Frances Watson


Fran was a maths teacher for 13 years before she joined the NRICH team 3 years ago. She has worked in middle, upper, lower, secondary and primary schools and is passionate about problem solving and sharing her enthusiasm for mathematics in general. Despite having taken a slightly scenic route to a career in the classroom, via an engineering degree and jobs at Techniquest and the British Science Association, (think Butlins Redcoat but for Maths and Science,) she loves the interesting variety provided by working with teachers and children in her role as NRICH’s primary PD lead.

Keynote: A Passion for Problem-Solving

Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”.

In the same way that inspiring a love of music doesn’t usually begin with an introduction to scales, instilling a love of problem solving in learners involves inviting curiosity, developing thoughtfulness, encouraging collaboration and valuing determination – whether in mathematics or the wider world. NRICH is the home of rich mathematics and this keynote will offer an energising start to the ReThinking Numeracy conference – for both primary and secondary teachers. Fran will be inviting you to explore and discuss some of the problems from the NRICH website which have inspired teachers and learners worldwide to become passionate problem solvers.