Ofsted's research review series: mathematics
was published this morning and the team are busy reading and digesting the report in order to publish a blog shortly. The introduction to the report outlines the scope and purpose of the review:
Mathematics, a universal language that enables understanding of the world, is an integral part of the curriculum. Beyond the study of numbers, shapes and patterns, it also provides important tools for work in fields such as engineering, physics, architecture, medicine and business. It nurtures the development of a logical and methodical mindset, as well helping to inculcate focus and the ability to solve all manner of problems. Attainment in the subject is also the key to opening new doors to further study and employment. However, despite its importance, for many the subject remains mysterious and difficult, the preserve of those who seem to be ‘naturals’. The education inspection framework (EIF) makes it clear that schools are expected to ensure that the mathematics curriculum ‘helps pupils to gain enjoyment through a growing self-confidence in their ability’.
This review explores the literature relating to the field of maths education. Its purpose is to identify factors that can contribute to high-quality school maths curriculums, assessment, pedagogy and systems. We will use this understanding of subject quality to examine how maths is taught in England’s schools from Reception onwards. We will then publish a subject report to share what we have learned.
The purpose of this research review and the intended audience is outlined more fully in the ‘Principles behind Ofsted’s research reviews and subject reports’.
Since there are a variety of ways that schools can construct and teach a high-quality maths curriculum, it is important to recognise that there is no singular way of achieving high-quality maths education.
In this review, we have:
outlined the national context in relation to maths
summarised our review of research into factors that can affect quality of education in maths
considered curriculum progression in maths, pedagogy, assessment and the impact of school leaders’ decisions on provision
The review draws on a range of sources, including our ‘Education inspection framework: overview of research’ and our 3 phases of curriculum research.
We hope that through this work, we will contribute to raising the quality of maths education for all young people.
Have you seen the report? What are your views? Please comment below to share your thoughts with the community.