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Subject Knowledge Enhancement Courses - Maths

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by nathanwing, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. nathanwing

    nathanwing New commenter


    I've been timetabled to teach a small amount of KS3 Maths next year, outside of my subject specialism. I agreed to this quite happily as I studied Maths to A-Level and always enjoyed it.

    After doing a little bit of research I've noticed that there are a number of Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses available and wondered if anyone had any experience of doing this and if they thought they are worth trying to do?
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You probably won't need to nathan - they are expensive and hard to get on (in terms of your school will have to cough up the money).

    I'l probably get slaughtered for this but I taught a fair bit of KS3 maths a few years ago and I DON'T have maths A level - I just got hold of a few textbooks and taught myself what I needed to know.

    My classes did pretty well !
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Most people will recommend you change your username and photo to make you less immediately identifiable. In just a click or two I know all your qualifications and which school you teach in.

    If your school is as good as it seems on the website and in the Ofsted report, the head of maths should be able to give you all you need to teach successfully.
    claire_jean_ and agathamorse like this.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    If you have an A level and enjoy maths, you probably don't need a subject enhancement course in terms of subject knowledge. What you may need,however, is some ideas on how to teach it. You could ask the maths department if they have any resources you can use, or invest in one or two books. Look on Amazon. Later if teaching maths is something you want to do long term then take some further courses.

    YouTube is also a good source of resources for you and your class.
    nathanwing likes this.
  5. catbanj

    catbanj Occasional commenter

    Doing Maths at A level (possibly some time ago) and teaching it now are two completely different things plus some KS3 Maths topics may not have been on your A level, depending on the units you selected eg set theory.

    If it were me, my starting point would be the HoD; find out what you need to teach and what resources are usually used by others. It may be they have a very tight curriculum and everything is provided or it could be more fluid where staff plan for their individual class- that does need more expertise and understanding of the demands of Maths and the mistakes pupils make. Perhaps have a look at the assessments, so you can gauge the level your pupils are working towards. Please don't think I am advocating teaching to the test, I'm not. It;s just in this wonderful new world without levels it can be difficult to know where pupils are starting from and where they need to be.

    Is there another teacher with a similar class? Perhaps you could do some joint planning and share resources?

    Our HLTA took one of those extended CPD courses. He didn't really rate it and felt he could have done better just sitting and working through a text book and past papers. I can't speak from experience as I haven't done one.

    I do teach Maths but I remember advice from a previous HoD; we were discussing problems getting a decent Maths Supply Teacher. He said that he's rather we got someone who could fundamentally teach as we could fix the Maths by supporting them. That's exactly what we did, and it worked well.

    Good luck
  6. nathanwing

    nathanwing New commenter

    Thank you for the replies and useful advice.
  7. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    One of the biggest problems with subject knowledge enhancement is that everyone wants something different, so you often end up disappointed. With DIY you can be very specific.
  8. Thursdays_Child

    Thursdays_Child New commenter

    Wow - Caterpillartobutterfly thats really interesting about the photo and username - I think I have the generic photo covered by as to changing my username (which I tried to do after reading this) I'm not sure how. Anyone out there know? It's probably a point I should take on board too.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I think you need to message one of the moderators to change your name for you.
    Have a look on the welcome lounge board and it should tell you @claire_jean_

    I just typed the OP's name into google and added 'teacher after it. Lots came up as he uses the same photo all over the net.
    Yours didn't claire, and I'm not bothered enough to make more of an effort than that. ;)
    claire_jean_ likes this.
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    back to the maths. Bear in mind that you are quite likely to get a preponderance of bottom sets. So you will be teaching pretty basic stuff most of the time. Using the basic skills to problem solve is probably going to be a big focus. What is your subject specialism, sometimes you can use that as a way to think of ideas for problem solving. One food tech teacher that I worked with was good at making the maths relevant as she often linked it to one branch or another of tech.

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