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My experiences as a Maths Lead - six months in

Nicky Oakford is the Trust’s Maths Lead, co-ordinating and developing the maths curriculum across all schools. Nicky took up this newly created full-time post in September 2019, and, six months in, shares her thoughts on the role.

Last September I began my new role as Maths Lead - full of apprehension. What would I discover? It felt almost as if I was an explorer in the jungles of the Amazon!

My first port of call was to check in on all things maths at Edward Bryant. Having taught at the school for 20 years and already leading INSET on Inspire Maths, I felt confident that both the teaching and resources were well in place. Next stop was to spend dedicated time at each of the other six schools across the Trust. What would I find and uncover?

After running TA training through all the schools I found the teams – without exception - eager to upskill themselves to support the learning of children to the best of their ability. The seismic shift for everybody has been driving home the message that all children from Reception to Year 6 should be using the available resources and these should be readily available on the table. This has been challenging given it’s been something of a stepped approach – with the message arriving in different schools at different times dependent on where they were in their Inspire journey. The other conundrum was to ensure that teachers are supporting the same day intervention group and the TAs are supporting the rest of the class – challenging for all! 

After reviewing the maths resourcing and timetabling, more recently my attention has been focused on transition. My key focus is how to implement the transition for children who transfer from Infant schools to our Junior schools. This is the key element for the rest of this year, as well as determining how we can support year 3 teachers, and prepare them with the tools they need.

I’ve also been working with Early Years, ensuring there is dovetailing between the Reception curriculum and year 1 Inspire Maths. And alongside that has been some CPD time to complete the WSCC exam and qualify as a Key Stage 1 moderator.

It’s been a busy 6 months, but an interesting and rewarding one, especially in witnessing the consistency which Inspire Maths has bought to our teaching. This will also help as secondments, and training opportunities, increase in the coming years, with teachers well equipped to move between schools as they wish for professional development reasons, without having to get to grips with a new scheme.