This project essentially started in September 1995, although it was conceived and some preliminary work done during the previous 6 months. It relates directly to the recommendations made for mathematics teaching and learning by Professors Werner Blum and David Burghes at the first Gatsby Seminar on Mathematics Education. These recommendations have been expanded and refined and the latest version is given in Appendix 1. This work also builds on the feasibility study undertaken during 1994/95 into the provision of mathematics courses related to initiatives stated in the Technology Enhancement Program (TEP). This study showed that mathematics teachers would be keen to use applications in coursework and teaching provided appropriate guidance and support was available. Teachers were also concerned that the revised National Curriculum did not spell out clearly what was required and they felt that more specific schemes of work were needed.
Given the impact that this initiative has made in such a short period, it seems appropriate to provide an interim report outlining what has been achieved and signalling the challenges ahead.
A brief outline of our recommendations and what we hope to achieve with Y10 and Y11 cohorts in our demonstration project was sent to about 400 schools (mostly TEP schools but with the addition of Kassel Project schools and other schools in the South West). Invitations were given to attend initial informatory meetings which were held in London, Leeds and Exeter.
Representatives from about 120 schools attended these meetings (held on Saturdays in October and November, 1995) and these were invited to apply to become project schools. There were three distinct categories of schools:
We have been both excited and overwhelmed by the response. We now have over 90 schools who have volunteered to become project schools (see Appendix 2) of which over 70 have applied to become full pilot schools.
The schools are of all types:
We had originally expected to work with about 15 to 20 schools but we do not wish to diminish the enthusiasm shown by mathematics teachers and hope that in some way we will be able to work with all the volunteer schools, although we will keep to our suggested number of inner pilot schools.
As the potential scale of the project increased, we felt it important to capitalise on the available expertise from our project schools. We are achieving this by having regular meetings of interested teachers, with working groups formed to pursue particular aspects of the project:
It is crucial that what we develop is both feasible and appropriate for school mathematics departments and the close involvement of experienced teachers will help us meet this objective.
Our original plan envisaged the development of
but early in the project, and after a thorough review of available resources, particularly the three texts used most in schools (SMP, Holderness, Vickers), it was felt important that comprehensive resources were produced for teaching in Y10 and Y11.
Our emphasis on whole class teaching and raising expectations led us to propose a resources framework consisting of
Details of the content of these are given in Appendix 3.
The Schemes of Work group has designed the framework for differentiated ability groups, based on Key Stage 3 results and with the stated aim of achieving enhanced attainment by the end of Key Stage 4. This is summarised in the table below.
|Route||NC Entry Level (KS3)||NC Levels to be covered||Possible upper limit GCSE grades|
The Teacher Support working group has begun the task of providing starting points to be recommended for use by teachers in introducing topics. The work of the group will be extended over the next few months by asking all our group members to provide ideas and suggestions. The team will be further strengthened by using a number of consultants who will both moderate the work and provide material. This will supplement the work started by the Applications/Coursework working group. We will also be considering in some depth how applications from our industrial funding partners (Esso, The Post Office, British Steel and Singapore Airlines) can best be used.
Our suggested new framework for GCSE, namely
has been well received by teachers. It provides
We are currently negotiating with NEAB and SCAA in order to provide a pilot GCSE although this was initially turned down by SCAA.
Other issues being considered by our working group on assessment include:
In addition to students who fail to reach even the lowest GCSE grade, we have the problem of candidates who reach only Grades F and G. These grades have little currency and whatever advice is given to such candidates Grades F and G are regarded as failures by the outside world (and hence by the students themselves). We strongly feel that we would like to offer some form of positive achievement for the mathematical skills which have been achieved rather than recording failures, and an outline proposal has been developed by our working group.
We are currently considering existing frameworks which could be used, including the Welsh Board's Certificate of Education: Mathematical Achievement.
The role of new technology in helping to deliver the mathematics curriculum will be carefully considered. Advice about how best to use, for example, graphics calculators and spreadsheets will be given in the teacher support material.
We are also keen to exploit the potential which a dedicated maths lab. of networked computers has, provided that suitable software can be developed. We have considered two such systems (currently being evaluated by NCET):
Both give an indication of what could be achieved but are far from the ideal. In summary, we would like to see the development of software, dedicated to enhancing mathematics, that
All this is possible but it would require considerable investment both in software development and, ideally, in helping some of our schools to purchase the dedicated network of machines needed to bring this dream to reality.
One further aspect that we are keen to exploit is the possible use of the internet to provide an economical and quick method of communication. We have, for example, established web pages for MEP. Most schools will be connected to the internet in the next few years and another exciting option that could be made available is for the central team at CIMT to provide highly topical and relevant applications based on the news items of the day. This facility would be of use to both teachers and pupils.
The substantial increase in the number of volunteer schools does pose a real problem for inservice support. We have said that any teacher involved in teaching Y10 or Y11 classes in the project must participate in at least one day of inservice before next September. Continuing support will also be necessary throughout the project.
The inservice courses for these teachers to introduce them to our philosophy and provide the necessary support and encouragement will be directed by David Burghes. The schools have been grouped into 11 regions:
|North East||Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire||Wessex|
|North West||London and the Home Counties||Devon|
|East Anglia||Avon|| |
with about 5-6 schools in each region. Subject to funding we plan to appoint part-time regional inservice consultants who will be responsible for ongoing support during the project.
One of the main purposes of the first inservice courses is to promote the use of whole class teaching, particularly following the Hungarian approach. It is important that we are able to illustrate exactly what we mean and we are developing videos of good practice for use on these courses, in part funded by OFSTED. The videos, of course, would have a wider use in the years to come.
