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Research School Network: How can you use the new EEF Maths Guidance Report to help close the attainment gap?

How can you use the new EEF Maths Guidance Report to help close the attainment gap?

The Education Endowment Foundation published its fourth Guidance Report on the 3rd November 2017: Improving Mathematics in Key Stages 2& 3. The Guidance Papers seek to pull together the best evidence available in a series of coherent strategies which schools and teachers can implement. There are a further six more Guidance Reports due for publication in 2018.

The report notes that last year over half of pupils eligible for free schools meals did not achieve expected levels in maths. The recommendations highlight eight teaching approaches which seek to help schools break the link between family income and educational attainment’. The report is supported by the strongest international evidence and the EEF consulted experts, teachers, and academics to arrive at key principles for effective teaching which is most likely to impact positively on children’s mathematical attainment.

Here are the 8 key recommendations:

  1. Use assessment to build on pupils’ existing knowledge and understanding
  2. Use manipulatives and representations
  3. Teach strategies for solving problems
  4. Enable pupils to develop a rich network of mathematical knowledge
  5. Develop pupils’ independence and motivation
  6. Use tasks and resources to challenge and support pupils’ mathematics
  7. Use structured interventions to provide additional support
  8. Support pupils to make a successful transition between Primary and Secondary school

We would recommend that you read the entire Guidance Report for more details:

However, please refer to the image summary to enable you to respond immediately to the recommendations and ultimately improve maths teaching and outcomes, in order to work towards closing the attainment gap.

Peter Harrison, Programme Manager for the report stated that We’ve included tasks to simply illustrate the guidance, but also to provide some initial resources for teachers to work on. We hope that these help make the guidance come alive for you. Each of the tasks could be used as a resource for teacher development – do the task together as teachers, discuss the mathematics and how (or whether) it will help pupils’ learning, then use it with pupils, come back and discuss.”

Doncaster Research School was privileged to hold the first information session to launch the guidance on the 30th November with over 50 primary and secondary delegates in attendance. A Guidance Report network has now been formed who will meet half termly to’ drill down’ into each of the recommendations…watch this space for more details and examples of good practice.

In the meantime, here are our Top Tips for beginning to work with the Guidance Report

  • Start with SLT and make this a whole school priority in assisting you to bridge the gap between evidence and class room practice.
  • Use the guidance for Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Focus on teacher knowledge of mathematics, what pupils’ learn, their difficulties and mathematics pedagogy
  • One size does not fit all: Consider your own context
  • Look beyond the headline recommendations…’dig deep’
  • Change takes time. Develop a longer term action plan: Plan, pilot, review and evaluate, scale up

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