The Creative Team

Bowland Maths is based on the work of many people and organisations over a number of years. We have attempted to summarise the major contributors here, but many others have been involved in the project and we apologise for any omissions.

The idea to do ‘something’ to improve maths education came from Tony Cann, a philanthropist who established the Bowland Charitable Trust. The key concepts behind Bowland Maths were conceived and developed by Quentin Thompson, under whose direction various experts were brought together to implement the initiatives.

During its early phases, an advisory Steering Committee of UK experts helped to define the strategic direction. The teaching resources for the extended projects, the ‘Case studies’, were developed by a wide range of experts in maths problem design, academics as well as commercial companies, selected through a competitive process, not only from the UK, but also from Australia and the USA. The Professional Development modules were developed by a coalition of experts comprising academics and professional associations. The Assessment Tasks were developed by three groups of experts with well established expertise in assessment. The more recent Bowland Maths Lesson Study Project was implemented through a small management group in collaboration with a group of experts from Japan.

While the Bowland Maths materials have many parents, there is a small group of people whose minds helped to define Bowland Maths at various junctures; they are akin to being the core team.

Steering Committee

Chair: Quentin Thompson (Bowland Trust)

Tony Cann (Bowland Trust)

Alice Onion (Advisor and Consultant)

Celia Hoyles (then Chief Government Advisor for Maths, Professor of Mathematics Education, Institute of Education)

Margaret Brown (Professor of Mathematics Education, Kings College London)

Linton Waters (Secondary Maths National Strategy)

Ian Powell (Chief Executive of Games Masters)

Denise Walsh (National Strategies Policy team, DfES)

The Case Study developers

Alien invasion
Mission Rainforest
Torbury Festival
Twofour Learning: Alice Kilpatrick + Anita Straker, Education Consultant; Tim Neil, Twofour Digital
Crash test
Cimex Media Ltd
Design the mascot
Water availability
SRI International, USA: Gucci Estrella; Phil Vahey; Ken Rafanan
Mystery tours
RM Education plc + Carol Knights, University of Chichester; Joan Zorn.
Football: The Beautiful Game Glasshead Ltd
Highway link design Creative Mathematics Group, Institute of Education, London University: Ian Jones; Dave Pratt, Dylan Wiliam
How risky is life?
Reducing road accidents
Shell Centre, School of Education, Nottingham University: Hugh Burkhardt; Malcolm Swan; Daniel Pead
In or out?
Save a baby kangaroo
Project for Enhancing Effective Learning, Monash University, Australia: Ian Mitchell; Stephen Keast
Keeping the pizza hot King’s College, London: Jeremy Burke; Jeremy Hodgen; Chris Olley
My music Creative Mathematics Group, Institute of Education, London University: Carla Finesilver
Product wars
3T Productions Ltd + Carol Knights, University of Chichester; Joan Zorn.
Speed cameras Edexcel: Paul Findlow; Lesley Ravenscroft
Sundials Peter Ransom, Mountbatten School; Jo Lees, Romsey School; Harriet James, Sunnydials
You reckon? SMART Centre, Durham University: Jim Ridgway; James Nicholson; Sean McCusker

School Trials: Each case study was trialled in two different schools by its developer; subsequently, the Bowland Trust arranged a ‘cold trial’ for each case study as an independent evaluation carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research. Many contributed, not least more than 100 schools with their teachers and pupils. Their work with the case studies at various stages played a key role in the development.

The Professional Development modules

The professional development modules were designed and developed by Malcolm Swan and Daniel Pead, and the team from the Shell Centre in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham in collaboration with Lynn Churchman, Sue Johnston-Wilder, Clare Lee, Alison Clarke-Wilson and others from the Association of Teachers of Mathematics and the Mathematical Association.

The video elements for modules 1-5 were produced by Glasshead Ltd; video for modules 6 and 7 was produced by MLM Learning Design. The videos feature the staff and pupils of: George Green's school, Isle of Dogs, London; Amery Hill School, Alton; Campion School and Community College, Leamington Spa; Southmoor Community School, Sunderland; Coundon Court School and Community College, Coventry; West Park School, near Derby and Arthur Terry School, Sutton Coldfield.

The Assessment Tasks

The 35 assessment tasks were developed and trialled by three teams: Acumina Ltd; The Freudenthal Institute at the University of Utrecht; The Shell Centre in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. Each task was trialled in at least one school.

The framework for the assessment tasks was developed by Bowland Maths and then shared with and used by the Nuffield Foundation in their development of Applying Mathematical Processes materials.

Website and technical development

Software for the Case Studies was developed by the individual case study developers. The original Bowland Player software was developed by 3T Productions Ltd led by Karl Hughes, with design input from Daniel Pead and the Professional Development team. The original website for Bowland Maths was developed and managed by Broadgate Infonet (BINET) Ltd. The current website was developed by Daniel Pead, with input from the core team, and is hosted by Shell Centre Publications.

