IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Getting started

Each Cornerstone Maths unit of work combines pupils' online work using web-based software alongside "offline" paper and pencil tasks in the 'Pupil workbooks'. 

The Teacher guide and Pupil workbooks are hosted on this website in Curriculum Units and PD Resources.

Each Cornerstone Maths unit of work comprises carefully designed software that is hosted at www.cornerstonemaths.com.

The web-based software, is designed in html5 to run in the Chrome Browser and is openly accessible to anyone in the world.

Why Cornerstone Maths?

Many schools and maths teachers are interested to find out more about research-informed resources and approaches that use technology in the classroom to enhance students' learning experiences and outcomes.

This interest might be motivated by:

  • A desire to give students more tangible resources to explore when they first meet new mathematical concepts
  • Finding strategies to support mixed ability settings
  • A sudden increase in access to technology due to a school or department-wide initiatives such as 'bring your own device' or tablets/laptops for each student
  • Wanting to develop students' reasoning and justification skills through more collaborative ways of working.
The Cornerstone Maths PD Toolkit

Professional development is at the heart of the Cornerstone Maths project. This is because we know that learning to use dynamic technology to teach challenging mathematical ideas is not straightforward.

Ideally, all teachers will have the opportunity to participate in a Cornerstone Maths PD Event, organised by a local or regional partner.

These events provide a general introduction to the curriculum topics, the dynamic software and the different pupil tasks within the unit of work.

The PD focuses on planning for a particular 'landmark activity' within the unit - and teachers use an adapted 'lesson study' approach to plan, teach and review the lessons.

Once schools have some expertise within the maths department, there are a number of PD resources for each unit that will support more teachers to become involved over time - and to deepen and extend their classroom practices. These include examples of pupils' written work and short classroom videos of the landmark activities.

Technical setup

This information is to ensure that the technology runs smoothly in your classrooms.

Each Cornerstone Maths unit of work comprises carefully designed software that is hosted at www.cornerstonemaths.com.

Your school should provide access to Google Chrome on the devices that will be used (computer suite, laptops, tablets etc.), which is the recommended browser for optimum use of the Cornerstone Maths software.

Access to the software will need to be tested using the full range of devices available in the school (i.e. IT suites, wifi-enabled laptops and any tablets/iPads).
Please note that the screen size of anything smaller than an iPad is not suitable for the Cornerstone Maths software.

In particular, please check that the opening video in Investigation 1 of the Linear functions unit plays on both students' and teachers' devices - it might be blocked by your school firewall.


The roots of Cornerstone Maths began in the 1990s with research on the use of dynamic representations to change mathematics education. The research started with exploratory studies on the use of computer-based representations to teach mathematics. From there SRI Education and its partners conducted small-scale classroom studies, moving onto large-scale studies in Texas and Florida, all of which showed consistent learning gains. SRI and UCL Knowledge Lab then launched a pilot study in England in 2011 with backing from the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

The year-long study involving nineteen teachers and 490 pupils combined web-based technology and continuous professional development - resulting in measurable learning gains in Key Stage 3 classrooms across a wide range of student backgrounds for the curriculum units on Linear functions and Geometric similarity.

Cornerstone Maths is more than just a simple collection of curriculum resources. They are being designed and evaluated to enhance learning via the use of multiple representations that are visual, dynamic, and inter-connected. Cornerstone Maths also recognises the crucial importance of teacher professional learning by offering professional development and involvement within a lively project community.

The Cornerstone Maths story is nearly 25 years long, but in many ways has barely begun. Get involved to help shape the future of mathematics education for pupils and their teachers alike. 

UCL Knowledge Lab, SRI Education

Cornerstone Maths was originally conceived following a charitable donation from the Li Ka Shing Foundation and Hutchison Whampoa Europe Limited.

The development of Cornerstone Maths (2010-13) was an intensive collaboration between teams at the UCL Knowledge Lab, IOE, UK and at the Center for Technology in Learning, SRI Education, Menlo Park, USA.

The professional development resources were developed during the project "Developing teachers' mathematical knowledge and practice using digital technology 2014-16" funded by the Nuffield Foundation [Award reference 9190]. All views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation. The research project was jointly directed by Alison Clark-Wilson and Celia Hoyles, IOE, University College London. 

Try a demo activity

Try a demo activity from the Linear functions and Patterns and expressions curriculum units.