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					Teachers’ International Professional Development programme
Dissemination and Evaluation Reports

Initial Report - Wakefield

                Initial Report – LEA co-ordinated Study Visit – Format Guide

Summary profile
Local Education Authority :                           Wakefield

Full Name of LEA visit leader :                       Martin Dell
E-mail address :                                      mdell@wakefield.gov.uk
Reference and Title of Visit :                        SV231 – Teaching and Learning in
(e.g. ‘SV001 : Teaching & Learning Strategies’)       Mathematics

Provider :                                            The British Council
Country / Region visited :                            Hungary / Budapest
Types of schools visited :                            Primary, Secondary and Vocational Schools
                                                      Teacher training College
Age of students observed :                            6 to 18
Language/s used:                                      Hungarian / English
                                                      To contrast and compare the practice in
Key Educational Purpose of the Visit:                 teaching and learning mathematics between
                                                      Hungary and England.



                                         Introduction
Intended aims of the visit:
To contrast and compare the practice in another country relating to
 Teaching and learning styles in mathematics lessons
 teaching written calculations,
 developing the skills of more able pupils,
 transition from KS2 to KS3,

Expected outcomes of the visit:
   Reflection and development of practice within the LEA with a view to developing that of
    other teachers. This will be done through identification of good practice in Hungary that
    could complement existing good practice in England.
   To successfully lead the party with resulting benefits for all participants and other teachers
    and pupils within the LEA.
   Report produced, in Website format
   Report distributed to participating schools and LEA and used for dissemination within
    schools and across the LEA

How were these to be identified and recorded:
   Lesson observation reports, focussing particularly on ‘What have we learnt?’ and ‘What
    would help teaching and learning in Wakefield schools?’
   Reports on each school visited, summarising practice and identifying good practice.
   Reports on Hungarian education system, identifying good practice.
Report of the experience
We all felt that the visit was a great success. The discussion and sharing of ideas between
secondary and primary teachers with the Hungarian schools as a catalyst was excellent. The
reflection and discussion regarding teaching and learning enabled teachers to formulate
stronger views on what was best for children. The group continues to meet with enthusiasm,
planning a comprehensive report, trying ideas, sharing outcomes and discussing dissemination.
Teaching and learning styles in mathematics lessons:
             This was a major focus for discussion and reflection. We concluded that there is
              much that we are doing already that we would want to continue (mainly influenced
              by the National Numeracy Strategy) e.g. sharing objectives, oral and mental
              starters, plenaries, delaying formal calculation methods. But we particularly feel
              that we can take on board approaches to develop the main part of the lesson
              through problem solving.
Teaching written calculations:
             We did not find out as much as we wanted about the Hungarian approach due to
              this not being a focus in the lessons we visited. It was successful in that we were
              informed of standard methods from the Teacher Training Institute that we visited
              and it was a focus for discussion between the primary and secondary teachers in
              the team. It appeared that far less emphasis is placed on written calculations and
              much more on practical activities, logical reasoning and discussion.
Developing the skills of the more able:
             This was successful in that we observed teaching strategies that encouraged
              logical thinking and reasoning through effective questioning, discussion and
              developmental problems. We also gained ideas on the running of competitions to
              encourage more able pupils. However, the more able pupils we saw were in
              selective schools that ‘creamed off’ the most academic 20% of pupils at age 10,
              which is hard to contrast with a generally non-selective system in Wakefield.
Transition from KS2 to KS3:
             As a result of the Hungarian Educational Structure being different to ours, we were
              not able to compare and contrast strategies for transition. However, we felt that
              transfer of information between schools was more comprehensive in Wakefield.
Innovative educational methods observed
             Emphasis on discussion and explanation by pupils
             Little written work
             Emphasis on logical reasoning from an early age
             More discovery and less direct teaching
             Oral assessments rather than written
             Importance of homework to provide continuity between lessons
             The pace, duration and number of activities taking place in one lesson
Unexpected outcomes
             Lack of differentiation
             Lack of apparent assessment or marking of work by teachers
             Lack of review towards the end of lessons

Evaluation
Summary of the key educational outcomes (3-4 outcomes)
1. Interactive nature of the teaching, with focus on discussion, mathematical justification,
   argument and logical thinking and reasoning through the age range
2. Work on ‘sets’ to develop logical thinking and problem solving.
3. Opportunities for finding patterns in numbers to develop logical thinking.
4. Emphasis on pupils using mathematical statements and correct vocabulary at all times
5. Use of homework for continuity between lessons and to start next lesson
6. Tasks / exercises completed in short bursts with sharing of solutions
7. Progress through problem solving
8. Value of using pupils at the board
9. Positive effect of not having a uniform
10. The children observed were independent learners and very self-disciplined. They worked
    responsibly with resources and moved around the classroom sensibly.
11. Teachers’ high expectations of the pupils.

How can the findings be applied to the UK context?
1. The highly selective, competitive nature of Hungarian education is unlikely to apply in the
   UK context.
2. Points 1 and 5 above have potential for great influence, particularly in secondary schools.
3. Points 1, 6, 7, and 8 above can be incorporated into effective teaching and learning styles.

How will you apply them to your work?
1. With immediate effect in the schools represented on the study visit.
2. Encourage independent learners by having higher expectations of pupils.
3. Interactive nature of teaching and learning will continue to be promoted through all maths
   INSET in Wakefield (which is quite extensive).
4. Use of homework – through training with secondary maths teachers and in working with
   other secondary colleagues, particularly senior management
5. Referring to length of time spent on tasks, problem solving approaches and use of pupils at
   the board will be promoted through maths INSET in Wakefield.
6. The current practice, promoted by the NNS, of sharing objectives with pupils, a mental and
   oral starter and a plenary should be maintained. These were not strengths in lessons seen
   in Hungary. But the main part of the lesson could be restructured to alter the focus away
   from practice and more to applying knowledge in new and unfamiliar contexts, along with
   the reasoning / justification aspects outlined above.

How do you now intend to disseminate the findings of your visit?
1. Trial ideas with pupils in the classes of teachers on the study visit
2. Produce displays in schools
3. A report is being produced, in website format that will be part of the Wakefield LEA website.
4. The report will be shared with headteachers of the four schools represented and Lea
   colleagues.
5. Presentations will be made at staff meetings and LEA meetings.
6. Key teaching and learning aspects of the report will be shared with all schools through
   primary maths co-ordinators INSET and secondary maths teachers INSET.
7. The key educational outcomes will form part of our philosophy about teaching and learning
   and influence INSET in Wakefield.

Proposals for future developments and continuing links?
1. The report will be emailed to colleagues in Hungary.
2. The Wakefield website will be available to colleagues in Hungary.
3. We would love to host a return visit by Hungarian teachers.
4. We would like to return to see more practice and to visit vocational schools, particularly
   large classes of lower ability pupils.

General advice for other visitors to the country/region:
1. Have many preliminary meetings to prepare and research on the country and educational
   systems.
2. Visit websites – TIMSS, TALKING CITIES,
3. Learn some very basic language – please, thank you etc.
4. Delegation / sharing of jobs and roles is vital.
5. Building a ‘team’ from the people visiting is vital.
6. Try to arrange visits to vocational schools (see above)
7. Try to build in time to speak with Hungarian students about their experiences of
   mathematics lessons.
8. Having a centrally located hotel was beneficial. Public transport was excellent (need travel
   card), most things are very cheap.
9. We were very well looked after.

				
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