New assessment materials
The NCETM, working with teachers through the Maths Hubs programme, has published new materials to help primary teachers assess pupils’ mastery of the mathematics curriculum. See this issue's New National Curriculum in Focus for an article explaining the materials in more depth. They are the latest addition to the NCETM’s comprehensive set of online resources to help teachers develop their teaching in line with the new curriculum.
New Ofsted inspection framework
Ofsted has published its new Common Framework for Inspection Handbook that will come into effect from September 2015.
Paragraph 157 is specific to the teaching of mathematics and there is evidence of shift in expectations towards the teaching for mastery in mathematics. For the first time in this guidance for inspecting mathematics the term ‘master’ is used and other guidance points to a mastery approach such as depth in favour or acceleration. Below is the guidance for inspectors with regards to inspecting maths in schools. The italics are ours.
157. When evaluating the effectiveness of a school’s work in mathematics through the analysis of performance information/published data, observations in lessons and scrutiny of pupils’ work, inspectors will consider:
- how well the school is identifying and tackling inconsistency in the quality of mathematics teaching between different groups of pupils, key stages, sets and classes, including those taught by non-specialist teachers of mathematics in secondary schools
in the mathematics lessons observed, through discussions with pupils and scrutiny of their work and by reviewing curriculum plans, how well teaching:
- fosters mathematical understanding of new concepts and methods, including teachers’ explanations and the way they require pupils to think and reason mathematically for themselves
- ensures that pupils acquire mathematical knowledge appropriate to their age and starting points and enables them to recall it rapidly and apply it fluently and accurately, including when calculating efficiently and in applying arithmetic algorithms
- uses resources and approaches to enable pupils in the class to understand and master the mathematics they are learning
- develops depth of understanding and readiness for the next stage – the national curriculum for mathematics at Key Stages 1 and 2 specifies the aims and then states, ’The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at the same pace’. At all key stages, the national curriculum states, ‘Decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on’
- enables pupils to solve a variety of mathematical problems, applying the mathematical knowledge and skills they have been taught
- enables pupils to apply their mathematical knowledge and skills in other subjects in the curriculum, where appropriate.
Two new Maths Hub lead schools sought
The NCETM is conducting a selection process to appoint new lead schools for two Maths Hubs: the one currently serving the south-east of London, and a new one serving north Lancashire and Cumbria. Both primary and secondary schools are eligible to put themselves forward.
New writer/editor for this magazine
We are seeking new writers and a new writer/editor for this magazine. The original deadline for applications was 31 July, but, given the summer pause, we are able to extend the deadline until noon on 10 August. Details of how to apply are on our recruitment page.
Mathematics CPD and networking events
Don’t forget to use our Professional Development Calendar if you are looking for courses or training run by high quality providers of maths CPD, or indeed any events in the next few months where you can meet and share experiences with other maths teachers. Look for CPD Standard Holders (gold rosette) and/or Accredited Professional Development Leads (purple rosette). A list of providers, classified by the same system, can be found in the CPD Providers Directory.
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