October 2015


Making Every Lesson Count

Outstanding Mathematics – Beyond the NQT Year (Key Stage 1 and 2)


“I have learnt lots of practical ideas that I can use in class. Also really interesting talking to other teachers in Year 1. Lesson observation was most useful.” (Course participant)

On 6th October Charles Dickens Primary School hosted the first day of a the STSA course : Outstanding Mathematics – Beyond the NQT Year (Key Stage 1 and 2).

This is an exciting three day course for teachers at the start of their career focusing on effective teaching and learning with a Mathematics focus. Each day consists of a whole lesson observation, taught subject knowledge, practical activities, quick wins and reflection time with colleagues.

The facilitators of the course are Dan Huxley (Head of Maths at Charles Dickens Primary School) and Jemima Rhys Evans (Lead Practitioner at Charles Dickens Primary School)- both are outstanding experienced teachers with significant experience of mentoring new teachers to outstanding levels of teaching and learning.

Day 1 was packed with learning and covered the following key areas along with a lesson observation:

  • Talk for maths and collaborative learning
  • Rigour in mathematical vocabulary
  • Effective starters and developing outstanding mental maths
  • Identifying areas for further reading and experimentation.

Here are just a selection of quotes we got during feedback after day 1

“I have learnt lots of practical ideas that I can use in class. Also really interesting talking to other teachers in Year 1. Lesson observation was most useful.”

“Observing the lesson was GREAT! Theory in action.”

“Really useful to see the AfL techniques in the lesson I watched as I never know how to use AfL on the hoof.”

“I now have lots of really good ideas for starters and mains”

“Very insightful and interesting to see how other schools work. Thank you.”

What makes this course different?

The success of this course is down to a number of factors including the opportunity for participants to observe real lessons by real teachers. The course is also facilitated by two, highly experienced trainers.   These trainers are also class teachers, and so participants can trust that their suggestions have been tried and tested in the classroom.  The course also engages participants in action research through gap tasks which are set after each session.

Alongside all of this, the course is linked to the effective coaching and mentoring course as part of the Making Every Lesson Count programme. Schools can opt to send teachers on both courses so that those on the coaching course can coach those on the Maths course. (We are very grateful to the Local Authority for subsidising both of these courses.)

For now, we are really excited to see what day 2 brings and to hear how all the participants have got on with their gap tasks!




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lesson study

Lesson Study Project – STSA and the IOE

On 12th October a group of six schools came together to begin an exciting research project. The project involved taking the lesson study approach to CPD and educational research (which originated in Japan) and applying this in six different schools.

What is lesson study?

Lesson study is a research and development process led by a research theme. Through repeated cycles of research, planning, teaching, observation and discussion, it focuses on improving teacher ability to anticipate students’ learning approaches, problems and solutions.

What does the research tell us about the likely benefits of lesson study?

  • Increased knowledge of subject matter
  • Increased knowledge of instruction;
  • Increased ability to observe students;
  • Stronger collegial networks;
  • Stronger connection of daily practice to long term goals;
  • Stronger motivation and sense of efficacy;
  • Improved quality of available lesson plans.

Lewis C (1995) Educating hearts and minds

The current STSA project involves a range of types of Southwark schools including a special school and both primary and secondary. So far we have had our initial meeting and will be meeting in late November to receive training and confirm our research themes for the project. At the end of the academic year we will be sharing our findings.

If you would like to know more about our project, or to get involved in lesson study yourself, please email enquiriesstsa@gmail.com

The schools involved in the project are:

Dulwich College Junior School,

Dulwich College

Cherry Garden School

Charles Dickens Primary School

Crampton Primary School

Cathedral Primary School


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