Primary Mathematics Specialist Network

Led by Caroline Ormesher & Marcus Witt

There is considerable research evidence to suggest that NQTs quickly become enculturated into the teaching practices of their new schools (Brown et al, 1999). While this has many advantages, there is a danger that teachers may lose some of the interest in and passion for teaching mathematics as a result.

Caroline and Marcus perceived a need for trainee teachers who are passionate about primary mathematics to be inducted into the local mathematics community so that they are able to retain their enthusiasm for and interest in mathematics teaching as they move into school and through the early part of their career. The Boolean Maths hub is keen that primary teachers remain excited and inspired about mathematics and supports this network.

The network was therefore established with the following aims:

  • To complement other forms of CPD i.e. to offer time and space for discussion and analysis of mathematical ideas and experiences within a community of practice.
  • To offer provision for early career teachers to develop their interest in primary mathematics teaching and learning among themselves and alongside more experienced colleagues.
  • To build connections between trainee teachers at different institutions and the wider primary mathematics community in Bristol and Bath.

The intention is that, as beginning teachers become part of the existing primary mathematics community in Bristol and Bath, they are more mutually supportive and better able to share ideas and good practice. While it will take some time for this to develop fully, it should begin with pre-service teachers being able to meet and get to know NQTs and early career teachers. While CPD events and the Boolean Maths Hub provide systems for this to happen, we felt it was important to begin this process with pre-service and early career teachers.

The intention is the the Primary Mathematics Specialist Network to meet six times, three times at UWE and three times at Bath Spa. The intended outcomes are as follows:

  • To increase participants’ capacity to contribute to the development of the teaching and learning of mathematics in their schools.
  • To induct beginning teachers (pre-service teachers and NQTs) into the wider Bristol/Bath primary mathematics community.
  • To encourage beginning teachers with an interest in mathematics to pursue mathematics subject leadership.
  • To build a network of teachers with an interest in primary mathematics to act as a source of support sustaining interest in the teaching and learning of mathematics.
  • To promote the possibilities for continued professional development including study at Master’s level.
  • To offer participants an opportunity to reflect on and analyse mathematical activity in classrooms and to build capacity to do this independently and with colleagues in school.

If you are  primary teacher and would like to be part of this network, please contact us.