Achieving QTS: Primary Mathematics Teaching Theory and Practice

Author(s) Mooney, Claire; Briggs, Mary; Fletcher , Mike and McCulloch, Judith
Publisher Learning Matters Ltd. Exeter
Published 2002
Pages 182
ISBN 1903300568
Reviewed by Robert Payne
Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Glamorgan
Review published 1 December 2004

This is an invaluable book for the Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) seeking to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or the equivalent. It is written with the needs in mind of all primary trainees on all courses of initial teacher training in England and other parts of the UK. As well as the newly qualified, and given the new guidelines on guidance for NQTs, this book will be useful for mentors and curriculum coordinators in mathematics in the primary sector.

As a text it is packed full of practical ideas for mathematics teaching as well as recapping DfEE recommendations such as the structure of the daily mathematics lesson, this is particularly useful as it saves the NQT searching through volumous documents and therefore forms a vital reference guide. There are also a number of other key features in the book including,

  • Clear links with the Professional Standards for QTS
  • Clear references to Mathematics in the National Curriculum and the National Numeracy Strategy's Framework for Teaching Mathematics
  • Pedagogical and professional knowledge and understanding for effective mathematics teaching and learning
  • Research summaries
  • Practical tasks
  • Strong links to other key texts and reference.

The structure of the book is based around 12 chapters which, following the introductory and daily mathematics lesson chapters, move into individual subject chapters. These cover a good range of subjects which are, number, shape and space, measures, handling data and probability, algebra and calculation. The book concludes with three chapters on organisational aspects of teaching such as, teaching strategies, planning and assessment.

The mathematical subject chapters have a very clear structure and present the information concisely and accurately in a common format which explains how each chapter fits in with the National Numeracy Strategy (NNS) and unpicks the progression. Each chapter has one or more practical tasks and again considers progression in tasks. A summary and references to key DfEE documents such as the National Curriculum and the NNS framework conclude each chapter along with a range of further reading from recent primary mathematical texts.

The mixture of mathematical knowledge and advice for the NQT gives this book a unique place in the market as the NQT may have copious knowledge of mathematics but little practical experience in the fundamental aspects of teaching practice. There is a wealth of good advice that the NQT and others will find invaluable, which is especially true in the assessment and recording chapter where a lot of the terminology that baffles is demystified with the minimum of fuss. Clear methods in assessing at this level based on flowcharts are also laid out. Marking and recording are both covered in enough detail to give confidence to the new teacher.

This book is part of the Achieving QTS series and when read in conjunction with some of the other titles listed should provide a comprehensive source of key information.