Coming to a school near you soon;Mathematics;Subject of the week

21st May 1999 at 01:00
Anita Straker, director of the National Numeracy Strategy, spells out the timetable for the next two terms

The National Numeracy Strategy has, I hope, something to offer your school. Each school will gain something different from it but I hope that every primary teacher will have an opportunity to see a maths lesson taught by a teacher who is prepared to share their practice.

The lesson you see could be one in your own school, or it could be a lesson taught by a leading mathematics teacher in another school, or perhaps it is a lesson you watch on video. In any case, it is a chance to discuss with colleagues what makes a good maths lesson.

This term, headteachers, with two teachers from their school, will go to a three-day course led by nationally trained numeracy consultants. The aim of the course is to familiarise everyone with the "Framework" for teaching mathematics, the features of the daily mathematics lesson and plans for carrying out an audit of maths teaching.

A governor will attend on the third day when whole-school issues are discussed. The course will also prepare those who attend to lead the three in-service training days that schools are asked to devote to maths, one this term, one next term, and one in the spring of next year.

A pack of materials to support the first two INSET days will arrive in your school shortly. Packs to support the third INSET day, and any follow-up after school meetings you choose to have, will come in the second half of the autumn term.

We have tried to make this first INSET pack easy to use, and to give you options so you can tailor the training to your school's needs. A book for whoever leads the training day describes activities and how to use the accompanying video.

The day should help everyone to use the Framework in ways that suit them and to get going with the daily mathematics lesson. The book is designed so that it can be taken away and read by a teacher who wants it for self-study purposes, so part-time teachers or regular supply teachers won't miss out.

Next term local authorities will run five-day courses for two teachers from some schools - about one in every six in the first instance. The five-day course will be repeated in the second and third years of the strategy so that eventually two-thirds of all primary schools nationally will get a chance to send two teachers to the course.

The five-day course will focus on the mathematical ideas that underpin the programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2. Schools attending the course will also get up to six days of school-based support from local authorities' numeracy consultant to help them try out new ideas in the classroom, and they may get a small grant to help buy resources.

If you have any comments, write to us at the National Centre for Literacy and Numeracy, London House, 59-65 London Street, Reading RG2 1EW. Fax: 0118 952 75067 or e-mail: iamp;n@cfbt-hq.org.uk

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