NZPF Conference 2021

(This page last updated 16 August 2021. Notes last updated 4 August 2021)

Kia ora, thank you very much for your interest. I am happy to share my comprehensive conference notes with New Zealand school principals and teachers, but in return, I would appreciate knowing how many schools have downloaded it. Your personal information will not be used for unsolicited marketing purposes or passed on to a third party. However, I would like to keep you informed if there are corrections made to the notes or any other significant developments.

Please feel free to keep in touch – thank you for the overwhelming positive feedback so far, some of which I have shared below. I would love to hear of any progress that your school makes. The gathering of feedback or data may assist with the Ministry of Education’s curriculum refresh.

Wishing you all Power, Passion and Pace!

Ngā mihi,
Audrey



Your feedback:

Audrey for me you were the greatest impact from the conference. For years I have worried about the teaching of mathematics and the lack of clarity the numeracy project gave teachers. The old Wellington maths with its structure and clear teaching steps was far superior especially for our newer teachers. I will be taking your report back to my maths curriculum team and asking that they strongly consider it. Thanks for the great work you are doing.

Thank you for your informed, sensible presentation at the NZPF conference. Wow! I will use these notes with our school Leadership Team to review our maths delivery – thank you for sharing your thoughts and knowledge

Your talk was the highlight of the NZPF Conference for me, as far as what can be done to change practice in my team to improve outcomes for students. What you said made sense and the changes that need to be made are not major. Thank you for enlightening us. I hope the government take notice and promote your ideas!

Long overdue common sense – thank you so much – especially for all the strategies and opportunities.

Thoroughly engaging presentation Audrey – so many things you discussed have been causing me concerns and doubts about the way the teaching of mathematics has been for the past twenty years.

Enlightening, provocative, empowering.

Thank you Audrey, you have given us permission to teach maths in a way that is sensible and success focused. Your presentation was a highlight of the conference and as a school we will be looking at how we can make maths simple and fun for all. 

It was a great session and it was very timely for us as we are looking at changing the way we do mathematics in our school but looking for a way to work and this is a great opening for us to redesign our programme. Thank you.

You presented a clear mandate for getting our Maths teaching back on track. Thank you for the very helpful suggestions.

It was AWESOME!! Your ideas resonated with me and I have already shared a lot of them with my team. This will be followed on with sharing with teachers.

Wow! It certainly provided a lot of food for thought and reflection on our current practices. And it all makes sense! There were a lot of very valuable takeaways – especially confidence comes before understanding. Thank you so much for opening our eyes and challenging the way we are doing things.

Thanks for sharing Audrey. Found your presentation engaging and aligned so much with what teachers have been saying for years. Nice to have someone with your expertise provide some much needed clarity around Maths teaching.

Very thought provoking (and causing some sleeplessness thinking about it).

I have felt that we have done our students a disservice for too long, trying to shore up the failings of the Numeracy Project. Our data worsened with the introduction of the Numeracy Project and it wasn’t simply an implementation dip. What we had occurring was teachers across the school inventing their own programmes around the frail scaffolding of the Numeracy Project. There was a lack of consistency from room to room and mathematical concepts failed to be cyclically progressed. It is sad and disappointing that it has taken us nearly 20 years to reverse this.

Thank you Dr Tan, your presentation was one of the highlights of the conference, I loved it.


Thank you so much. At last a practical approach to improvement. Keep up the good work.

Your workshop presentation was inspirational. Thank you.

I look forward towards using your presentation as a catalyst to speed up the change in the way we teach Maths at our kura.

Thank you Audrey, I found your session on maths to be invaluable.

I am inspired to make change in our school following your presentation.

Finally, a voice of reason and we now have licence to go back to basics! Thanks for the information you shared with us. The opportunity before me to re-write our maths curriculum awaits me and I can’t wait to start.

Your session made so much sense to me and it was so refreshing to hear your message about where we have been going wrong with the teaching of Maths and what we can do about it. Thank you!

I am very excited with the concept of more place value teaching.

Thanks for speaking at the conference. Can’t wait to share your messages with my leadership and teachers.

