"When it comes to learning maths, always remember that anybody can feed sweets to sharks."
Teaching the subject that is loved by few and loathed by many, Nick Tiley-Nunn sees maths as the Marmite of the primary curriculum.
And he loves to spread it.
What helps is that Nick is a phenomenal primary maths teacher, something we were alerted to by Associate, and someone who knows a thing or two about what a great teacher looks like, Phil Beadle.
Anyone witnessing Nick's maths lessons will see a teacher at the top of their game effortlessly combining high expectations with creativity and a sense of fun. So it comes as all the more of a surprise when he reveals, like many mortals in primary schools across the land, how he was dreading teaching maths when he first started.
For Nick, it was this dread that made him all the more determined not just to make sure he didn’t transmit this fear to children, but to do his best to ensure they walked away from his lesson loving maths.
In his own words, ‘The thing that I do that is special is ensure that no child leaves my classroom with anything less than a love for primary mathematics, regardless of their ability’. We are sure that many of us wish we could have had Nick as our maths teacher when we were at school.
Nick Tiley-Nunn is Deputy Head at a primary school in Suffolk, having previously been Assistant Head and SENCo at a school in London.
On top of these leadership roles he is, in Mr Beadle's uncompromising words, 'a nationally significant talent at Maths teaching'.
I have just witnessed Nick Tiley-Nunn today and he was fantastic. Thank you
I can imagine the excitement in many primary classrooms when crocodiles etc. join the maths class!
Thank you for coming to our conference and for speaking with such a marvellous blend of inspiration and humour which was just what was needed to leave our audience buzzing with enthusiasm
Great ideas to make Maths more lively, fun and practical
And if you don't believe Phil Beadle, then how about Ofsted who have repeatedly referred to Nick's teaching as ‘inspirational’.
Over years of practice he has generated ideas about the teaching of maths that are so distinct, so far out and so utterly brilliant that any primary teacher struggling to grasp the nettle of teaching division will emerge from communing with his ideas not just with some clichéd sense that ‘maths can be fun’, but that it can be brilliant, life-enhancing and truly hilarious.
Author of the 2014 book for the Independent Thinking Press, How to Teach: Primary Maths: Anyone Can Feed Sweets to Sharks, Nick delights in sharing his lively approach to this magnificent subject with anyone who will listen.
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