Stephen Rhodes

Stephen was born in Manchester and began teaching in 1989 at Arden School in Solihull. It was there where he began to develop a scheme of work for maths which centred around the ‘large concepts’ of the subject, calling it ‘big ideas of maths’. In 2005, he was appointed head of maths at the Earls High School in Halesowen and collaboratively developed the notion of ‘big ideas’ and began to implement a consistent message to the students, that success in maths was about how and why to apply these concepts. Over the years the teaching of maths at the Earls became more consistent and students found maths easier when the narrative of the lessons was shared through the ‘big ideas.’

The Earls High School later became a teaching school and Stephen worked as a maths consultant, as well as the head of maths. He adapted the programme to be called ‘the big ideas of maths and the barriers to learning’ and made maths accessible for all students at all levels. In 2017, Stephen was appointed as a senior leader of mathematics at Ormiston Forge Academy and has worked on developing pedagogy, within the maths department, through the ‘big ideas and maths ‘hooks’.


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