Oak updates

14 March 2023

Maths curriculum partners and subject experts

Ed Southall

Subject Lead (maths)

Ed Southall is the Maths Subject Lead at Oak National Academy. Ed is a qualified Teacher of Maths and author of mathematics books including ‘Yes, But Why? Teaching for Understanding in Mathematics'. Ed is also Editor in Chief of the Mathematical Association and a regular conference speaker.

How our maths curriculum will be changing

I joined Oak in 2021, and am excited to be overseeing the continued evolution and development of our primary and secondary maths curriculum offer.

Our focus has always been to lower workload and support teachers to further increase their expertise. Over the coming year and beyond we’ll be creating a new maths curriculum and a full set of teaching resources for key stages 1 to 4. These will all be designed to better support your planning, in-class teaching and help you develop your own personalised curriculum.

We therefore launched a procurement process to find new partners to create our curriculum and opened recruitment for members of a maths subject expert group, so that we can utilise and share the very best practice from across the sector.

At Oak, we have been listening to what you need to help you deliver excellent lessons and support your pupils. We understand that the education sector is a complex and rich network of professionals, who all play a vital role. Likewise, your pupils are all varied individuals with different needs.

Through this journey, not only do we want to create excellent teaching resources that will help you with day-to-day teaching and curriculum delivery, we also want to build in flexibility and take into account the diverse needs that exist across the country. As we continue to grow and evolve, our principle aim to help teachers through the provision of high-quality expertise has remained unchanged.

From brilliant schools to subject associations, universities and publishers, the curriculum partners we’re working with to develop new teaching resources across English, science, maths, geography, music and history reflect the range of educational institutions and needs in the sector.

Not only are we excited to work with our new partners in regard to the variety they will bring to Oak, we are also excited for the continued choice that we will be able to offer teachers regarding teaching resources to select and adapt.

We are one of many teaching resource and curriculum suppliers, and I am delighted that we can improve this offer so that UK teachers have an even better choice of foundation materials to build upon in their classroom.

Curriculum partner

I am proud to announce that we will be collaborating with Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI) in order to develop an improved offer in our primary and secondary maths curriculum. MEI is an established charity and curriculum development body committed to improving lives through advances in maths education for the benefit of society. Their primary aims are to raise the quality of maths education and promote the relevance of maths education to everyone. MEI also share our core values regarding our work towards social equity in accessing excellent teaching and education. MEI is a highly respected organisation which has the ability and capacity to produce exceptionally high-quality work at scale on this project. . They are very well connected with other quality assured organisations and are well known in schools for their excellent training and support programmes such as the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme.

The NCETM is led and delivered by Tribal with MEI as a key partner. MEI's involvement in the leadership and management of the NCETM allows them to provide additional support for maths teaching at all levels.

Subject experts

Working with our new curriculum partner is just the start of the process. To make sure we can meet the wide-ranging needs of schools from across the country, we’ve also recruited subject experts to provide independent feedback.

Our subject experts will help to shape every aspect of our new offer, from reviewing our sequence to providing feedback on sample teaching resources and working with us to keep improving our curriculum.

They include subject specialists and teachers with a rich wealth of classroom experience, ensuring that our teaching materials remain for teachers and by teachers. They will also bring a range of opinions, impartial expertise and valued objective feedback and challenge.

Our curriculum development process will be transparent and open: sharing our thought-process and trajectory, from the partners we are collaborating with to the thinking behind our curriculum choices.

Our subject experts are:

  • Claire Christie - Ashley Down Primary School
  • Shannen Doherty - Aquinas Church of England Education Trust
  • Kathryn Greenhalgh - Chair of the Maths Hub Council
  • Marc Hayes - Roundhay School
  • Richard Perring - The Association of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Naveen Rizvi - Astrea Academies Trust
  • Jemma Sherwood - Ormiston Academies Trust / The Mathematical Association
  • Hannah Stoten - Ofsted
  • Helen Temple - Park Community School / Straightforward Maths
  • Jay Timotheus - Co-op Academies Trust
  • Steve Wren - Ofsted

Our maths curriculum principles

Our first set of new lesson planning and teaching resources will be available from autumn 2023, with full curriculum packages by summer 2024.

As a Subject Lead, I will ensure that the new curriculum resources that evolve through collaborative work reflect our maths guiding principles. Not only will they be road-tested and analysed by myself, our curriculum partner and our subject experts.

We will also be abiding by our new subject principles: a set of standards for our teaching resources that will ensure teachers are able to access ambitious, high-quality teaching materials.

Our maths-specific subject principles will ensure all teachers have access to outstanding lesson resources and every pupil has access to high-quality provision.

Our guiding principles are a rigorous guide to guarantee that our new curriculum is grown from a strong foundation of core values and key ingredients, ensuring that our curriculum is cohesive and enriching.

Our maths-specific subject principles will ensure that all maths teachers across the country have access to a curriculum that includes:

  • Pairing procedural knowledge with conceptual understanding.
  • Aligning with the Concrete Pictorial Abstract approach to mathematics teaching and learning.
  • Use an agreed set of models and representations which bridge mathematical concepts.
  • Use of variation theory in practice tasks and modelling.

One of our curriculum principles is diversity, and this will be a focus for subject expert groups. In addition, we will shortly be launching a process to appoint an organisation that specialises in this field, working across subjects and our partners to help us deliver breadth and diversity in content, language, texts, media and our teachers.

Our overall curriculum approach

These maths-specific principles dovetail with our overall approach to curriculum design, and how we hope teachers can use Oak, as explained by Emma McCrea, our Head of Curriculum Design. You can also find out more about the new partners and subject experts we’re excited to be working with for the other subjects we’re redeveloping first.

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