Specialist Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics - Primary Programme (for teaching assistants)

Dates: To be confirmed for 2021-22. Venue tbc.

Bookings are initially limited to one place per school for this Work Group. Until 12th May, please only book if the teacher working with the same class is also booking on to the SKTM for teachers Work Group. Although the SKTM Work Groups for teachers and teaching assistants will be run at different times, they will be linked with common school-based tasks to prioritise collaborative working.

The purpose of the programmes in this project is to support primary teaching assistants (TAs) in developing specialist knowledge for teaching mathematics, thus enabling them to understand, teach and support pupils in the maths classroom.

It has long been recognised that maths teaching is enhanced when the teachers are confident about the subject matter. Seabourne’s work over the period of 2004-06 found that Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) led to ‘improvements in subject knowledge, attitude, understanding and confidence’. Gibson, O'Toole, Dennison & Oliver’s (2013) report on SKE across all subjects in which SKE is offered finds that levels of subject knowledge and confidence in the subject are dramatically enhanced on completion of SKE.


Who is it for?

These programmes are designed for primary teaching assistants who are supporting maths, and who would like to develop their specialist knowledge for teaching maths. This may be particularly relevant for new TAs or TAs that have not received maths-specific training.

What are the intended outcomes?

Pupil outcomes

Pupils will:

  • demonstrate a positive attitude towards maths, being willing to have a go, persevere, and share their mathematical ideas.

Practice development

  • Participants will review their practice as a result of the sessions and make specific adaptations to support the pupils they are working with.

Professional learning

Participants will enhance their maths subject knowledge with an emphasis on the key structures in each mathematical area covered e.g.

  • understand the key elements that form number sense, including precise language, structures, and representations
  • understand the forms of addition and subtraction, including the precise language, structures, and representations
  • understand the forms of multiplication and division, including the precise language, structures, and representations
  • understand the forms of fractions, including precise language, structures, and representations.

What will it involve?

This year will see the launch of Primary Teaching Assistant specific materials (same areas as primary SKTM) and focus on the following mathematical areas:

  • What is effective in the learning and teaching of mathematics?
  • Number sense (part 1)
  • Number sense (part 2)
  • Additive reasoning
  • Multiplicative reasoning
  • Fractions.

What is the cost?