Primary Mathematics Conference

Connecting big ideas in maths:
What, why and how?

Friday 22 June 2018
The Epping Club, Sydney

Tim will be speaking on:


What does a whole-school approach look like?

Session 1

9:00 am – 10:00 am

We now know that taking a whole-school approach is one of the foundations of outstanding mathematics teaching and learning. But what does a whole school-approach look like and what are the first steps your school can take towards reaching it?

In this 60-minute session Tim will address the following key points:

  • What is an authentic whole-school approach to mathematics?
  • How can it be achieved?
  • How can we move from ‘islands of good practice’ to a consistent K-6 culture of learning?
  • How do we develop shared, research-informed beliefs about the teaching and learning of mathematics?
  • What do highly effective schools do to enhance students’ mathematical learning outcomes?
  • How do we make sure our practice is consistent with our beliefs?


Understanding the ‘big ideas’ of mathematics

Session 3

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

In Primary Mathematics, a Big Idea is an idea or concept which is fundamental to the learning of mathematics. It builds student understanding by linking lots of different mathematical concepts into one central idea that makes sense at a deep, intuitive level.

In this 30-minute session Tim will address the following questions:

  • What are the ‘big ideas’ of mathematics?
  • Why are they important?
  • Where do we find them in the syllabus?
  • How are they represented in learning continua such as ACARA’s ‘Numeracy Learning Progression’?


Assessment – The importance of the task: Task analysis to inform teacher judgement

Session 5

1:35 pm – 2:25 pm

Great primary maths teachers are able to take the ‘big ideas’ of mathematics and turn them into rich, ‘low floor, high ceiling’ mathematics tasks that develop deep understanding within and across sub-strands of the curriculum.

In this 50-minute practical session Tim will:

  • Give delegates the opportunity to experience what doing a rich task can feel like
  • Lead delegates through the process of comparing, contrasting and analysing tasks from work samples they have brought with them and/or supplied by Tim
  • Demonstrate how the analysis of student work samples can be used to make informed decisions about the depth of student skill, knowledge and understanding.

Hear Tim talk about the Maths Imperative in primary schools

Tim Waugh

Consultant and Learning Strategist K-6
Anita Chin Mathematics Consultancy


Tim Waugh is a practising Teacher Educator with extensive teaching, leadership and consultative experience. He has transformed student thinking and teacher practice wherever he has worked.

Tim is committed to developing agile problem-solving skills and deep mathematical understanding.

Tim’s superpower is transforming classrooms into high-energy learning environments where a love of mathematics is nurtured and developed. With his finger on the pulse of the Big Ideas in maths, he has a special interest in learning progressions in Numeracy, Mathematics and STEM, and assisting teachers to develop rich, challenging mathematical tasks.