Our primary projects are based upon four phases of professional development. These are mastery readiness, development, embedding and sustaining. Each phase lasts for one academic year, therefore schools working with us are committing to sustained development of mathematics over a number of years. Many schools will start at the development phase and then progress; however, some schools may benefit from also participating in the readiness phase.
Primary Mastery Readiness
This programme is for schools who have a commitment to developing a teaching for mastery approach, but who currently need additional support for improving mathematics teaching, learning and leadership. It involves sustained support from one of our specialists throughout the whole academic year and schools are expected to move onto the ‘Mastery Development’ programme in the following year. The focus of much of this programme is on developing a positive mindset towards mathematics across the school as well as looking at developing pupils’ fluency and looking at other school policies and practices.
Expectations of Participating Schools:
- To release two teachers (one of whom is the maths lead) to attend five workshops throughout the academic year. Some of these may be webinars.
- To receive the mastery readiness lead into their school for five half-day visits throughout the year, ensuring that the maths lead is available to work with them during that time.
- For the headteacher to attend the initial training session and also to meet with the mastery readiness lead to touch base during each school visit.
- To commit to developing aspects of mastery in their school through continuous work, in conjunction with the mastery readiness lead.
Primary Mastery Development Programme
This programme involves sustained work alongside one of our mastery specialists for the duration of one academic year. Schools participating in this programme are making a long-term commitment to the development of teaching for mastery across the school. The main emphasis of this programme is on developing the pedagogy of teaching for mastery and this is driven by six half-day Teacher Research Group (TRG) sessions along with three half-day school visits. Schools receive a £1000 participation grant for engaging in one of these Work Groups.
Expectations of Participating Schools:
- To release two teachers (one of whom is the maths lead) to attend six half-day Teacher Research Group sessions throughout the year. Some of these may be conducted as webinars.
- To receive the mastery specialist into their school for three half-day school visits throughout the year. Some of these may be conducted as online web-based meetings initially.
- For the headteacher to attend three update sessions throughout the year. Some of these are likely to be held as webinars.
- To commit to developing teaching for mastery in their school through continuous work outside of basic attendance at the programme events, in collaboration with the mastery specialist.
Primary Mastery Embedding Programme
This programme is for schools who have already completed the Mastery Development phase. It is designed to build on what schools have already been working on, supporting the further development of teaching for mastery by looking more closely at lesson design and in-school continued professional development strategies. This programme will also help schools think about what the best way is to support pupils who have missed a large part of school due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Taking part in this programme involves:
- Preferably two teachers from the school attending six half-day Teacher Research Group (TRG) sessions throughout the year. Some of these may be conducted as webinars.
- Receiving the mastery specialist into their school for one half-day school visit.
- A commitment to developing teaching for mastery in their school through continuous work outside of basic attendance at the programme events.
- The headteacher attending three short updates about teaching for mastery. These are likely to be webinar events.
Primary Mastery Sustaining Programme
One of the most important things about developing a mastery approach is that it takes many years to develop within a school. Acknowledging that, this programme is for schools who have already completed the Mastery Development phase at any time since 2016. It is our desire that, over the next three years, all schools who have already done the main Mastery Development phase will also participate in this programme. Each group of schools doing the Sustaining programme will likely work on issues that are most pertinent to their current situation. However, we envisage that next year, many schools will want to consider how best to continue with a mastery approach whilst providing the best possible curriculum for pupils who have missed a large part of school due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Primary Subject Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics
It is well known that improving teachers’ knowledge of the mathematics they teach and how pupils learn it, is an important part of developing great teaching. The type of knowledge needed to be a teacher is far more complex than simply ‘being able to do the maths’. We need to understand the small developmental steps through which pupils go through when learning about concepts, know what representations support these and also what common errors pupils make.
This programme is aimed at teachers wishing to develop their knowledge further and involves attending five workshops throughout the school year (some may be webinars) and conducting their own ‘learning in the field’ tasks in between sessions.
Primary Teaching Assistants’ Subject Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics
Often it is teaching assistants who end up working with the pupils who find it hardest to grasp mathematical concepts. Because of this, developing their subject knowledge with a particular emphasis on how pupils learn key mathematical concepts and what the common errors are, is very important.
This programme is aimed at teaching assistants wishing to develop their knowledge further and involves attending five workshops throughout the school year (some may be webinars) and conducting their own ‘learning in the field’ tasks in between sessions.
Transition to Secondary School – Y5 to 8 Continuity Project
Work Groups in this project aim to strengthen the transition from primary to secondary school by focussing on curriculum and pedagogical continuity over Years 5 to 8. Central to the Work Group is the promotion of cross phase communication between teachers to address issues of maths knowledge and learning transition as distinct from pastoral considerations. Ideally, this Work Group consists of a single secondary school and a group of partner primaries although this does not always have to be the case.