Maths Dept welcomes influential Professors

Staff and students at Beacon Academy were delighted to welcome two influential and inspiring guests to visit the Mathematics Department on Monday (26th February).

Internationally renowned mathematicians, academics and educationalists, Professor Dame Celia Hoyles and Professor Richard Noss visited the school with Trustee, Peter Weston.  They met Mathematics staff and students to learn about the changes that have taken place at the Academy over the last few years and the Department’s subsequent progression from below the national average, to now achieving results that place them in the top 1% of all Maths Departments nationally.

As Professors of Mathematics Education at the Institute of Education, University College London, both Professor Dame Celia Hoyles and Professor Richard Noss are highly prominent figures in the research and development of mathematics education, and have contributed to a significant number of innovations in the approach of teaching mathematics, particularly relating to the use of new digital technologies to engage students and thereby support and transform learning and teaching.

As the government’s former Chief Adviser for Mathematics and Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education (2004-7), Dame Celia Hoyles has helped shape and guide national policy, and in 2007, became Director of the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.  In 2011 Celia became the first recipient of the Royal Society Kavli Education Medal for work in mathematics or science education, and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2014 New Years Honours List.

Professor Richard Noss is co-director of the London Knowledge Lab, an interdisciplinary research centre leading digital research and design in education and beyond.  He is Professor of Mathematics Education at the IOE, and holds a Masters degree in pure mathematics and a PhD in mathematical education.  He was co-founder and Deputy Scientific Manager of Kaleidoscope, the European network of excellence for technology enhanced learning.

Following a reception with Headteacher, Ms Anna Robinson and Deputy Headteacher, Mr Solomon Berhane, the Professors were introduced to the team of staff that make up Beacon Mathematics Department.  The visitors were given a warm welcome, and entered into a lively discussion with staff about the significant growth in intake for A-Level Maths at Beacon Academy Sixth Form, and the benefits of applying mathematical theory and strategy across other subjects, including most notably the Sciences, Engineering and Technology.  They were then accompanied by Head of Mathematics and Acting Assistant Headteacher, Mr Yonathan Abraham on a tour of the Maths Department to observe lessons and chat with students.

Mr Solomon Berhane, Deputy Headmaster at Beacon Academy thanked Professors Dame Celia Hoyles and Richard Noss for their visit:

It is an honour, a pleasure and an exceptional opportunity for our school to welcome such distinguished guests. I would like to thank both Celia and Richard for taking the time to engage with a number of students across a variety of maths lessons, and for imparting invaluable insight into maths education and how a deep and lasting understanding of maths can maximise students’ chances of succeeding in education and in life.

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