HMI Maths briefing by Jane Jones, HMI Maths lead

NW Maths Hub 3 would like to invite all Primary school leaders– Head teachers, senior leaders and maths leads to attend a HMI Maths briefing delivered by Jane Jones HMI Maths lead.

The session will take place on: Tuesday 7th November- 9-12 noon at The World of Glass, Chalon Way E, Saint Helens WA10 1BX.

Focus of the session: The teaching for mastery approach, expectations, how HMI/OFSTED are using this knowledge/approach to inform inspections. Progress and lessons learnt from previous inspections. What is working well in schools based on recent visits?

There will be a non-profit charge of £10 made by St Helens TSA to cover the cost of the venue and refreshments. Places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

Ofsted give further reassurance to schools using mastery approach to mathematics teaching

Schools adopting mastery approaches to the teaching of maths have received a further reassurance from Ofsted that such an approach is wholly consistent with the new curriculum.

Speaking at a Maths Hubs programme event on mastery teaching in primary schools, Jane Jones HMI, Ofsted’s National Lead for Mathematics, also gave some advice to schools on how to explain their approach to Ofsted inspectors.

The speech came at the end of a day in which schools that have recently hosted teachers from Shanghai outlined how their approaches to teaching maths are already changing to reflect a number of the mastery approaches. For example, the practice of putting children on different tables, with different work, according to perceived ability had been abandoned in favour of keeping the whole class together on the same content for the entirety of the lesson. Depth of understanding is being prioritised, alongside high expectations of every child.

Jane Jones explained that both the new curriculum and the Ofsted handbook stressed that an objective of teaching was to create deeper understanding rather than to accelerate pupils into new content.

In the past, she said, differentiation was often achieved by a teacher preparing different activities or worksheets for different groups of pupils. Now there are other ways, consistent with the new curriculum and a mastery approach, of catering for different attainment levels within a classroom.

These could include giving pupils differing amounts of time using concrete resources to help them grasp concepts, and giving what she called the ‘rapid-graspers’ more challenging questions and problems to work on, and reason about.

She acknowledged that the whole class teaching model—a key feature of teaching for mastery—can sometimes look slower than usual. But she assured her audience that inspectors will not judge teaching and progress based on the speed of getting through content. They will focus on the depth of pupils’ learning – the impact of the teaching.

She ended her address with an impassioned plea for teachers attracted by the mastery approach to ‘go for it’ in the best interests of their pupils.

This will be a popular event so please book early to avoid disappointment. To reserve a place email-

Pen Portrait-

Jane Jones has been an HMI since 2002. She inspects primary and secondary schools/academies, including those causing concern, and initial teacher education. As National Adviser for mathematics, she leads Ofsted’s work in mathematics, which includes an annual programme of survey visits, dissemination of findings, and provision of advice to the Chief Inspector, Ministers, the Department for Education and other stakeholders. Jane holds a Master’s degree in mathematics and qualified teacher status. She led and taught mathematics in four varied 11-18 secondary schools. She has experience of higher, primary and pre-school education and was a principal examiner for GCSE mathematics and a Qualifications and Curriculum Authority consultant/scrutineer.