Bar Model Action Research – Years 3 and 4

This was exciting opportunity to learn about the Bar Model and to work closely with teachers from other schools. The action research project looked at how the Bar Model could be used in Years 3 and 4 to promote conceptual understanding.  This projected consists of three twilights and encouraged participants to observe each other between sessions following the TRG model (Teacher Research Group).

The project was led by Natasha Flood who is one of our Primary Mastery Specialists. In addition to this, Natasha recently completed her MA on Mathematics Education at Roehampton University where she gained a distinction overall. Her dissertation was called,  ‘The Development of understanding of the array as a representation of multiplication’ and she also researched the differences between Eastern and Western teaching styles.  During a recent trip to Singapore, she saw the use of bar models throughout all year groups as a fundamental visual representation to aid calculations.

Natasha is running another Bar Modelling course at Fox Primary School (see Fox CPD tab on this website)

Some quotes from evaluations taken on the course: 

“I feel the teaching of word problems has always been a tricky area. Using bar models provides an excellent pictorial representation as it makes it clear what the children are trying to find and what operation is needed to find this missing part.”

“This pupil found the bar model extremely useful in finding a missing number in an equation. He was unable to u2nderstand the inverse rule and how to use this to find a missing number in an equation. Using Cuisenaire and then a bar model he was able to identify the relationship between the different numbers.”

“I changed the way I taught word problems as well as thinking how I can use bar models in other areas of maths that I haven’t before e.g. fractions, scaling, etc.”




Improving Subject Knowledge and Pedagogical Approaches



What have you learned as a result of participating in the WG?
-A stronger conceptual understanding of core mathematical ideas
-Useful resources to use in lessons
-Deeper subject knowledge
-Lots of useful strategies – Brilliant teaching – exciting and interesting teaching ideas
-I learnt about the children’s ability to reason and how you can limit your lesson to just a couple of well-thought out questions and fully explore them . The children then show a much deeper understanding.
-I learnt more about mastery and what it looks like in terms of questioning.
-Opportunity to spend time in other schools allowed me appreciate different ways of doing things.
-Most useful: challenging my own thinking

Ruth Williams (SLE) who ran this project will also be running a new project called ‘SLE Improvement’                                                                (Current Projects – Primary tab on our website)


Year 2 Post SATs Cuisenaire Project


The use of concrete manipulatives is essential in developing conceptual understanding in mathematics. One common, but at times underused, resource is Cuisenaire. This series of sessions supported Year 2 teachers and/or KS1 Maths Co-ordinators in using Cuisenaire to explore mathematical structures and relationships.


In addition to the face to face sessions which included demonstration sessions with a group of learners, we encouraged participants to work with other teachers in between the sessions.  The sessions covered understanding structures and relationships using Cuisenaire rods and mathematical writing. 

About the Facilitators

A quote from an evaluation taken on the course: 

“It was eye-opening to see how algebra can be taught so simply using the rods. One thing I hadn’t considered before was how the literal work of comparing the rods and naming them by colour was a step that comes before attributing number values to them.”

The flipcharts and resources will be available soon (Free Resources Tab on our website)

Student Teacher and NQT Programme: Development of Subject Knowledge Focus on teaching for mastery teaching methods and resources.

The London Central and West Maths Hub and The University of Roehampton offered a 5-day subject knowledge development programme for those about to be NQTs and those who have just finished their NQT year, with an in depth focus on phase specific knowledge.   This joint project focused on Teaching for Mastery teaching methods and resources.

The first two days focused on the principles of Mastery and Problem Solving across all the Primary Phases.  Days 3-5, was year group specific, (Rec/Yr1, Yrs2/3, Yrs4/5/6) once participants knew which year group they would be teaching the subsequent September.  These sessions focused specifically on place value, addition and subtraction, and multiplication and division. Intersession tasks and readings were also given.  There were opportunities for planning and preparing for the start of term.  The sessions involved development of subject knowledge and pedagogy through practical, collaborative tasks, with opportunities to observe and analyse lessons, as well as planning for the new year.

