Reasoning and Problem-Solving

Developing mathematical reasoning and problem solving are two of the three aims of the current National Curriculum for mathematics. They are also key aspects of the new GCSE, Core Maths and A-level mathematics qualifications. Maths Hubs are therefore working in a range of ways to support schools and colleges to develop and embed effective approaches to teaching in these areas. Some current examples of work are given below. As demand from schools and practice in this area continue to emerge, hubs are working together to make the most effective practice more widely available to schools.

Mathematical Reasoning at Key Stage 3

Following the successful completion of last year’s National Collaborative Project to support secondary school maths departments develop their practice and culture for addressing the reasoning component of the national curriculum, the project is being offered again this year to a new cohort of schools.

The format will be similar with each Maths Hub recruiting about five schools to a workgroup led by a teacher and an HEI colleague. The workgroup combines workshops and gap tasks based around a lesson study approach enabling the wider department to participate.

In response to demand from the schools involved in last year’s project they will have the opportunity to continue to work together as a hub workgroup to embed those aspects of the practice that most match their particular department needs.

Mathematical Reasoning in Year 2

Eight Maths Hubs are working with the Education Endowment Foundation effectiveness trial for an intervention programme designed to improve the mathematical reasoning of pupils in Year 2. The programme was originally developed by Terezinha Nunes and Peter Bryant at Oxford University and proved to be successful at the efficacy stage. The participating Maths Hubs are now testing an approach that has the potential to be scaled-up, if successful.

NRICH and problem solving

Maths Hubs are working with NRICH to identify and support the development of local NRICH leads, who can work with schools that are keen to develop their approaches to problem solving. This work is currently being led by Maths Hub Leads from the Cambridge and Archimedes North East Maths Hubs.