approximation to the Binomial distribution. I find that people, most definitely including myself, don’t have an intuitive understanding of how good this approximation is and so I have made […]

From Fibonacci to da Vinci – an IMA Talk

On Wednesday last week there was an IMA East Midlands Branch talk at Derby University. This talk was organised in conjunction with the British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM) and was delivered by Fenny Smith. Fenny has delivered lectures for Gresham College and is an expert in Italian Renaissance algebra. This talk was […]

Poisson and a PGCE Student

I am really enjoying having a great PGCE student (@MrPullenMaths) in some of my Year 12 Further Maths lessons. (He isn’t massively active on Twitter at the moment so please follow him and welcome him!) He has recently been teaching the Poisson distribution and on Monday this week discussed using the Poisson distribution as an […]

Hypothesis Tests and Edexcel

Recently I have been covering hypothesis tests with both my Year 12 and Year 13 further maths groups and I noticed differing wordings in exam mark schemes (Edexcel S2). I’ve always taught that you cannot say “we accept ” as you can’t prove that  is correct, and that you should say something like “There is […]

Pi Day 2016

Following on from last years Pi day post, I thought I would briefly post about another series method for calculating pi. I came across this cool infinite product involving the primes a few years ago, and was recently reminded of it when I saw Matt Parker (@standupmaths) in Nottingham recently. This infinite product is due to […]

Using Software and Games to Inspire and Motivate A-Level Mathematicians

This is a joint blog post by me and Jasmina Lazic, my co-presenter at #mathsconf6 (see my write up of the day) on Saturday 5th March 2016. Me and Jasmina first interacted over twitter, and over time the idea of leading a workshop at a #mathsconf took root. Collaborating over email and a couple of […]

East Midlands West MathsHub Subject Network Meeting

Today was this half term’s Subject Leader Nework Meeting at the University of Nottingham for the East Midlands West MathsHub (@EM_MathsHub). It felt pretty strange being in A32 again; I spent a lot of time in their when I was on my School Direct course.The agenda for today was the following News from Ofsted Feedback […]


After a quick McDonald’s breakfast treat (the Suasage and Bacon sandwich is back!) I begun the early drive down to Peterborough for #mathsconf6. It was a fantastic day, and it was lovely to catch up with many friends again and meet. This post aims to provide a bit of a summary of the day… This […]