Our regional inservice set-up would also provide opportunities for mounting short courses for interested mathematics teachers outside the project, and indeed for other Gatsby funded mathematics projects.
Our main funding has been provided by
and we are very grateful for their support and encouragement. We are also grateful for the support and encouragement given by our industrial backers,
The project has now expanded far beyond its original aims in that we now hope to be able to
If we are to remain a successful, competitive nation on the world stage we must ensure that future generations are given the required mathematical skills and knowledge. Raising mathematical expectations and helping pupils and teachers to achieve them is at the heart of this project.
|Ansford School, Castle Cary, Somerset||Oakmead School, Bournemouth|
|Attleborough High School, Attleborough, Norfolk|
|Axe Valley School, Axminster, Devon||Our Lady and St. John School, Blackburn|
|Oxstalls Community School, Gloucester|
|Balshaws's High School, Preston||Parrenthorn High School, Prestwich, Manchester|
|Penair School, Truro, Cornwall|
|Bedford School, Bedford||Penrice School, St Austell, Cornwall|
|Pleckgate High School, Blackburn, Lancs|
|Bemrose Community School, Derby||Plymstock School, Plymouth|
|Blandford School, Blandford, Dorset||Poltair School, St Austell, Cornwall|
|Boston Grammar School, Boston, Lincs|
|Bournemouth School, Bournemouth||Prior Park College, Bath|
|Bradon Forest School, Purton, Wilts|
|Brierton School, Hartlepool|
|Brittons School, Rainham||Queen Elizabeth's School, Wimbourne, Dorset|
|Radcliffe School, Wolverton, Milton Keynes|
|Broadoak School, Weston-Super-Mare||Rainsford High School, Chelmsford|
|Ribblesdale High School, Clitherow, Lancs|
|Brymore School of Rural Technology, Bridgwater||Richard Lander School, Truro, Cornwall|
|Buckler's Mead School, Yeovil, Somerset||Ridings High School, Winterbourne, Bristol|
|Caldicot School, Newport, Gwent||Risca Comprehensive School, Newport, Gwent|
|Roseland Community School, Truro, Cornwall|
|Central Foundation Boys' School, London||Rossholme School, Highbridge, Somerset|
|Cirencester Kingshill School, Cirencester, Glos.|
|Colmers Farm School, Birmingham|
|Sale Moor Technology College, Sale, Cheshire|
|Courtfields School, Wellington, Somerset||School of Science and Technology, Lincoln|
|Selly Park Girls' School, Birmingham|
|De Lisle Comprehensive School, Loughborough||Sheldon Heath School, Birmingham|
|Downham Market High School, Downham Market, Norfolk|
|Duffryn Comprehensive School, Newport, Gwent|
|Dyffryn School, Port Talbot||Siddal Moor Sports College, Heywood, Lancs|
|Sidney Stringer CTC, Coventry|
|Exeter School, Exeter, Devon||St. Joseph's High School, Newport, Gwent|
|Fearns High School, Bacup, Rossendale|
|Fowey Community School, Fowey, Cornwall|
|Frome Community College, Frome, Somerset||St. James and the Abbey School, W. Malvern, Worcs|
|St. Joseph's School, Salisbury|
|Godolphin School, Salisbury, Wilts||St. Katherine's School, Bristol, Avon|
|Grange School, Bristol, Avon||St. Mary's College, Hull|
|Great Torrington School, Torrington, Devon||St. Mary's School, Calne, Wilts|
|Hall Mead School, Upminster, Essex|
|Hartridge High School, Newport, Gwent||St. Pauls RC Comprehensive School, Leicester|
|Hassenbrook School, Stanford, Essex||St. Peter's RC Comprehensive School, Guildford|
|Haydock High School, St. Helens||St. Thomas More School, Blaydon, Tyne & Wear|
|Haydon Bridge High, Hexham, Northumberland|
|Hewett School, Norwich, Norfolk|
|Highdown School, Reading||Stanchester School, Stoke-Sub-Hamdon, Somerset|
|Huxlow School, Northampton||Stanley High School School, Southport, Lancs|
|John Kelly Boy's School, London||Stopsley High School, Luton|
|John of Gaunt School, Trowbridge, Wilts|
|King Alfred School, Highbridge, Somerset||Streetly School, Sutton Coldfield|
|Kingsbridge School, Kingsbridge, Devon||Sturminster Newton School, Stur. Newton, Dorset|
|Kingsfield School, Bristol, Avon||Tavistock College, Tavistock, Devon|
|Thorpe St. Andrew School, Norwich|
|Kingshurst CTC, Birmingham||Thurston Upper School, Bury St. Edmond|
|Kings of Wessex School, Cheddar, Somerset||Townsend C of E School, St. Albans|
|Kingsway School, Stockport|
|Langbaurgh School, Middlesbrough||Tremough Convent School, Penryn, Cornwall|
|Little Heath School, Reading||Trevethin School, Pontypool, Gwent|
|Littlemoss High School, Manchester||Trinity School, Northampton|
|Long Stratton High School, Long Stratton, Norfolk|
|Lostock Hall High School, Preston, Lancs|
|Lostock High School, Manchester||Truro High School, Truro, Cornwall|
|Mangotsfield School, Bristol, Avon||Uplands School, Poole, Dorset|
|Wayland Community High School, Thetford, Norfolk|
|Matthew Moss High School, Rochdale, Lancs||Wisewood School, Sheffield|
|Mereway Upper School, Northampton||Woodbridge School, Woodbridge, Suffolk|
|Monks Dyke School, Louth, Lincs||Wycliffe College, Stonehouse, Glos.|
|Monks Park School, Bristol, Avon||Wyvern School, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset|
|Maynard School, Exeter|
|Methwold High School, Thetford, Norfolk|