On Wednesday 22 May 2019, Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai (Lecturer in Primary Mathematics Education) was invited by the Medway Educational Leaders Association (MELA) to give a keynote talk, titled ‘What if maths was taught through storytelling?’, at the MELA’s annual conference for over 100 school leaders in Kent.


In his talk, Dr. Trakulphadetkrai argued for why teaching mathematics to primary school students using story picture books can be pedagogically powerful. He also highlighted the approach’s underpinning theories and different types of mathematical story picture books. He showed how practitioners can receive CPD support on teaching mathematics using story picture books through his MathsThroughStories.org initiative.

As another keynote speaker was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) who talked about the new school inspection framework, Dr. Trakulphadetkrai explained to school leaders how the idea of teaching mathematics through storytelling aligns nicely with the focus of the new framework, particularly in relation to the expectation that “Pupils’ mathematical knowledge is developed and used, where appropriate, across the curriculum.”



Gavin Evans (the Head of Primary Education of all primary schools within the Skills For Life Trust) commented that “The keynote talk given by Dr. Vince was truly inspirational. Both the content and his presentation style engaged the whole audience for 50 minutes and was one of the key, positive feedback points at the end of the conference. The detail provided about how story books can be used to deliver Maths concepts was enlightening and I know will begin to have a huge impact across Medway schools. Thank you!”

Dr. Trakulphadetkrai was also asked by the conference organiser to bring along a range of mathematical story picture books to show to school leaders, after his keynote talk, appropriate materials for their schools to consider using in their mathematics teaching.