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Maths resource publisher hopes national awards will add up to a win

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LIz and Emma Hopkins of Buzzard publishingLIz and Emma Hopkins of Buzzard publishingA niche Wiltshire publishing company, set up by a primary school consultant passionate about enthusing children with maths, is in the running for a prestigious national award for the second consecutive year.

Buzzard Publishing, run by Liz Hopkins, a former primary and secondary school teacher and now an independent schools consultant, has been shortlisted for the Teach Primary Mathematics Resource Award for CanDo Geometry.

The publication is available as an online maths resource for primary teachers and is one of Buzzard’s CanDo Maths series, all featuring Colin the CanDo Caribou and Coco the CanDo Cockatoo, who help children to learn and enjoy maths.

Liz, who runs Buzzard Publishing with husband Mel and daughter Emma, from their home near Malmesbury, said she was delighted that Buzzard had a resource shortlisted.

Last year, they reached the Teach Primary Early Years Excellence Award finals for Buzzard’s Little Livello resources, which support Early Years teachers.

This year, five finalists have been shortlisted in the maths resource category and the winners will be announced on August 31.

“We are up against some very large publishers, so we are thrilled to have been shortlisted alongside them,” said Liz. “I am really passionate about supporting the teaching of maths and very proud of CanDo, which I co-created with fellow maths advisor, Steve Lomax.”

Liz believes the CanDo series is proving such an asset to teachers because as well as featuring Colin and Coco, whom the children love, the resources include videos and whiteboard animations. Buzzard teamed up with Essex-based illustrator Hen the Pen and the animations are all created by Emma, who also runs a separate business, Animate That.

“The CanDo modules are driven by the three tenets of the revised national curriculum, which was introduced in 2014: fluency, reasoning and problem-solving. Steve and I became aware of the need for more support for the teaching of reasoning and solving problems, and that’s where CanDo started.”

As well as the CanDo series, Buzzard publishes Get the Buzz books, Livello and Little Livello.