Teaching assistants wishing to develop enhanced mathematical subject knowledge to improve their maths teaching are invited to take part in this project. Participants will develop deeper, more connected understanding of topics on the primary maths curriculum. They will also explore how children learn mathematical concepts and ways to support this. The approaches developed will be consistent with teaching for mastery.
Niki is part of the primary mathematics ITE team at the University of Worcester. Prior to this, she taught for over 20 years in primary schools in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, including being responsible for the quality of teaching and learning of maths. Niki also worked as a Primary Consultant in Maths for Herefordshire Local Authority, delivering a wide range of professional development opportunities.
Participants are expected to be working as teaching assistants. TAs should be working in a classroom environment and/or involved with individual or small group support and intervention.
TAs will develop knowledge of the pedagogy of maths teaching and understand how children think and where their misconceptions stem from. Participants will understand the role that certain representations, models and manipulatives can play in the development of pupils’ understanding of number and calculation, particularly place value and proficiency. Those involved will get better at working within classes and with small groups of pupils; they will gain knowledge of practical ways to apply the skills and understanding developed during the programme.
Classroom practice will develop through gap tasks where participants try out activities to promote depth of understanding, reasoning and fluency; these might include pupil interviews, lesson study and work scrutiny. Research and evidence are used to inform their practice and participants are encouraged to share these more widely in schools to support discussion on current policies and approaches.
The programme will have the following elements:
All participants are expected to attend all the sessions and complete gap tasks in their schools between the sessions. They will be asked to keep a reflection log for their own use and contribute to the national evaluation process, through a short online survey after the Work Group has finished.