China-England Maths Teacher Exchange 2018-19

The Yorkshire Ridings Maths Hub, one of the UK’s 35 Maths Hubs, based at Harrogate Grammar School is currently participating in the fifth, prestigious, Maths Teachers’ Exchange with Shanghai schools. In December 2018, two of our Primary Mastery Specialists (developed through the Hub’s Mastery Specialist programme), Matthew Davies (Northstead Community Primary School in Scarborough) and Emily Crankshaw (St Peter’s Church of England Primary School in Harrogate), were chosen to represent the Yorkshire Ridings Maths Hub for this event. They spent time at Shanghai Normal University, learning about the system as a whole, and 8 valuable days in two Shanghai Primary Schools, where they observed mathematics teaching from Y2 to Y6 and took part in Teacher Research Group discussions with English and Chinese colleagues.

The purpose of the exchange is to further develop the understanding and implementation of mastery approaches to teaching maths. This exciting event plays a significant role in the Maths Hub’s Teaching for Mastery Programme, run by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) in conjunction with the Maths Hubs Programme. The scheme, funded by the DfE, first launched in September 2014 and is now a key aspect of a £41m programme, which sees teachers from England and Shanghai share best practice as part of research groups.

“This is about sharing good practice,” said Mr Davies, Assistant Maths Hub Lead for the Yorkshire North Coast region and Primary Mastery Specialist. “Particularly around teaching for mastery, teaching smaller steps and in greater depth. “Through observing Shanghai teachers who have been teaching in this way for decades, we can share those opportunities. “This strips the maths concepts right back to the very beginning. We can take the principles and look at how they can work in the curriculum in the UK.”

In return, teachers Lu Yong and Chen Jiajun, two highly talented teachers from Shanghai, are now visiting Northstead Community Primary in Scarborough. While they are here, they will be sharing the practice of mastery maths and teaching mathematics in Year 3 and Year 4. Chen will be teaching repeated addition leading to multiplication in Year 3, while Lu is focusing on time in Year 4.
“This last 10 days I have witnessed pupils demonstrate a real depth of understanding which was evidenced by the depth of their explanations of the key relationships that were being taught” said Colin Prestwich, Maths Hub Lead and Executive Faculty Leader of Maths at Harrogate Grammar School, after attending the showcase lessons at Northstead in Scarborough this week.

Photograph – left to right:
Matthew Davies – Primary Mastery Specialist, Kim Mitchell – Primary Mastery Lead for the Yorkshire Ridings Maths Hub, Emily Crankshaw – Primary Mastery Specialist, Lu Yong – Shanghai teacher, Colin Prestwich – Maths Hub Lead, Chen Jiajun – Shanghai teacher and Jim Lidgley, Headteacher at Northstead Community Primary School