Hi Audrey, I have already shared a brief outline with my staff this morning about your workshop. There were many “yes!” from the staff. I am looking forward to sharing your paper with the staff – the practical information will be so useful.

Loved your message – such common sense. Thank you.

Very good to hear an experienced practitioner being honest about what really is happening with Maths in NZ and the urgency at which this needs to be addressed.

Good on you for having the courage to say, “the emperor is butt naked”.

I found the session very enlightening and it did put mathematics into perspective for me. I have always thought that children need to have an understanding of basic facts, times tables and number in order to participate in discussions around problem solving so that they can solve these problems with confidence.

I have been advocating back to basics in maths for years, finally some sense being spread, thank you very much it has brightened my day.

I have always been concerned about aspects of the numeracy project. I watched NEMP results in the early part of the 21st century and that there had not been any notable improvement in achievement despite the huge amounts of PD. I have trusted the professionals at university and now recognise that we need to just teach our students.

Thank you for promoting and clearly articulating what so many of us know in our hearts and minds about how we have been implored to teach maths!

I was very interested in what you had to say. Thanks – I loved the common sense in what you said.

Excellent presentation and made total sense to me. I am meeting with my leadership team next week to discuss how we roll out your recommendations.


Absolutely fantastic. Aligned with a lot of my beliefs around teaching in general.

One of my DP’s attended your presentation and could not stop talking about how effective it was. Thank you for making your presentation available to us all.

The test results are certainly all there now for everyone to see – and where are those people now, who refused to listen to us? All power to you and your team.

Thank you so much Audrey. You have restored my confidence in what I know around how we need to be teaching our tamariki.

I will be using the notes at our staff meeting today. I feel that the basics of teaching Maths – making it accessible and ensuring that enough drill and practice for mastery is given has been forgotten / dismissed as important during the last 20 years of Maths PLD.


Outstanding, a real highlight of the conference.

Thank you, Audrey. Excellent, evidence based presentation with great practical advice.

Awesome, inspiring.

An excellent presentation with a great direction for our maths teaching returning to ways we used to teach maths. Very applicable.

Excellent session. All NZ teachers need to learn from Audrey so our kids all learn to be more confident in maths.

Very relevant and refreshing to listen to a presenter that uses their head as well as the heart.

Perfect. Just what all NZ classes need.


This session provided such clarity for me about where we need to put our focus on for mathematics. Many thanks!

Enjoyed it immensely, so straightforward and easy to implement. Thank you.

Simple directional shift that will hopefully gain critical mass to uncomplicate the way we teach and learn mathematics. Thank you for your passion, energy and dedication in helping raise a nation of mathematically competent or expert people.

A very thought provoking session. One that aligned with my own reservations on the teaching of maths. Thank you.

I am a strong advocate for what you are saying. As Principal and DP in my last school for over 25 years and maths leader for a large part of that time I now feel vindicated for the stand I made against the implementation of the numeracy project. Like you I firmly believe that place value/number has to be the base for maths teaching. The teaching of algorithms has to be taught from an understanding of place value. I have never been an advocate of multi strategy teaching, but came to acknowledge that as students’ understanding developed they would come up with other strategies which only informed me that their understanding was strong.

Absolutely brilliant and aligned with the direction I have been discussing with our staff for some time.

Really enjoyed the session. Very thought provoking & reassuring for the staff in my school that we are on the right track with the changes we have made in maths, after the frustrations of the numeracy project.

We sing off the same songsheet. Everything you espoused I have battled too. I drew a line in the sand on my return to school and have initiated immediate change.

Just to let you know that we had a superb staff discussion using your paper as a catalyst. The actual performance data of NZ across the international measures is dismal – clearly the current blueprint is not working. Your work is really important to bring back balance to the way mathematics is taught.

This is just the message we all need to hear. I’m really excited about making changes and seeing positive results and happy confident students who are excited about mathematics.

I really enjoyed your session at the recent conference, its common sense approach was especially enlightening.

Thank you for a wonderful session. Very thought provoking and encouraging! Really want to share with my team. Thank you.