CfEM blog: Mastering Mathematics with City College Plymouth

Blog by Katie Fremlin, Centres for Excellence in Maths Project Manager at City College Plymouth, for the Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) programme.

At City College Plymouth CfEM, we are immensely lucky to have The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (CIMT) at the University of Plymouth as one of our network partners. Working with the fascinating Professor David Burghes, we have embarked on a project to provide Teaching Subject Specialism Training (TSST) for GCSE Maths in an FE environment for a cohort of staff from City College Plymouth and our network partners.

The TSST course provides high-quality professional development to those teaching or wanting to teach GCSE Maths, enabling lecturers to enhance their mathematical knowledge and build their confidence, as well as providing them with the tools they need to become an engaging and motivating maths lecturer.

We currently have 8 staff completing TSST from a range of departments at City College Plymouth as well as from our network partner FE Colleges, including Maths, Student Journey, Higher Education, Technology, Marine and Renewables, and Learning Support and Resources. These staff are either currently or will go on to be involved in our action research and national trial activity in the years to come as a CfEM. The TSST programme has supported continued development in our cross-college approach as a CfEM.

The TSST sessions include synchronous and asynchronous activities as part of a blended learning approach that has ensured that the sessions have continued throughout the Covid-19 measures in the past year.

Not only has the course upskilled staff on key mathematical concepts, and the pedagogy of FE mathematics, but it has also encouraged staff to share best practice and support each other through collaborative learning along the way, ensuring that the whole process has holistic benefits for not only the individual but for the organisation and CfEM as a whole.

If you would like to find out more about the work we have done, please get in touch by emailing

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