Maths Hub

Maths Hub

Supporting Core Maths

  • Published in Post 16


Supporting Core Maths



This Work Group consists of direct partnership working between the Maths Hubs Network and the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP). The success of Core Maths depends in part on the growth of the pool of teachers, schools and colleges with the necessary expertise, experience and enthusiasm to teach it. This project will contribute to the wider national effort to grow that pool and embed Core Maths confidence and culture within school and college maths departments.


    • Participants will understand the philosophy of Core Maths, with its approach to maths through contextualised problem-solving, appreciate the different Core Maths qualifications available and be able to choose the course appropriate for their students.
    • Through collaboration and experimentation, participants will develop improved teaching approaches that fit the open-ended problem-solving skills students need to develop and also share these with departmental colleagues.
  • Participant departments will support the role of Core Maths in promoting contextualised problem-solving and links to other teaching.

Students in participant schools and colleges will take and succeed at Core Maths in increasing numbers.


To Register your interest in this Work Group Click Here

Joining a Work Group will require you to have an 
NCETM username for the final evaluation.

Click here to show you how to find yours or create an account, it is FREE!



Shanghai Exchange Programme 2019/20


The Shanghai Exchange Programme is the annual exchange of teachers between schools in England and Shanghai.


The purpose of the exchange is to further develop the understanding and implementation of mastery approaches to teaching maths in schools, and in local partner schools during the school year 2019/20. This is one part of the Teaching for Mastery Programme, run by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) in conjunction with the Maths Hubs Programme, and funded by the DfE.

The group of teachers, all of whom have completed training as Mastery Specialists in a programme run by the NCETM and Maths Hubs, will be visiting Shanghai in November 2019 and will spend two weeks observing how maths is taught in Shanghai, and then hosting their partner teachers from Shanghai in English schools in March 2020.


This is the sixth teacher exchange with schools in Shanghai since the Maths Hubs Programme was launched in autumn 2014!


Along with the exchange of the visits, the visiting teachers from Shanghai will also be planning a lesson to show teachers the way they teach Mathematics. This involves showcase lessons taking place which teachers from South Yorkshire can sign up to attend. Both Primary and Secondary Phase showcase events are due to take place in March 2020!


Primary Showcase Events

9th & 10th March 2020!

Oasis Academy Fir Vale, Owler Lane, Sheffield S4 8GA 

1.30pm – 1.45pm – Arrival/refreshments

1.45pm – 2.00pm – Introductions

2.00pm – 3.00pm – Lesson

3.00pm – 3.30pm – Q and A

Please bring your school ID badge


Please register your interest in attending to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.k and you will recieve an email for the sign up form once released.



Secondary Showcase Events




Post 16

  • Published in Post 16
Click on Sub-Headings for links to information pages;
Post 16 & L3 Maths lead and Co-ordination group
In this period of "post Smith Review" change and development in post 16 mathematics would appear to be continuing for some time to come. Led by Time Squire the SYMH's coordination group will continue to work closely with other strategic partners. The Further Maths Support Programme in particular offers resources and support to schools and colleges and the co-ordination group will seek to enable SYMH to supplement this with further support, advice and opportunities for schools.
Many students see GCSE Maths as the end of their Maths study despite the government and educationalists agreeing upon the importance of Maths in preparing young people for further study and training. A fundamental aim of the SYMH is to encourage the participation of students post 16 in the study of mathematics that is most appropriate for them. Subsequently there is a need for schools and colleges to provide appropriate opportunities to students to enable them to have this choice and opportunity.
Schools and colleges wishing for support and advice about how best to provide these post 16 opportunities can contact the South Yorkshire Maths Hub at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Planning & Resources


All we want is .....

More than any other aspect the most common request from teachers is one of resources and teaching materials. This can be frustrating if you hold the opinion that resources alone are not the answer to effect the change we hope to achieve in the current evolution of maths education. However often the provision of a teaching idea in the form of an activity, problem or series of questions can allow a teacher to explore a new strategy for learning which they may not have done.

So the focus for sharing of resources and teaching materials could be to act as a catalyst to encourage colleagues to try new and occassionally innovative methods of teaching in a bid to generate greater reflection and collaboration amongst the region's professionals. We very much hope that teachers are inspired to tell us how new strategies fare in the classroom (good and bad) and share resources of their own. SYMH will be most effective if it can act as a conduit to collaboration across the region as well as providing access to new ideas from across the country.


Teaching for mastery

With respect to teaching for mastery we hope the focus of sharing ideas and materials will, over time increasingly shift to incorporating elements of teaching for mastery principles and pedagogy. One of the most impactful strategies is collaboratively planning and in all work groups there are oppotunities available for colleagues to participate with other teachesr from other schools.


Collaborative planning, where do we start?

Different methods being suggested for departments or groups of colleagues to try include;

  • Card sort of increasingly complex questions
  • "S-plan" of small step development
    • Taking a "big idea" and exploring connections


Increasingly complex questions/concepts

This strategy for professsional development collaborative discussion involves choosing a topic area within the curriculum (for example area of simple shapes) and presenting staff with a mixture of cards each with different questions that may be typically asked of learners within that topic. Staff are asked to arrange the cards in such a way so that they represent a development of learning from the fundamental skills to the more complex. Staff are then asked to consider the learning journey and in particular the conceptual development as well as the procedural development the learners undertake from moving from the simpest question to the most complex.

The ensuing discussions revolve around how we as teachers can guide rather than instruct learners along this "journey", with particular focus on small but clear steps of progression. Once one topic has been addressed teachers can then be asked to create their own sets of cards for a new topic, which adds a further element to the process.

