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School leaders urged to help shape Maths Hub offer

School leaders in Bradford are being urged to act now in the fight to close learning gaps in Maths teaching caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite huge efforts to keep the curriculum on track through remote learning, a significant number of pupils have fallen behind the progress expected by this time in the school year.

And now the  West Yorkshire Maths Hub – one of 40 partnerships nationally dedicated to improving maths teaching – is urging school heads and senior classroom staff across the district to help shape a range of bespoke, recovery-specific professional development interventions.

In addition to its rolling maths excellence scheme Teaching For Mastery Programme (TfM), the West Yorkshire Maths Hub already offers skill-specific targeted CPD training for teachers and teaching assistants.

It is now turning its attention to what support schools might need as they gear up for the COVID recovery journey.

Mark Duxbury, a teacher at Trinity Academy in Halifax and the West Yorkshire Maths Hub Lead for the Bradford area and beyond, explained: “Our normal training programme is continuing, albeit in a much more remote fashion than previously, but what we really need is for head teachers to start feeding back to us what support they think they might need going forward.

“There’s no doubt students are going to need to catch up and depending on how long the lockdown lasts that catching up might be very significant.

“That’s why we need to start a dialogue now to begin to understand which areas need our focus.

“Our funding model has a large degree of flexibility built into it and although we have targets in terms of the number of schools we engage with, there’s a lot of freedom when it comes to shaping training to meet the changing needs of maths teachers.”

The West Yorkshire Maths Hub team’s ethos is that all children can become fluent, reasoning and problem-solving mathematicians.

The aim is to engage children in mathematical thinking that will allow them to develop a connected conceptual understanding of the subject.

It’s 2-3 year fully funded TFM scheme helps teachers to develop their practice in a range of ways including:

  • Making use of concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations that help learners to uncover and articulate mathematical structure.
  • Crafting lessons so that mathematical talk is encouraged
  • Using the principles of intelligent practice when choosing or writing questions
  • Promoting a positive can-do mindset that expects to learn from mistakes
  • Providing enjoyable and engaging tasks that build skills and allow misconceptions to be diagnosed

“If a head or a group of schools come to us with a particular issue around Year Five students in an area of the curriculum, for example, we can go away and create a Work Group to address it,” added Mark.

“To us, knowledge is key and the more we know, the more we can find new ways of supporting teachers and students in closing any learning gaps that have developed during the pandemic.”

Further details and contact information for the West Yorkshire Maths Hub can be found at