- Published: 12/10/2023
There are 40 Maths Hubs across England, which serve every state-funded school. Whether you work in a primary, secondary or post-16 setting, you are able to take advantage of what your local hub has to offer.
The Maths Hubs Programme, coordinated by the NCETM, helps teachers, departments and schools like yours to lead improvement in maths education, by providing a wide variety of professional development opportunities. In this feature, we hear from schools across the country who have benefited, whatever their context…
1 Every state-funded school is within a hub area and has access to over 30 different projects
Small or large schools, mixed-age classes, schools in disadvantaged areas and even schools that are already achieving good results can all benefit from Maths Hub involvement. Together we strive for excellence in maths, which means continually improving, no matter where you are.
‘Even when we got our Year 6 results this time, and we were so pleased that those kids are leaving us with such solid results, we still know there is work to be done’ – Sarah Smith, headteacher at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Academy, Blackpool.
2 Maths Hubs prioritise quality, ongoing professional development – not just a ‘one-off’ course
Each of the three types of professional development activity provided by hubs focuses on sustained practice development, so that you can make a long-term impact on the quality of your maths provision. A Work Group typically spans an academic year, with regular workshops led locally by an expert teacher and leader of professional development. You get to try out new approaches in your own classroom, and work with colleagues to make school-wide improvements.
‘The biggest investment is CPD. When schools stop learning and think they are done, that is their demise’ – Lyndsey Lewis, headteacher at St Mary and St Thomas C.E. Primary School, St Helens.
3 Teaching for mastery focuses on all pupils being included and taught together
At the heart of every Maths Hub project is mastery, and the understanding that pupils of all ages can succeed. Mastery involves whole-class teaching and covering the same content with all children, so pupils develop a deep and lasting understanding of mathematical concepts. Sounds interesting? Learn more about the rationale behind teaching for mastery and evidence of its success in the mastery section of our website. Whatever your school context, teaching for mastery will benefit your pupils.
‘If we can do it here, you can do it anywhere. We have every barrier you can imagine’ – Melissa Fiendley, maths lead at St Mary and St Thomas C.E. Primary School, St Helens.
4 You can improve staff and pupil attitudes towards maths
Did you know that one in three adults has maths anxiety? It’s common for teachers to feel uncomfortable with certain areas of maths, often coming from their own school experiences. Maths Hubs work to combat this through offering specialist knowledge (SKTM) programmes. Taking part will help you develop confidence with the maths content and develop pedagogical approaches to effectively support pupils – passing on a positive attitude to maths!
‘In all year groups, students are more resilient and engaged, particularly when it comes to problem solving’ – Rae Potter, headteacher at Sarah Bonnell School in London.
5 Tailored CPD is available for support staff
We know how instrumental teaching assistants are in supporting pupils in the maths classroom. Recommendations from Ofsted and the EEF say that all schools should provide continuing professional development for teaching assistants. Maths Hubs offer programmes for primary and secondary TAs, to support the quality teaching of maths by all adults in the classroom.
‘We now have children that are confident mathematicians…we wouldn't have been able to do it without the partnership that we have with the hub’ – Sarah Smith, headteacher at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Academy, Blackpool.
6 High-quality CPD attracts teachers to work in your school
Maths Hubs offer primary and secondary Early Career Teacher programmes to develop maths subject knowledge and pedagogy for new staff. These programmes run over two years and focus on teaching for mastery, lesson design and developing confident classroom practice, so your ECTs are supported, and their teaching develops.
‘One of the things that attracted me to the school was the CPD offer and the involvement in the Maths Hub’ – Kezia Richardson, Year 6 teacher at St Mary and St Thomas C.E. Primary School, St Helens.
7 There are opportunities for you to progress in your career
Engaging with your hub doesn’t only mean improving maths provision. With staff retention a focus for many school leaders, it’s more important than ever that experienced staff are developed and have the chance to become experts in their field of interest. You can train to become an accredited Professional Development or School Development Lead, or a Mastery Specialist.
‘I have realised how complex delivering effective professional development to teachers can be. This programme has broadened my perspective to understand that it takes more than just enthusiastic participants, and actually there are a lot of steps I can take to try and get more out of participants and the learning’ – participant in the PD Lead Programme.
8 Ofsted recommends us!
The Maths Hubs Programme provides effective CPD to ensure that all pupils get a quality maths education, which has a positive impact on school and pupil outcomes. We care about the mathematical journey of every child, from Early Years to post-16, and the latest Ofsted maths report identifies the benefits of working with us.
‘Professional development provided by the Maths Hubs and information produced by the NCETM have informed leaders about high-quality mathematics teaching’ – Ofsted mathematics subject report, Coordinating mathematical success
9 You get to collaborate with others
Participating in a Work Group means you get to work in small groups with local teachers and schools, learn from each other, and share good practice. It isn’t often you get the opportunity to network and collaborate with other teachers outside your school’s setting, and we know how much you value it. With 2 in 3 schools in England already active within the Maths Hubs Network, what are you waiting for?
Ready to take the first step? Get in touch with your local Maths Hub today!