Some quotes from evaluations taken on the course

“Looking at the books and talking to children has been very helpful as well as it being great to see examples of intelligent practice and observing ‘the maths’.

“Knowing how to build in those progressional steps for each year group and also building in the misconceptions and the depth.”

“Repeating sentence structures and the realisation of the importance of language.”

“It was great to know the non-negotiables of my phase and CPA approach.”3

“Knowing how to structure lessons so everyone is working at the same pace.”

“I will ensure that children are given time for a talk task and making sure the concepts are varied.”

“Same day interventions, incremental steps, ways of providing challenge, modelling.”

“Practical ways of applying mastery techniques.”

“Practical advice and tips for first week back and transition.”

“I saw how to take the learning slowly, to approach gradually and repeat key learning.”

“Feeling more confident to question the children’s learning and reasoning.”

“I learnt how to build on topics in a progressive way.”


 We will be running a similar project this academic year (Current Projects-Primary tab on our website)

Developing expertise in the teaching of Maths to pupils with SEND

The first day of this project looked specifically at Maths and Autism delivered by Andy Nowak, who is the deputy head at Queensmill School, and some members of his team.  This school specialises in teaching children with Autism and delivers outreach work to the surrounding boroughs.  Topics covered were:

-Autism in mainstream schooling

-Teaching pre-numeracy skills from a social and sensory perspective

-Differentiating the national curriculum for Autism

-Positive appreciation planning  (e.g. looking at planning activities and how they can be adapted to relate to your setting)

The second day of this project looked at Mathematics in relation to dyslexia and dyscalculia delivered by Steve Chinn.  Steve’s experience spans over forty years of work and research in special and mainstream education. In 1986 he founded and then built a specialist secondary school for dyslexic boys, a school which won major national awards. He is now an independent consultant, researcher and writer and has presented papers, contributed to conferences and delivered training courses for psychologists, teachers, parents and support assistants in over thirty countries across the world. Steve also looked at giving a general introduction, teaching/learning as well as assessment.

Some quotes from evaluations taken on the course: 

 ‘It was hugely beneficial to learn practises from special needs settings to implement in whole class teaching’

‘It has given me a deeper understanding of dyscalculia and strategies that could be used to support those children with SEND.’

‘I have much more confidence in spotting signs of dyscalculia and how to support children effectively using resources’

‘Thinking about test anxiety and how best to support pupils through this.’

 ‘I found there was a huge importance in finding patterns of numbers as well as the importance of consolidation place value’

‘The workshop provided valuable ideas on ways to support children. The insight into the ways of testing children who are struggling was very helpful and the methods used to teach children was very helpful too.’

 Effective use of Picture Books in EYFS and KS1

This was a really successful project because picture books are incredibly useful as a resource to stimulate interest and expose mathematical concepts and ideas.  So many ideas and enthusiasm came from a range of books and sometimes just a page from a book.

Teachers from both the EYFS and KS1 researched how picture books could be used best in these classes and on the 15th June, they presented their findings along with resources and activities that they had created in a twilight session to other schools and teachers that had not been involved with the project from the start.

 We will be running a similar project this academic year for KS2 (Current Projects-Primary tab on our website)

Privacy Notice: Maths Hubs Programme

Who we are:

This work is being carried out by your Maths Hub Lead School, which holds a grant with the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver the Maths Hub programme.

For the purpose of data protection legislation, the DfE is the data controller, and the Maths Hub Lead School is the data processor for the personal data processed as part of the Maths Hubs programme.

