Pupil achievement in mathematics in West Yorkshire is below national expectations. The Williams Review identified concerns with the subject knowledge and understanding of those teaching mathematics in primary schools. In a TDA survey fewer than 15% of primary teachers viewed themselves as mathematics specialists.
Inspiring Mathematics Champions is funded by Yorkshire Forward and was developed by the NCETM with Leeds Metropolitan University and York St John University to support achievement in primary mathematics. It aims to prepare trainees to become and create champions of the future by:
- supporting trainee teachers to develop their confidence in the teaching of mathematics;
- increasing the likelihood of trainee teachers becoming mathematics specialists.
Inspiring Mathematics Champions utilises a network of educational professionals to support trainee teachers to develop a personal approach to learning and teaching mathematics. Continuing professional development takes place through the face-to-face and online interaction of all those involved. Workshops focus upon developing problem-solving and cross-curricular approaches.
Inspiring Mathematics Champions has had a significant impact upon the mathematical practice and perceptions of those involved. Their views were reported in the evaluation and are summarised by the following statements:
- Improved practice in the teaching of mathematics for trainee teachers
“My subject knowledge has improved without me even realising it, in a sneaky way, through thinking about how to work things out.” Trainee
- Greater collaboration between trainee teachers and mentor teachers
“Trainees highlighted the benefit gained from collaborating with ‘real teachers’ drawing on their practical experience and helping them to think about how to tailor work to different classes. Evaluation report
- Increased confidence in the teaching of mathematics for trainee teachers
“The percentage of trainees who were ‘fairly or very confident’ that they were ‘familiar with a range of teaching strategies that lead to successful mathematical teaching’ increased from 58 per cent to 91 per cent at the end of the project”. Evaluation report
- An improvement in children’s perceptions of mathematics
“We liked it because it was fun swapping seats and we didn’t even realise that we were finding out about numbers. “ Pupil
University tutors have reported personal developments in skills, affirmation and recognition of subject specialism and trainee benefits of increased employability, presentation skills and access to a peer learning community.
The train the trainer and MTL module programmes have been developed to sustain the impact of the investment. Train the trainer workshops offered at York St John and Leeds Metropolitan Universities aim to pass on the key messages from the programme to tutors from regional initial teacher training providers, and will be supported by returning Champs. Key partners are Kirklees employment-based initial teacher training partnership and Bradford College. Those involved in workshops at Leeds Metropolitan University are offered access to a Masters in Teaching and Learning mathematics module.
For more information:
- Tony Shepherd (Project Director) 0779 421 7204 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Jill Scott (Project Manager) 0782 332 7634 (email@example.com)