Teaching for Mastery in FE Recruitment

Sign up to participate in the Teaching for Mastery in FE Research Project (2021/22)

From September 2021, the Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) programme will include an extensive research programme involving randomised controlled trials across the country of approaches to teaching for Mastery in Further Education (FE) colleges and sixth forms. These approaches aim to improve learner’ understanding of concepts underpinning the GCSE mathematics curriculum to improve outcomes on GCSE resit programmes.

We are currently seeking mathematics teachers in FE colleges and sixth forms to take part in this research programme. To take part you should be teaching GCSE mathematics resit classes for 16-18 year old learners for at least some of your timetable at either a Centre for Excellence in Maths or one of their network partners. If you are working for a college or sixth form that is not already part of a CfEM first you need to ensure that your organisation is willing to join a network and you need to start the process of joining. You must have the approval of a senior manager in your college/sixth form and the support of your CfEM Centre Lead. This is important as the funding for participation will come through the Centre.

You may wish to first view this short video in which teachers share their experiences of participating in the CfEM pilot trials and other research similar to the CfEM Teaching for Mastery project.

Further details of research participation, Memorandum of Understanding and Data Sharing can be found below.

This is for information only. A full research recruitment pack will be sent to you by the research team after they have received your online sign-up form.

Project information

The Teaching for Mastery project involves three main areas of teacher activity:

  • Developing a teaching for Mastery approach in the classroom
  • Professional development to support this approach
  • Meetings for clusters of teachers to work and learn collaboratively.

Teachers may take part in some or all of these activities, depending on which of the three groups they are allocated to at the randomisation stage of the trials (July 2021). There will be three groups of trial teachers:

  • Group 1 teachers will work on all three activities above
  • Group 2 teachers will work on the first two of the activities
  • Group 3 teachers will continue to work on “business as usual” and not take part in the activities. These teachers are the “control group” in the research.

Teachers who are involved in developing a teaching for Mastery approach will be supported by a set of seven sample lessons, to be taught in designated windows during the year, as shown below.

Lesson A: Factors and multiples (to be taught any time) 

  • Find factors and multiples of numbers less than 50 
  • Find common factors and common multiples of two numbers by using arrays 
  • Solve problems involving HCF and LCM in the context for a real life application 
  • Write a number as a product of prime factors 

Lesson B: Area (to be taught any time) 

  • Calculate the area of rectangles 
  • Calculate the area of parallelograms and triangles 
  • Solve multi-step problems involving area 

Lesson 1: Multiplicative reasoning part 1 (1 – 26 November 2021) 

  • Understand the multiplicative relationship between two quantities (non-calculator) 
  • Solve multi-step currency or unit conversions problems (calculator) 

Lesson 2: Ratio and fractions (29 November – 17 December 2021) 

  • Write a fraction as a ratio and vice versa 
  • Divide a given quantity into parts in a given part:part or part:whole ratio 
  • Solve multi-step problems using ratios and fraction 

Lesson 3: Basic algebra (6 – 28 January 2022) 

  • Use correct algebraic notation 
  • Expand brackets 
  • Factorise algebraic expressions 
  • Factorise fully (both numbers/letters) in the same algebraic expression 

Lesson 4: Problem solving with algebra (TBC) (31 January – 4 March 2022) 

  • Learning outcomes to be confirmed 

Lesson 5: Multiplicative reasoning part 2 (TBC) (7 March – 1 April 2022) 

  • Learning outcomes to be confirmed.

The following table gives key dates for the main activities for Lead Teachers and Trial Teachers.

  • February 2021 – Appointment of Lead Trial Teachers
  • February 2021 – Call for Trial Teachers opens
  • 24 March 2021 – (online) Lead Trial Teacher PD Day 1
  • 23 June 2021 – (online) Lead Trial Teacher PD Day 2
  • By end June 2021 – Trial Teacher recruitment completed
  • July 2021 – Randomisation of teachers into trial arms
  • July 2021 – Sampling carried out to identify case studies
  • Summer holidays
  • 6 and 8 October 2021 – (choice of session) Lead Trial Teachers and Trial Teachers (groups 1 and 2) participate in professional development on teaching for Mastery
  • 13 and 15 October 2021 – (choice of session) Lead Teachers and Trial Teachers (group 1) participate in professional development on lesson study and cluster meetings
  • 15 October – Data collection commences from teachers and students: background data and pre-intervention surveys for teachers and students
  • Autumn term 2021 – Trial Teachers (Groups 1 and 2) teach lessons 1 – 4, cluster meetings 1 and 2 (Group 1)
  • Christmas break
  • 5 January 2022 – Lead Trial Teacher PD Day 3
  • 12 and 14 January 2022 – Lead Trial Teachers and Trial Teachers (groups 1 and 2) participate in professional development on teaching for Mastery
  • Spring term 2022 – Trial Teachers (Groups 1 and 2) teach lessons 5 – 7, cluster meetings 3, 4 and 5 (Group 1)
  • 13 May 2022 – Students complete post-intervention survey
  • 22 and 24 June – (choice of session) Trial Teacher post-intervention PD event (Group 1)
  • 30 June 2022 – Trial Teachers complete post-intervention survey
  • 6 July 2022 – Lead Trial Teacher post-intervention PD event
  • 20 July – Lead Trial Teachers complete post-intervention survey/interview
  • 30 July 2022 – Intervention ends
    Summer holidays
  • 31 March 2023 – Final report on the trials is submitted