Hastings Opportunity Area has invested over £200k in the last year, to fund 20 schools in Hastings to embed Maths Mastery into their school curriculum approach.

On May 12th, we held our Maths Mastery Conference, which was well attended by over 40 Maths leads and stakeholders from across Hastings and East Sussex.

The aim of the conference, was to hear from leading experts and Maths leads on how to continue to raise standards in Maths and provide schools and trusts with a platform to share good practise.

Dr Helen Drury, leading educator and founder of the school improvement programme, ‘Mathematics Mastery’, and author of ‘How to Teach Mathematics for Mastery’, gave the keynote talk. In it, she spoke about the need to empower teachers to give every young person, regardless of their background, the subject knowledge and skills they need to succeed. There was a focus on the need for children in early years to gain a fluency in language, as well as thoughts on how to close the gap of disparity in disadvantaged children, which has become even more pronounced during the pandemic.

“It has been a privilege for all of the Mathematics Mastery team to witness the commitment and energy of teachers and leaders in Hastings schools in embedding Mathematics Mastery in their classroom practice. There’s a palpable commitment to every child succeeding, and real ownership of the evidence-informed approaches we promote” she said.

Hastings Maths leads then shared their learnings from the HOA-funded programmes they have implemented in their schools, with representatives from both the Hastings Maths Project and Sussex Maths Hub present.

Rob Smith, Maths Lead and Vice Principal from Hollington Primary Academy, described the SLE support they received through the Hastings Maths Project as having been ‘revolutionary’ for their school. He praised the clear foundations and evidence-based interventions that the project has helped to deliver, culminating in an increase in pupil knowledge in Maths.

Vickie Elsbury, Maths subject leader at Sacred Heart Primary School, spoke about the benefits that being part of the Sussex Maths Hub has provided; up to date CPD from leading practitioners and a platform to share best practises and problem solving. Results from ‘Insights’, an HOA-funded analysis tool, have shown that despite the challenges brought about by Covid, pupils have bounced back to their expected levels of attainment, with an increase in those working at a greater depth.

A summary of the Maths Mastery programme and work currently being implemented in 20 Hastings trusts and schools, includes:

  • The Hastings Maths Project – we are working with 16 schools across Hastings to raise attainment in Maths at KS2 and KS3 through a ‘Maths Mastery’ approach to learning.
  • Sussex Maths Hub – we are funding this initiative to provide 4 schools in Hastings, who are not taking part in ‘The Hastings Maths Project’, with additional support to implement the mastery approaches to teaching maths.

The HOA were keen to hear what support schools required for the year ahead to further embed the Maths Mastery programme and will review the feedback to effectively maximise the impact of funding in the future.

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