Teachers learn from, and with, other teachers. Schools learn from, and with, other schools. Both these maxims are reflected in the way teaching for mastery is currently being passed on by the first cohort of 140 Mastery Specialists working with groups of local schools under the Maths Hubs Programme. Each Mastery Specialist spent last year (2015/16) largely honing their own classroom practice and securing their own understanding of the nuances of teaching for mastery (TfM). This year, though (2016/17), each is leading a Work Group of teachers from six local schools on their journey in the same direction. Here we look at how one Mastery Specialist, Hayley Shaw, in the Central Maths Hub area, is filling this role, and how she’s finding it.
Organisation of the Work Group
Hayley’s principal has allocated her one day out of class per week to carry out her Maths Hub work. (The hub finances the school’s supply cover). Hayley plans one visit per term to each Work Group school. The visit usually involves a meeting with the lead teacher, a learning walk looking into maths lessons and a meeting with the head teacher. After this Hayley writes a report of the visit and sends it to the school. This includes a summary of findings and issues discussed, along with proposed plans for ongoing development. Hayley’s patch is reasonably small in geographical terms. She sometimes visits two schools in a day to maximise time out of her own school. The lead teachers from all Work Group schools (together forming a Teacher Research Group – TRG) meet once a half-term at Hayley’s school, to discuss what they’ve been doing, and move their collective understanding of teaching for mastery forward.