How we will use your information:

The Maths Hub Lead School collects and processes your personal data on behalf of the DfE for the following purposes:

  • To enable the lead school to carry out specific functions for which they are responsible
  • To enable the Lead School to correspond with you about any Maths Hub project you have registered for
  • To enable the Lead School to send you information on Continued Professional Development (CPD) opportunities offered by Maths Hubs
  • To evaluate and assess performance of Maths Hub projects
  • To derive anonymised statistics which inform programme funding and strategic decisions about Maths Hubs and Teaching for Mastery within DfE, National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and the Maths Hub Lead School.

More information about this work is available at,, and

The nature of your personal data we will be using:

The categories of your personal data that the Maths Hub Lead School will collect, process, hold and share for this project may include:

  • Name (including previous names)
  • Date of Birth
  • Contact information such as email address and phone number
  • School name and unique reference number (URN)
  • Teacher Reference Number (TRN).

Why our use of your personal data is lawful:

In order for our use of your personal data to be lawful, we need to meet one (or more) conditions in the data protection legislation. For the purpose of the Maths Hubs and Teaching for Mastery programmes, processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, as defined in Article 6 (1)(e) of the GDPR.

Who we will make your personal data available to:

We sometimes need to make personal data available to other organisations. These might include contracted partners (who we have employed to process your personal data on our behalf) and/or other organisations (with whom we need to share your personal data for specific purposes).

Where we need to share your personal data with others, we ensure that this data sharing complies with data protection legislation. For the purpose of the Maths Hubs programme:

  • NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics), with whom the DfE holds a contract to coordinate and manage the Maths Hubs programme, is a data processor.
  • Maths Hubs, with whom the DfE holds individual grants with each Maths Hub Lead School to carry out activities aligned with the aims of the Maths Hubs programme, are data processors.

As such, personal data collected by Maths Hubs that is relevant to the successful coordination and delivery of the Maths Hubs programme will be shared with the DfE, the NCETM, and other Maths Hub Lead Schools. Such data may also be shared with an independent evaluator of the Maths Hubs programme and Teaching for Mastery programme.

The DfE reserves the right to share your personal data with new lead schools where additional Maths Hubs are appointed or where a lead school is de-designated and lead school status is transferred. The DfE also reserves the right to share your personal data with any organisation or consortium that holds a future contract with the DfE to coordinate and manage the Maths Hubs programme or with an independent body who will use the data to evaluate the work of the programme.

Transfer to Countries Outside the European Union:

Your personal data will not be transferred outside of United Kingdom or the European Union.

How long we will keep your personal data:

The Department will only keep your personal data for the lifetime of the Maths Hubs programme and, where relevant, Teaching for Mastery programme plus 6 months, after which point it will be securely destroyed. Please note that, under Data Protection legislation, and in compliance with the relevant data processing conditions, personal data can be kept for longer periods of time when processed purely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research, and statistical purposes.

Your data protection rights:

Under certain circumstances, you have the right:

  • to ask us for access to information about you that we hold
  • to have your personal data rectified, if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • to request the deletion or removal of personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing
  • to restrict our processing of your personal data (for example, permitting its storage but no further processing)
  • to object to direct marketing (including profiling) and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics
  • not to be subject to decisions based purely on automated processing where it produces a legal or similarly significant effect on you

Please contact the Maths Hub Lead School regarding any of the above Find your hub | NCETM 

Further information about your data protection rights appears on the Information Commissioner’s website at: Guide to Data Protection | ICO and Individual rights | ICO

Withdrawal of consent and the right to lodge a complaint:

Where we are processing your personal data with your consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent. If you change your mind, or you are unhappy with our use of your personal data, please let us know by contacting the Maths Hub Lead School and state the name of this project.

Alternatively, you have the right to raise any concerns with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) via their website at

Last updated:

We may need to update this privacy notice periodically, so we recommend that you revisit this information from time to time. This version was last updated: September 2023.

Contact Info:

If you have any questions about how your personal information will be used, please contact the Maths Hub Lead School and enter “Maths Hub privacy notice” as a reference. For the DfE’s Data Protection Officer (DPO), please contact us via and mark it for the attention of the ‘DPO’.