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Board action is up to teachers

Both your leader and a news article (TES, July 20) refer to comments by Professor David Burghes about key stage 3 mathematics. The article states:

"One of the main sticking points is the practice of pupils tackling sums on the board in front of the class. It is not part of the strategy but is commonly done in many high-performing countries."

To say that this practice is not part of the strategy is quite wrong. Numerous examples of pupils demonstrating their solutions in front of the rest of the class are illustrated in our training videos and have been discussed with teachers in training sessions. The practice is now well-established in primaries and is increasingly common in secondary schools.

The framework for teaching maths in Years 7, 8 and 9 states explicitly that teachers should use their professional judgment to determine the activities, timing, and organisation of the lesson, and that there is scope for a different interplay between work with the whole class, groups or individuals on different days. It also states that the degree to which a department adjusts its current practices and follows the framework in detail should be influenced by whether it is already involved in an initiative to raise standards in mathematics in KS3.

Anita Straker

National director

Key stage 3 Strategy

London House

59-65 London Street, Reading

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