Good practice in mathematics at key stage 3 - February 2015


This report is published in response to a request for advice from the Welsh Government in the Minister’s annual remit to Estyn for 2013-2014. The report examines standards in mathematics at key stage 3 and the factors affecting achievement, and includes case studies of best practice.
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Mathematics departments should:

  • monitor the performance of pupils eligible for free school meals and offer targeted interventions as necessary
  • meet the needs of pupils who experience difficulties or are more able
  • increase the level of challenge for all pupils by making sure that:
    • lessons are structured to engage, motivate and stretch all pupils
    • mathematical problem-solving skills are developed and applied to a wide range of real-life contexts
  • ensure that assessment and tracking procedures are robust
  • improve departmental self-evaluation and improvement planning
  • share best practice across the school and evaluate new ways of working

Local authorities and regional consortia should:

  • facilitate networks for sharing best practice between mathematics departments
  • provide support, challenge and professional development opportunities for mathematics departments and individual teachers

The Welsh Government should:

  • investigate the difference in outcomes between boys and girls in mathematics
  • address shortages in the supply of qualified mathematics teachers

Best practice case studies

  •  Cardiff High School, Cardiff
  • Cwmtawe Community School, Neath Port Talbot
  • Caerleon Comprehensive School, Newport
  • Cardinal Newman R.C. Comprehensive School, Rhondda Cynon Taf