Research and innovation thriving in the Maths Hubs Programme

Scores of local projects around the country are contributing refinements to Maths Hubs' work in numerous areas


Research and innovation thriving in the Maths Hubs Programme

In the world of education, the word ‘research’ means two things in parallel. It first entails reading reports and papers resulting from studies big and small from around the world down the years. But secondly, for teachers in schools, it means looking at the evidence in your own and colleagues’ classrooms; watching how local, small-scale experiments play out, and feeding those findings into the overall mix of evidence that influences practice.

A small part of the work in every Maths Hub entails just this sort of pursuit: small groups of teachers, from different schools, getting to investigate a specific area of the maths learning process. But a national perspective is added—widening the evidence base—because each area of research is investigated by Work Groups in multiple Maths Hubs, with results shared.

Areas covered in this localised work include:

  • use of technology in the maths classroom
  • the link between oracy and maths achievement
  • how teaching for mastery can be shaped for children with SEND
  • strategies to smooth the transition from GCSE to advanced maths learning.

The full range of this work, under the title Research and Innovation Work Groups, is available in the Maths Hubs section of the website. In all cases, the long-term aim is to use findings to refine larger-scale work in what are called Network Collaborative Projects. Here, below, are some examples, in their own words, of how teachers leading some Work Groups are approaching the research work.


Research area: How do maths-specific oracy strategies impact on pupils’ understanding of mathematics?
Work Group Lead: Brenda Robertson, for Bucks, Berks and Oxon Maths Hub, on why she chose this topic.


Research area: Improving the quality of in-class assessment during teaching for mastery lessons
Work Group Lead: Nikki Ashton, London South West Maths Hub, on likely strategies that will be explored.

Primary subject leadership

Research area: How strengthened primary subject leadership can support sustainable, school-wide development in maths?
Work Group Lead: Alex Parry, Boolean Maths Hub, on the approach within a Work Group that might help maths leads strengthen their influence in their own schools.

SEND in mainstream schools

Research area: How can the teaching of mathematics in mainstream schools be adapted to reduce the barriers to learning for children with an identified need?
Work Group Leads: Magdalene Lake and Alison Burbeary, South Yorkshire Maths Hub, on the broad area of research.

Special schools

Research area: How can we support the development of teachers in special schools to adopt teaching for mastery strategies?
Work Group Lead: Anne Haberfield, Cambridge Maths Hub, on how her experience in her own (special) school will inform the research.

KS4/KS5 transition

Research area: What challenges hinder a successful transition from GCSE to Level 3 mathematics, and what strategies can be used to address these?
Work Group Lead: William Thallon, Matrix Herts Maths Hub, on how looking at one strand of maths will be the basis of their work.

<p>Join a Research and Innovation Work Group near you</p>

<p>Browse the range of areas being researched by Maths Hubs this year</p>