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Maths for Science Teachers – Improving Exam Results

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Maths for Science Teachers – Improving Exam Results

  • Created By Neil Atkin
  • Last Updated October 25th, 2022
Programme Overview
Numeracy in Science
Delivery Model Online Learning
What is Included
  • Certificate of attendance.
  • Course material (if applicable).
  • AED 660 per delegate plus 5% VAT
  • Discounts available for 3 or more delegates from the same school.
  • If you would like bespoke in-school training, please contact Rebecca ( for more information.
Deadline booking date:

Wednesday 1st February 2023

Date of Training Thursday 23rd February 2023, 
Thursday 2nd March 2023, 
Thursday 9th March 2023 & 
Thursday 16th March 2023
Time (UAE) 4pm to 5pm
Platform Online
Target audience

All Science teachers who want to improve student grades through improving numeracy

Aims of the course

Improving student outcomes from a greater understanding of numeracy

Intended outcomes

Teachers leave with a completely new approach to teaching students how to rearrange formulae & perform calculations

Neil Atkin

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Neil Atkin has taught and continues to teach physics for over 30 years, but still feels he has a lot to learn! He has also been a maths teacher and understands the disjunction between the way science and maths teachers cover numeracy and the confusion this can cause for our students. Neil has delivered CPD to thousands of teachers as a trainer with the IOP and currently Physics Partners. . All his courses are innovative, hands on, challenging and fun - Yes algebra can be fun!! Neil is still teaching as well as teacher training and his ideas are very current, practical and proven to improve the performance of students

Programme details:

In theory, we shouldn’t need to run this course. Algebra and graphs are taught in-depth in maths. However many students fail to transfer conceptual understanding from their maths classroom to your science one. What can we do? Plenty –  Read on!

Many students struggle with the calculations they have to do, particularly  in physics. There are a multitude of reasons for this. In these sessions, we will explore the most common ones and how we might rectify them. Using formula triangles can give a quick fix for some students, but fail to develop the conceptual understanding to really improve understanding. So they should be used as a last resort.

Students usually can easily see that 6 = 2×3 so 3= 6/2 and 2 = 6/3  but can struggle when numbers are replaced with letters. They can see that changing the subject of a statement is telling us the same thing. Hence: The cat sat on the mat is the same as; the mat is where the cat sat – only the subject has changed.  When we rearrange an equation all we are doing is changing the subject. We

The sessions will explore how formulae tell stories and what those stories are. We will see why teaching a=F/m can lead to better understanding than F=ma and how this helps in the understanding of I=V/R.

Once we can see patterns in the way formulae work. For example ratios such as a=F/m or I=V/R or accumulations such as  E=VIt or s=vt then students realise there are only a few types of stories to understand. When they understand the stories, they no longer have to remember the formulae and it all starts to make sense.

We will also explore ways to interpret graphs by looking at graphical representations of everyday events. What might graphs of teacher stressiness versus class noise look like? What do the gradient and intercept represent? Once students can see the stories that graphs tell in contexts they understand we can move on to more conceptually challenging examples.


Session 1: Introduction – Why can’t your students do the maths?

●    Common problems (Please bring yours to share)

●    Can they do the maths in maths lessons?

●    Should we use triangles?

●    Strategies for helping students change the subject / rearrange the equations

Session 2: Common approaches with the maths department

●    Revision of the principles from session 1

●    Telling stories with formulae

●    Categorising formulae with similar stories

Session 3: Graphical Analysis

●    Making the shapes of graphs relatable to students

●      The vocabulary of graphs gradients , intercepts

●      Students  communicating igraph shapes using the vocabulary

●      Relating the shapes of graphs to y – mx + c

●      Relating the stories of graphs to the stories of formulae

Gap task:

●      Liaising with your maths department

●      Applying what we have learned to your curriculum

●      Testing the approaches

●      Reviewing the outcomes

Session 4: Putting it all together

●    Feeding back from the gap task – what works / doesn’t yet?

●    Embedding the numeracy ideas into your curriculum

●    Creating connections to continue developing these ideas


About AtkinEdu

Neil’s background in challenging schools led him to develop the physics of activities students found engaging such as football, surfing, and skateboarding. “You can teach most of the forces topic using a skateboarder doing an ollie and the skaters will listen to you!”

A hearing loss forced Neil from the classroom where he loved being an Advanced Skills Teacher in challenging schools- Terrible title, but wonderful job. So he became an educational consultant and the more he learned, the more he realised he had and still has to learn. But digital tools have enabled him to effectively teach again and have opened a whole host of new opportunities.

Neil Atkin
4 day