Bowland Maths Lesson Study

The Bowland Maths Lesson Study Project was developed and managed by Alice Onion and by Malcolm Swan with the Shell Centre team, with support from a group of experts from Japan: Dr. Keiichi Nishimura and Prof. Toshiakira Fujii from Gakugei University and Dr. Akihiko Takahashi from DePaul University.

The Core Team

Bowland Maths does not have an ‘organization’ as such, but five people have played key roles throughout its development and have helped to determine its overall shape and content.

Dr. Quentin Thompson. Quentin is the founding Director of Bowland Maths; he defined its objectives, developed its four distinct initiatives (case studies, professional development, assessment tasks, and lesson study), brought together key people to create the resources and ensured that all the outputs have been of a consistent high quality. Quentin has worked in the field of education for over 30 years, first as a maths teacher, then as a manager, policy analyst and education consultant. He worked for three years in the Cabinet Office as a policy advisor to the Prime Minister, focussing on national education policies. He joined Coopers & Lybrand (later PwC) and, as the partner responsible, built the firm’s consultancy practice in education from nothing to that of market leader in the UK and Europe, particularly in higher education – a position that the firm maintained during his time there. Since then, he has continued working in education as a consultant.

Alice Onion. Alice has been one of major thinkers in problem solving in maths since the 1980s and has worked as Quentin’s right hand on Bowland Maths. She helped to define the direction and content of each component, to select the teams and experts to work on them, to review the case study and assessment materials and to coordinate the work on the PD modules; she also led the London Cluster in the lesson study project. In her long career in secondary maths, Bowland Maths has been her longest continuous project. Alice was formerly the head of Maths at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and has worked on practically every aspect of maths education in the UK, including teaching throughout the age and ability range. She has also worked in the School of Education at King’s College London as an assessment development officer in mathematics and in several local education authorities, both as a maths adviser and as a senior inspector for maths. She now works as an independent advisor in maths education, while continuing her research as a senior fellow at King's College London.

Prof. Malcolm Swan, Nottingham University. As a leading world expert on maths problem solving, Malcolm has worked on every aspect of the Bowland Maths materials and has been closely associated with their development almost from the very beginning. He led the development of two of the Case Studies, a large number of the assessment tasks and was responsible for the content of all seven of the professional development modules; he also led the Midlands cluster in the lesson study project. Malcolm is Professor of Mathematics Education and Director of the Centre for Research in Mathematics Education at the University of Nottingham. He leads the Shell Centre design team and has led the design and development of many of its products, including the “boxes” that pioneered the integration of assessment, curriculum and professional development. He is widely known for the design of Improving Learning in Mathematics, the curriculum and professional development resources. His research is mainly into the theory, development and evaluation of teaching situations and professional development in maths education. Malcolm has recently led the development of formative assessment lessons to support the Common Core State Standards for Maths in the USA (funded by the Gates Foundation) among many other EU and national UK projects.

Dr. Daniel Pead, Nottingham University. An expert from the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education who combines maths education and IT, Daniel has been the key technical resource for Bowland Maths from the start. With Malcolm, he developed the software for the two Shell Centre Case Studies and created the original design for the video-led Professional Development modules. Critically, he has helped to define every technical detail in the presentation of Bowland Maths, including the composition of the DVD and defining other key parameters such as the specifications for the website. He has been the main contact for queries arising from the web, and has led the work to renew Bowland’s website in 2014. Daniel's background is in software, multimedia and web design for education; as Senior Research Fellow in the University of Nottingham, he led the design of the computer-based problem solving components of the World Class Tests/Developing Problem Solving. He also developed educational “applets” for the DfES Improving Learning in Mathematics box. His research work includes the design of computer-based assessment and he is currently working with a team from Arizona State and Berkeley universities to produce rich, tablet-based formative assessment lessons based on the Maths Assessment Project’s Classroom Challenges (some of which originated in Bowland Maths).

Dame Prof. Celia Hoyles. From being a Steering Committee member for Bowland Maths at the start, Celia has been a continuous advisor and supporter for Bowland Maths throughout its evolution. Celia has had a long and prominent career in mathematics education and research. She began by teaching mathematics in London schools before moving into higher education. She has directed more than 30 research and consultancy projects and published widely in articles and books. She co-presented a popular TV mathematics quiz show, Fun and Games, which topped prime-time ratings between 1987 and 1990. Her wide academic interests include secondary students' conceptions of proof, the mathematical skills needed in modern workplaces, and the design of computational environments for learning mathematics to enhance access and attainment for all. Celia was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours of 2014 for services to education.