Training and Events

The MA is an accredited NCETM mathematics CPD provider.


Praying souls out of purgatory: ratio and proportion in the secondary classroom

6 July 2019

Title:               Praying souls out of purgatory: ratio and proportion in the secondary classroom

Presenter:     Peter Ransom

Date:               6 July 2019

Time:              10:00 – 16:00

Summary:      A one-day professional development event for all those who are involved in teaching ratio and proportion at secondary level.

Venue:           Mathematical Association Headquarters, 259 London Road, LEICESTER LE2 3BE

Cost:              £59 MA members, £84 non-members

Online booking now open.  

The Mathematical Association is delighted to invite you to apply for a day of professional development on teaching ratio and proportion at secondary level.  The MA is an accredited NCETM mathematics CPD provider.

The focus of this day will be on teachers and teaching assistants who have to teach ratio and proportion and wish to develop their understanding of the theory and pedagogy behind ratio and proportion. They will leave with a host of ready-made materials to be used in the classroom, some of which will have been developed during the day. The day will be followed up with a 7, 7, 7 set of materials (materials sent out 7 days, 7 weeks and 7 months later) to help with participants’ teaching of ratio and proportion.

Peter taught mathematics and in state secondary schools from 1977 to 2010.  Since then he has been employed as a tutor on the PGCE course at Bath Spa University, works with the Princes Teaching Institute and has authored books on Revision materials for Key Stage 3, Core Mathematics and Additional Mathematics for a number of publishers.  He is the Chair of Council of The Mathematical Association and a Past President.


1000-1030       Registration and refreshments

1030-1130       Session 1: How ratio and proportion developed in the curriculum

In this first session we will look briefly at how ratio and proportion developed from the arithmetic needs of merchants through the ages and the ‘rule of three’ and try a number of problems designed to promote understanding of the methods involved, such as bar modelling. Students from some countries will have met the rule of three and may be proficient in its use. We will look at the conceptual difficulties that students have and methods that can help with the teaching of the subject.

1130-1140       Break

1140-1240       Session 2: Problem solving with ratio and proportion through discussion

Students learn as much (if not more!) from each other as from their teachers. In this session you will work in pairs on an activity that requires cooperation and discussion. It will show you how to engage students in an activity that develops both your and their problem solving. It covers the use of ratio and proportion across a number of topics in the curriculum, so giving some understanding to students that mathematics is a connected subject, rather than a series of disjoint pieces. Participants will have some time to develop a similar activity, suitable for their own classroom. These will be copied for everyone to take away with them at the end of the day.

1240-1330       Lunch and MA publications

1330-1430       Session 3: Assessment

We will look at some GCSE questions featuring ratio and proportion in all its different guises and how students might tackle these. You are very welcome to submit some examples from your own classroom a week in advance that will be photocopied and discussed. This will link in with other sessions during the day.

1430-1440       Break

1440-1540       Session 4: Something to take home: more materials

It is rare that students take home something they have made in their mathematics classroom (apart from their exercise book that is). In this session you will make an old mathematical instrument that does work! The theory behind it will be explained as that uses elementary geometry as well as ratio. Peter will bring the day to a close with some more problems on ratio and proportion that can be used or developed for learners in your classroom. There may also be time to look at the philosophy and pedagogy of teaching ratio and proportion.

1540-1600       Refreshments and evaluations

The cost of the day is £59 for members of The Mathematical Association, £84 to non-members who will receive a £25 voucher redeemable against membership. Two members of a school with Institutional Membership of The Mathematical Association are entitled to come at the members’ price. These prices are for booking direct with The Mathematical Association – booking online to open shortly. Places are limited and booking will close on July 1.

Publications from The Mathematical Association will be on sale on the day.

Detailed directions and a finalised schedule will also be sent nearer to the time.

Catering is provided on the day.

Online booking now open.  

The MA reserves the right to change the programme if circumstances beyond our control occur. No refunds are given once a place has been booked, but other names can be substituted if the person registering cannot attend.

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