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The Primary Mathematics Host Schools Project

Created on 06 September 2013 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 11 November 2013 by ncetm_administrator
boy and teacher with bead string Video Snapshots logo
A flavour of why four participants found the project useful.

The NCETM Primary Mathematics Host Schools Project

The NCETM Primary Mathematics Host Schools Project was a programme with the overarching aim of supporting the effective teaching of arithmetic in primary schools, with a specific focus on Years 3 and 4, and also of raising teachers’ awareness of the importance of developing pupils’ arithmetic proficiency.

Although the programme’s spread was truly nationwide (across England), in effect, it consisted of 29 free-standing, local networks of schools, each pursuing its own project. At the centre of each network was a Host School, which took a lead role, and coordinated the collaborative work of between 3 and 20 Visiting Schools. The project as a whole was steered by the Host Schools Project Lead (Dr Jenni Back, from the NCETM) who made a personal, one-day, visit to each of the networks, to offer advice and guidance.

Around 500 teachers took part in some way in the project. Work began in the 2012 autumn term and ended at the end of the 2013 spring term.

An independent evaluation of the project, by the Centre for Education and Inclusion Research at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) concluded that the model used by the project - localised, school-led professional development aimed at improving maths learning across groups of schools - was successful, and should be replicated in future programmes.

Other key characteristics of successful professional development projects, exhibited by the Host Schools Project, and highlighted by the researchers were:

  • passionate leadership by mathematics subject leaders;
  • shared leadership;
  • building on existing networks;
  • networks of sufficient size to develop and maintain momentum;
  • professional development activities that involve teacher enquiry into pupil learning such as lesson study and pupil conferencing;
  • the involvement of more than one practitioner in each collaborating school;
  • activities to focus PD between formal sessions;
  • a clear development plan sustained over a number of months;
  • access to external expertise;
  • evidence based enquiry during on research and/or academic study;
  • and support of school leadership.

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05 March 2014 11:05
I liked the work by Durham University into representational maths, as I have been working independantly on this for several years now, and have progressed to a stage that they are yet to reach. I have innovative teaching resources ready to go but need University collaboration to move even further forward.
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