Exemplar sort cards

Addition : these are an example of cards that illustrate concepts

Areas of triangles : these are an example of cards that illustrate questions

Once a group of colleagues has done this a few times, it can be enough to start introducing just challenging questions and ask them to consider, What do learners need to get to this point where they are able to attempt this type of question? This can form the basis of the S-plan style of collaborative discussion.



This method addresses a theme - often a national curriculum statement and aims to strip it down into smaller steps by which teachers can refelect on the strategies to move learners along the "learning journey" of these small steps. Once the steps have been identified teachers can focus on how best learners can master the conceptual & procedural skills and knowledge of each one in turn.

If colleagues which to save time on identifying these steps they may wish to use the resource created by GLOW Maths Hub (which also includes some White Rose Maths Hub material) namely MathsNAV (a Sat Nav for Maths!) By selecting an appropriate topic there are suggested smaller steps that could be placed on the S-plan NB these are suggested steps not pre-scribed

The journey may start with a "hook" and end with a "deeper element" or "problem solving" aspect. A collaborative planning group may also reflect on the prior learning required for learners and focus on these end points as mathematical rich activities for encouraging dialogue with students.


Some schools are preparing for this sort of collaboration by focusing on finding/creating these quality final challenging questions, which can then be shared and discussed.

Sharing questions might help because

  • Questions are a resource that every teacher needs, but teachers can use them in a way that fits with the way they teach. Sharing whole lessons and teaching approaches can give the impression that experienced and successful teachers, who know their classes best and have their own style, are being told what to do.

  • They help teachers see all the possible ways that students need to be able to think about the topic, and make them reflect on what the key ideas are and best to use explanations and examples to build a deep understanding of the topic.

  • They free up teacher time from creating or finding the questions (when this work has already been done by others), and gives them time to concentrate on how to structure a unit of work into small steps that give students the understanding and confidence to tackle harder problems. ‚Äč


Developing a big idea

This involves a much wider discussion about the curriculum as "big" ideas often permeate across a number of traditional topics. Proportion and the concept of multiplication is one example that can be considered. The professional dialogue may begin with considering which aspects or topics in maths this big idea contributes to. Questions that may be considered are; Does the big idea or concept reveal itself explicitly? How is the concept developed over time as learners meet the different topic areas?  What is the focus of learning?

Often the discussions reveal a possible shift in emphasis of the focus of learning in topics linked by a "big idea" from the individual procedures of any one topic towards the conceptual development of the wider understanding which in turn lead to learners making links across the curriculum.

For an example of how a concept may provoke discussion in this way : see Psychobabble blog 1




Enrichment & Enhancement

We love maths because ...
Promoting a positive attitude towards the study of Maths and encouraging young people to study the appropriate Maths for their future studies and careers is a key role for maths hubs. South Yorkshire Maths Hub aims to support teachers and schools to challenge, engage and inspire their students.
There are a number of ways in which colleagues can enhance their pupils' experiences of Maths and and mathematical study and we hope to provide a growing number of ideas and helpful materials to enable this.
Special presentation events
Whether it's hosting a visiting speaker or taking students to a presentation, out of classroom events can inspire young people. There are often a number of opportunities throughout the year for a wide range of ages. SYMH will publicise these and where possible give support and advice to teachers to enable participation.
Competitions & challenges
Year 10 maths feast & Year 9 summer snacks
Senior Team Maths Challenge
Fun maths roadshow
Independent research
Wild Maths
Extra-curricular sessions
Maths & STEM clubs
Royal Institute Masterclasses
University outreach programmes and STEP preparation

Welcome to the South Yorkshire Maths Hub (About Us)


 Working with the NCETM




About Us                                                                                                                                                             

The South Yorkshire Maths Hub is one of a network of 37 Maths Hubs in England, working together within the Maths Hubs Programme(NCETM). Find out more about the programme at, which began in 2014. The programme is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and coordinated by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.

To see what opportunities are available in each phase, click on the appropriate links below.A new set of work groups will be available every new academic year and we encourage you to have a look at the relevant pages to find out what's available and right for you.


Early Years



Post 16


 Where Are We?

 Here you can see a map of the areas we work in within South Yorkshire;



If you are outside of these borders your area will be within one of the other three hubs serving Yorkshire.  (Click on the links below to access the relevant websites)

West Yorkshire Maths Hub 

Yorkshire Ridings Maths Hub

Yorkshire & Humber Maths Hub


Outside of the Yorkshire Hubs the NCETM have a find your hub tool. Please click here to find yours.

The South Yorkshire Maths Hub (SYMH) aims to work with all schools in the region and encourages not just Maths leaders but all teachers of Maths to engage with the opportunities that are made available. To receive updates and newletters feel free to send your name and school by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can also follow us on twitter @SYMathsHub



Maths Hub Lead: Pete Sides : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teaching for Mastery Lead: Georgina Brown : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


NCETM website
To access content on the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics you will need to register (Free).
Maths Hubs are co-ordinated nationally by the NCETM with each hub also having a strategic board to oversee local activity. The strategic board meets termly and is supported by sub-groups comprised of local strategic and operational partners. 
Strategic Board Members
John Barton (Chair)                               NANAMIC
John Coats SYMH
Simon Dawson Mercia TSA
Terry Dawson MEI
John Pearson NAMA
Bob Sawyer Learn Sheffield
Pete Sides SYMH
David Silvester JMAT
Janet Foster Partners in Learning
Margaret Young NCETM
Sue O’Brien Sheffield IOE
Bryony Black University of Sheffield
Theresa Di’lasio Positive Regard TSA
Alison Burbeary Fusion TSA
Charlotte Land DEBP
Richard Kirtlan North Lindsey College & Doncaster College
Sarah Rockliff LUTSA
Kelly Stafford STEM Ambassador


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