Teaching for Mastery & Engagement in FE maths: findings from the CfEM Programme

Shobhna Fletcher, Holly Connor and Steve Pardoe

13:45-14:45, Thursday 30 June

Session description

Centres for Excellence in Mathematics (CfEM) is a five-year DfE funded project, aiming to deliver sustained improvements in maths outcomes for 16-19 year olds in colleges. After 3 years of action research and national trials, we are starting to form a clear picture of what works - including ways of developing positive attitudes and mindsets towards learning maths, identifying and addressing learner needs, and using mastery approaches to promote deeper understanding of key topics. We will share some of our approaches and findings in this session.

This session will be of interest to anyone teaching maths to disengaging learners with low levels of self-belief, and particularly those teaching GCSE re-sits and Functional Skills to 16-19 year olds.

Interests: Further EducationGCSE resit

About the speakers

Shobhna has a BSc Hons in Mathematics from the University of London. She previously worked in investment banking, IT and as a project manager for a FTSE 250 Company, before retraining as a maths teacher and gaining a PGCE Cert Ed from Edge Hill University in 2013. She went on to complete a year in a local secondary school, before returning to Further Education. She has a keen interest in how maths education impacts on social mobility within the Post-16 and further education sector. More recently she has led a maths team in a FE College and increased the high-grade GCSE maths 16-18 student achievement rate from 19% to 39%. Shobhna is now a Regional Maths Lead for the Centres for Excellence in Mathematics (CfEM) project.

Holly came to FE maths teaching from a background in equine studies, and was maths programme lead for 3 years a land-based college, before becoming curriculum manager for maths and English. By transforming the mindsets and morale of staff and introducing new approaches to teaching & learning maths, Holly doubled the success rates of maths learners, and in November, 2020, her college achieved an impressive 87% grade 4+ in GCSE maths resits. Holly is a firm believer in evidence-based pedagogy and of the need to stay innovative. She is now one of the Regional Maths Leads for the CfEM project.

Steve Pardoe is Head of the CfEM, a five-year national improvement programme aimed at delivering sustained improvements in maths outcomes for 16–19-year-olds, up to Level 2, in post-16 settings. His career started as a literacy teacher working with young offenders, before moving on to teach and manage maths in FE colleges over a period of more than 20 years. More recently Steve led the level 5 Diploma courses in Teaching FE Mathematics at the University of Warwick, and has contributed to a range of national & regional maths development & CPD projects.