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New maths mastery teaching resources for FE and Training sector now available

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A new bank of teaching and learning resources for maths teachers in the FE and Training sector is now available on the Education and Training Foundation’s (ETF’s) Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) Resources and Evidence Hub. The resources were created by teachers in the 21 CfEM colleges and their partners, as part of the Department for Education (DfE)-funded CfEM programme. The resources include schemes of work and lesson materials for GCSE re-sit and Functional Skills level 1 and 2 teachers.

The materials have been created to exemplify CfEM’s five key principles of mastery teaching in FE, which underpinned University of Nottingham research undertaken as part of the programme:

  • Develop an understanding of mathematical structure.
  • Value and build on students’ prior learning.
  • Prioritise curriculum coherence and connections.
  • Develop both understanding and fluency in mathematics.
  • Develop a collaborative culture in which everyone believes everyone can succeed.

The research demonstrated an additional month’s learning gain for GCSE re-sit learners; and two months for the most disadvantaged learners. The lesson materials used in this research are also part of the resources.

The schemes of work and lesson materials are free to download from the Classroom resources section of the Hub, which also includes screencasts created by teachers providing guidance on some of the mastery approaches used. Further details of the CfEM approach and key principles can be found in the handbook Teaching for Mastery in Further Education.

The CfEM programme also investigated the impact of adopting a Whole College Approach to maths learning, establishing that it can improve students’ attendance and learning experiences and bring about sustainable change in colleges’ organisation and management of maths learning. It also demonstrated the power of action research to drive the professional development of teachers.

The Professional Development area of the hub features both details of lesson study resources used in the University of Nottingham-led trials and a modular CPD course, which was piloted during the last year to promote the outputs and approaches of CfEM.

Byron Sheffield, CfEM lead at Leyton Sixth Form College, said:

“The new CfEM schemes of learning and lesson resources are the culmination of several years of testing and refining new approaches. They address misconceptions and feature regular group or paired work to promote thinking and discussion and exam practice. Teachers who are just starting to use these approaches in the classroom will find the Mastery screencasts really useful.”

Tumay Gunduz, Assistant Principal at Christ the King 6th Form College, said:

“The resource we have developed draws on four years of comprehensive study and research by the CfEM community and is informed by evidence-based strategies, action research projects and national trials. Its impact on student attainment and progress cannot be understated. With the dedication and expertise poured into this resource, success is possible for each and every re-sit GCSE learner.”

Natacha Shakil, Mastery Specialist at Newcastle Stafford College Group, said:

“The CfEM lessons have been carefully planned and considered by inspirational FE maths teachers, who have used action research to refine their methodology and create an innovative set of resources that deal with aspects of maths teaching from models to manipulatives, and from motivation to engagement, that will support teachers to deliver a mastery approach to maths in FE.”

Nicola Pearton, CfEM lead at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, said:

“The CfEM lesson resources were designed and developed to provide GCSE and Functional Skills programmes tailored to the unique needs of FE maths students and teachers. Time,motivation and engagement are major constraints in the FE maths setting, and these resources have been designed to address these challenges.”

Steve Pardoe, the ETF’s Head of CfEM, said:

“These resources – developed by the FE sector, for the FE sector – provide practical tools and resources to support colleagues to transform the experiences and outcomes of learners in FE. Our thanks go to the Centres and their network organisations, our consortium delivery partners, and DfE, for their collaboration and support.”

Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) ran as a five-year national improvement programme aimed at delivering sustained improvements in maths outcomes for 16–19-year-olds, up to Level 2, in post-16 settings. It explored what works for teachers and students in the Further Education (FE) and Training sector – focusing particularly on an adapted maths mastery approach suitable for post-16 learners. The project ended in March 2023.

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