Maths Hub

Maths Hub



Quick links to work groups (click on sub-headings below)

Mathematical thinking for GCSE

Y5 - Y8 continuity

Challenging topics at GCSE

Developing Working Partnerships for SEND and Mathematics

Further Workgroups (to be added)

Secondary Teaching for Mastery work groups


Procedural competence is not enough.

Mathematics is so much more than just about numbers but crucial to children's success and confidence in maths is their ability to understand and manipulate the number system in arithmetic and subsequently algebra. Establishing number sense and understanding the structures that underpin arithmetic are essential for a pupil's progress and the principles of teaching for mastery underline the importance of getting the basics right at whatever stage before moving on prematurely to more complex aspects.

This is not just relevant for younger children and many teachers will recognise the issue of re-teaching the basics to older students because they haven't mastered the fundamentals. This problem will not go away quickly and despite the introduction of a teaching for mastery strategy in some schools, as a country we are many years away from establishing satisfactory progress and true understanding for all our children. Even those schools who have adopted the teaching for mastery principles will take time to fully develop their practices and in many schools where progress has apparently been outstanding the bar of our expectation must be raised such that procedural competence is not enough but fluency and mastery are the goals we as professionals should be seeking to develop in our students.

The South Yorkshire Maths Hub aims to support teachers and schools to reflect on their current practices and develop a teaching for mastery strategy that works for their students. SYMH encourages feeder primary schools and secondaries to work closely together as well as clusters and alliances of schools. SYMH will endeavour to share best practice and resources but encourages colleagues to contribute to this local collaboration by engaging in professional reflective dialogue, sharing experiences within schools and across the region.

Shanghai Showcase 2019!


 There are two local schools hosting the 2019 China Exchange

Primary - Byron Wood, Sheffield

Secondary - Hungerhill, Doncaster

Primary Showcase lessons

new dates china


Secondary Showcase lessons





Please email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book onto any of these events, please give your school name, names of teachers you wish to attend and the date & venue of the event you wish to book for.

Post 16

  • Published in Post 16
Quick links to work group and other associated pages (click on sub-headings below)
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 Terry Daswon of MEI (Mathematics in Education & Industry) 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.
School 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. ​



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 (Click to read more about the South Yorkshire Maths hub)

The South Yorkshure Maths Hub (SYMH) aims to provide support for Mathematics Education development throughout our region. Much of what we do is freely available to all schools and we encourage all colleagues to get in touch if there are further aspects they feel we could be supporting schools with.

Two simple things you can do straight-away

Register your email for monthly e-newsletter update and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

Browse this website and get in touch with the work group leader (WGL) for any that interest you

A new set of work groups will be available in the new academic year and we encourage you to have a look at the relevant pages to find out what's available. As we get more information more details will be added to the web pages but to get the most up to date information emailed directly to you, please consider registering your interest by completing this online form.

To see what opportunities are available in each phase, click on the appropriate links below.

Early Years



Post 16


The South Yorkshire Maths Hub is one of four hubs serving Yorkshire from a network of 35 hubs nationwide.  (Click on the links below to access the relevant websites)

West Yorkshire Maths Hub 

Yorkshire Ridings Maths Hub

Yorkshire & Humber Maths Hub


Funded by the Department of Education and working with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), the South Yorkshire Maths Hub (SYMH) is led by Notre Dame High School supported by local universities, teaching schools and national associations. SYMH predominantly supports schools in the South Yorkshire area although all schools are welcome to engage with SYMH activity particularly North Lincolnshire, North Nottinghamshire & North Derbyshire - see the national Maths Hub website for alternative hubs in your area.

National Maths Hub website

As part of the maths hubs' vision is;
          • "A resolute focus on pupil's maths outcomes"  and  "Determined support for all schools & colleges to improve"
This educator led initiative  is based on a principle of  "Teachers doing good work together to make a difference to pupils" with a longer term vision to strategically combine the efforts of the Mathematics community in adapting best practice locally and from across the world for the benefit of our children.
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.

Administrator: Tara Webster : 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. See the diagram below for an overview.
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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Challenging topics

06-06-2018 Hits:623

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Y5-8 Continuity

06-06-2018 Hits:682

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Apply to develop as a TfM specialist

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Secondary Mastery Specialist Programme 2018/19 Cohort 3 - Information and Application   Click here to download application form Following the ongoing success of the first and second cohorts of the secondary Mastery Specialist programme...

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Secondary Maths Teaching for Mastery Spe…

17-08-2016 Hits:2140

The four secondary "Teaching for Mastery" work groups will be led by local specialists; To register an interest in engaging in either of these work group cohorts please email; Sarah Carton: Gainsborough Academy, Lincolnshire:...

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Local secondary maths posts available

10-08-2016 Hits:1400

Schools across the South Yorkshire region have been invited to publicise any Maths associated teaching posts that are available here. SYMH will endeavour to keep this information correct and up to date...

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30-12-2014 Hits:6635

  Quick links to work groups (click on sub-headings below) Mathematical thinking for GCSE Y5 - Y8 continuity Challenging topics at GCSE Developing Working Partnerships for SEND and Mathematics Further Workgroups (to be added) Secondary Teaching for Mastery...

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United Learning
Navigate Trust


Sheffield Hallam University
University of Sheffield

FE Colleges

Barnsley College
Doncaster College
Rotherham College of Arts & Technology
Sheffield College