- Published: 23/11/2021
There are dozens of reasons to join a secondary Work Group with your local Maths Hub. Just ask anyone who has already taken part in one! But here we have listed eight of the top reasons. Why not get in touch with your local Maths Hub and find out what’s on offer for you?
1. More than half of secondary schools are already involved
Teachers in over 2,000 secondary schools in England have already taken part in CPD with their local Maths Hub. Since the Maths Hubs Programme started in 2014, maths teachers at more than one in two secondary schools have benefited from being part of the national network.
2. Each hub tailors support to its local area
There are 40 Maths Hubs, creating a national network across the whole of England, but each hub makes its CPD and support bespoke to the region it serves. This might mean offering Work Groups based on locally identified issues, or organising network meetings to enable teachers to collaborate across Local Authority boundaries.
“The children are at the heart of the Work Group – all activities are designed to improve teacher knowledge and scaffolded so it could be transferred into teaching practice where pupils would benefit”
3. Work Groups put the C in CPD, and they are free
Work Groups involve a group of schools who work on something together, normally over much of a school year, typically with one or two teachers from each school acting as lead participants. The activity involves meetings (online and face-to-face) with other participants, along with ongoing work, experimentation and discussions with departmental colleagues back at school. And Work Groups are fully funded!
4. There are 19 different secondary opportunities available
Whether you teach KS3, GCSE or A level, there is a Work Group for you. Dedicated projects looking at pedagogy at all levels of secondary maths mean new and experienced teachers can learn and develop. Plus there are maths-specific leadership programmes for heads of department and system leaders, as well as subject knowledge programmes for Early Career Teachers and non-specialists.
“I have developed as a mathematician as well as a teacher”
5. You can collaborate with local schools
Talking with, and learning from, colleagues from local schools is one of the most effective ways to develop new approaches and share best practice. Maths Hubs Work Groups bring together teachers from schools in your area, and provide opportunities to be guided by someone with subject expertise. They also give you valuable time to chat, and discuss issues unique to maths teaching in your local area.
6. The impact is department-wide, not just for an individual
Too often, a teacher attends a course for one day, makes a small change to their practice, and then carries on as usual in all other areas of their teaching. Work Groups are different. They encourage participants to share their new knowledge with colleagues, and support them to work with teachers in their department when they are back at school so the impact is felt more widely and becomes embedded across the department.
“Lots of high-quality resources shared to be used for CPD in school and for staff meetings and INSET”
7. Work Groups involve hands-on classroom-based activity using high-quality resources
Unlike lots of other CPD, Work Groups give participants the chance to work on new approaches and ideas in between face-to-face meetings, and then discuss them with peers. The focus is on using existing NCETM materials and, when appropriate, developing bespoke resources.
8. Classroom-based, practising teachers lead the CPD
It is crucial that CPD is credible and that input comes from someone who understands first-hand the context of the participants. Work Groups are often led by experienced teachers who are using approaches in their own classrooms at the same time as the participants.
“Facilitation of sessions was always good, well planned and balanced between research and activity”
The quotes included in this article are from teachers who took part in Work Groups run by their local Maths Hub in academic year 2020/21.