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Supporting colleagues in my primary school

Created on 03 October 2011 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 05 June 2013 by ncetm_administrator


How can I best support colleagues in improving the teaching and learning of mathematics in my primary school?


If you teach in a primary school and are looking for advice on how to support your staff in improving the teaching and learning of mathematics, this page is especially for you!

There are numerous resources on the NCETM portal to help you do this. We have picked out a few and made them quick and easy to find.

They include:

  • Support for developing your own subject knowledge and that of the teachers you work with
  • Practical ideas and resources for the classroom
  • Ways to reflect and develop your role as a mathematics specialist teacher


Where can I go to help colleagues improve their subject knowledge?

  • The self evaluation tool (SET) is a good place to start. It has three sections. The first is where teachers (working on their own, or usefully, working together with other staff members) can assess their confidence in teaching the content of the mathematics curriculum. There are separate sections for Early Years, KS1 and KS2.
  • The second section of the SET involves teachers assessing their mathematics-specific pedagogy in areas such as planning and selecting appropriate teaching strategies.
  • The third section involves embedding in practice which has some very useful advice, information and useful links to areas of the portal and external sources.
  • The Primary CPD module has been designed for primary teachers who wish to help their children understand the highly connected nature of mathematics and use this to build their mathematical learning.

What are the possible models of supporting colleagues?

Where can I go for ideas and resources to lead staff meetings?

  • The Primary magazine has a regular article entitled maths to share – CPD for your school. These are designed to be used as staff meeting material. The MaST microsite has provided direct links to all of these. Issue 11 of the Primary magazine also contains guidance for planning problem solving tasks which engage learners in rich mathematical thinking.

How can I support colleagues in developing rich mathematical tasks?

How can I support colleagues in the Early Years Foundation Stage?

Are there any resources that will help me develop mathematics across the curriculum?

How can I help colleagues teach to address learners’ common misconceptions?

What does good planning look like?

Is there any advice for leading a maths week?

  • In maths to share, Issue 6 of the Primary magazine there are tips and advice on planning a mathematics week.

Where can I find out about the best use of whiteboards and other technologies?

  • The microsite ICT and digital technology used in teaching offers, among other things, self evaluation materials and reports and recommendations. There are also case studies from primary and secondary teachers who use technology in their teaching.
  • Each issue the Primary magazine has an article entitled ICT in the classroom. For example issue 36 focused on spreadsheets for number and algebra.

If I need to give advice about teaching calculation where could I go for guidance?

Discussion Point

Now that you have looked at some of the resources offered, spend some time reflecting on how you can develop these in your work as a Mathematics Specialist Teacher.

  • How confident do you feel in supporting colleagues in:
    • Early Years
    • KS1
    • KS2?
  • What do you think you need to do, if anything, to increase your confidence?
  • Which articles and resources impressed you most?
    • Why?
  • Do you feel empowered to embed rich mathematical tasks into the mathematics curriculum in your school?
    • If so, how will you do this?
    • If not, what will you do now?
    • Do you feel able to encourage colleagues to look for ways to link mathematics into other areas of the curriculum?
    • What could you do to enable this to happen?

You could record your reflections in your personal learning space.

You might like to join the MaST community in the Primary forum. Your contributions to ideas, thoughts and advice would be greatly valued.

Explore a piece of mathematics

On the EiML microsite there is module which is worth exploring. This is entitled working and developing as a team. You could assess at which level you are at as a school and then decide ways in which to move up a level. There are helpful stories of change to read. You could draft an action plan.

Learning from each other

It has been said by some recently that ‘teachers learn best when they learn from each other’. If you know of another link to an activity or resource on the NCETM website that you think would be useful or appropriate for readers of this guidance, please use the comments box below to let us and them know of your idea.

Courses and Networks

We have many courses and networks available, search in our Professional Development Calendar to find a suitable course or network.

Personal Learning

The NCETM provides a Personal Learning Space which allows you to record your reflections, save documents that you have found helpful and share with colleagues.

  • You could use My Learning Journal to collect your thoughts and reflections. You can either type these or use the audio facility. You can also attach helpful documents. Why not visit your own PLS now?!
  • You could use My Favourites and Notes to capture and organise things you have found and want to use again.
  • You could use the [Sharing and Contacts] (/personal-learning/sharing-and-contacts) facility to share elements of your PLS with colleagues.
  • The request a reminder function is helpful if you want to return and look at your reflections at a later date.

Find out more details of these and other functions of the PLS.



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