Affordable and effective PLD for schools

Mathematics remains a hot topic in schools in 2022.  Here is School News Magazine’s Term 2 issue with relevant articles on pages 28 and 32:


After Dr Audrey Tan’s presentation at the New Zealand Principals’ Federation Conference in August last year, the feedback was extraordinary. Over a thousand principals now have a simple recipe for rapid improvement in the teaching and learning of mathematics in their school.  In 2022, schools across New Zealand are engaging in PLD with Audrey to unpack her high-level presentation and go deeper to improve their Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Mathematical Content Knowledge.  Enquiries are welcome, online delivery is available.


The Trends in Mathematics and Science Survey (TIMSS) informs us that New Zealand teachers engage in  more Professional and Learning Development (PLD) in mathematics compared to teachers in most other countries. Despite all this PLD, student performance has not improved in 20 years.

We offer a very different kind of PLD. Some points of difference:

  • Our qualifications are in Mathematics, not Education.
  • Our views on the teaching and learning of mathematics are balanced, and based on both personal and professional experience; we have “walked the walk”.
  • We are practitioners, not academic researchers.  Our success as educators has been vindicated, rather than guided, by the evidence, particularly approaches supported by cognitive science.
  • Our experience working with primary and secondary students, sometimes the same students over several years, provides an excellent understanding of what primary school students need to learn in order to achieve at high school.

2022 feedback: “You were utterly brilliant and I don’t say that lightly. The staff were utterly thrilled. It was just so positive to hear how everyone felt. They were buzzing.”

“Everyone really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it! There was also really positive chatter during our lunch break! I definitely sensed a lot of ah ha moments as you were presenting.” 

“Thanks for the awesome PLD yesterday. The feedback has been really positive and we will certainly recommend you to others.”

“You met all of my expectations and of our senior leadership team, so thank you. I can report that I received very positive feedback from teachers right across the school, from Year 1 to Year 6. Not surprisingly the most enthusiastic responses came from teachers in Years 4 to 6 classes. The Year 6 team was overwhelmingly enthusiastic about your presentations.” 

“We have found the understanding to be the biggest move forward and so quickly.  We have only been at school 35 days so in this short time we have seen great progress.  Just accessing bigger numbers and having the confidence to have a go.  Really a clear process to solve problems.  All teachers are finding it easier to run their programme with groups way more responsive and flexible to what is happening each day.  Exposure to numbers and strategies that they may not have seen if groups are run very separately.  Time for kids to just practise!  A lot of teachers feel like the numeracy project didn’t/won’t work but all (other) PLD was based around this. Ngā mihi maioha!”

“I thought I’d touch base with you to let you know that maths is going well at our school! We’re hearing lots of positive feedback from parents and kids who in a matter of weeks are feeling the love for maths, feeling successful and even doing maths before school in some classes!”

Earlier feedback: 

“Kia ora and greetings Audrey, I have been meaning to write last week to THANK YOU SINCERELY for coming to visit our educators. They were beaming from ear to ear after your visit. I believe you have a real beautiful manner of demystifying maths and making people feel comfortable. Thank you very much Audrey for always being so supportive, helpful and enthusiastic about what we are doing.” 

“Our maths has gone extremely well this year with the changes we have made. The teachers have all been extremely positive towards our programme and having you kickstart this back in January was brilliant because it really informed the ‘why’ behind what we were doing. The other day I had three Year 1 learners come into our office to show me the maths they had learnt and they were able to confidently work with 3-digit numbers using the column based addition method! They carried the digits down low and everything! It was impressive. The feedback we have had from teachers is that the kids are really excited and motivated because they can successfully solve some pretty tough questions using this method. We have also had some great results looking at our final end of year data. So we are looking forward to carrying on and keeping on improving. Thanks again for your advice.”

Hi Audrey, I thought I would catch up with you and let you know how things have turned out in my room. I am astounded at the ongoing desire of ALL my students to do maths. If for any reason we have to miss out there is uproar!! I have attached the IKAN results for my students. I think you will agree it is an amazing document.” (Fantastic progress in a classroom in just five months.)