• Article

How can the NCETM help secondary teachers with Covid recovery?

Guidance, training materials and videos that unpick the teaching of specific topics.

How can the NCETM help secondary teachers with Covid recovery?
  • Published: 10/09/2020

Throughout this term, we are publishing a number of resources to help with managing maths learning after a long period of school closure. Whether you are a senior leader, head of maths, classroom teacher or new to teaching maths, there’s something for you.


Teaching maths in the Covid recovery period

This short, evidence-based guidance document is designed to support and inform discussions in maths departments and with senior leaders, regarding both curriculum content and maths pedagogy.

On content, the guidance advises against trying to shoehorn last year’s content into this year’s curriculum and instead suggests taking time to embed a deep understanding of concepts that are pivotal to future learning.

On pedagogy, we suggest that, in school, students are given the opportunity to learn in ways unavailable from home, particularly using collaborative learning styles and mathematical talk and discussion.

We caution against early testing to assess learning done from home. Instead, use ongoing informal assessment techniques and plan for a bigger range of prior attainment in your classes.

Videos: on teaching specific topics

Planning to teach secondary maths

Years of experience can’t be short-cut but learning from more experienced colleagues can help! Our 20-minute videos aim to offer advice and ideas for those new to teaching maths, particularly NQTs, non-maths specialists or TAs/tutors teaching small groups. More experienced teachers are also likely to find approaches they hadn’t thought of!

In each video, an experienced maths teacher takes a key piece of maths, and talks about how they approach it with students:

  • why it’s important
  • what prior knowledge is needed
  • how the topic is built on
  • likely misunderstandings and misconceptions
  • key questions and language
  • where to find helpful images and resources
  • lesson ideas and activities.

We will be publishing these in batches throughout the term, with the first batch available now.

Training materials

Shaping the Year 7 curriculum: building on Year 6

This session will guide KS3 teachers and maths departments in understanding the implications for Year 7 of the July 2020 DfE primary maths guidance.

Departments can work collaboratively on their Year 7 curriculum, reviewing it in the light of July 2020 DfE primary guidance which states clear criteria that make a Year 6 pupil ‘ready-to-progress’ to Year 7. How can you ensure continuity of experience between primary provision and maths in Year 7?

Departmental Workshops

Some of our popular professional development sessions, particularly useful for regular department meetings, are being reviewed and updated. The ones most useful for Covid recovery will be published first:

Fractions (two sessions): have you considered the different meanings that a fraction carries? It is a number, but also an operator. The first session on fractions looks at many of the different meanings, with accompanying images. Could these help your students make more sense of fractions? The second session considers how a deep understanding of the equivalence of fractions can be developed to support addition and subtraction of fractions.

Structural arithmetic looks at how a structural understanding of the laws of arithmetic can be used to find efficient and elegant solutions. Can you see how for this calculation?


Algebra explores why some students are so mystified by algebra. Which ways of teaching algebra can make it seem a useful tool for generalising arithmetic structures that students already understand?

Proportional reasoning addresses the difficulties that students often experience in moving from additive to multiplicative ways of thinking. For example, if you ask a student to connect 2 and 5, they will most likely say ‘add 3’. How would you encourage them to see that ‘multiply by 5/2 ’, is also valid, and often more useful?

Angle properties aims to help students understand angle facts as a process of deduction rather than a series of unconnected things to memorise.

And have you explored elsewhere on our new website yet, with streamlined content and navigation, to find ever-popular resources for the classroom, for professional development, and for teaching for mastery?

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