New guidance to improve maths teaching for 7–14 year olds

3 November 2017

Good maths skills are essential for everyday life and a range of careers. Yet there remains a large and persistent attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) believes the best way to change this is through better use of evidence: looking at what has – and has not – worked in the past.

To support good maths teaching in Key Stages 2 and 3, they’ve published new guidance that gives schools and teachers practical “do’s and don’ts” of great maths teaching.

One recommendation focuses on how to develop good maths knowledge. It highlights some areas that pupils should get to grips with, as well as some common misconceptions that they may pick up.

The seven other recommendations for good maths teaching for seven – 14 year olds are:

  • Support pupils as they make the transition from primary to secondary school, when attitudes and attainment in the subject tend to dip.
  • Use physical objects like bricks and counters to help pupils engage with and understand maths concepts.
  • Help pupils become better problem solvers, so that if they don’t know how to work something out they can draw on different strategies to help them make sense of it.
  • Use tasks and resources like digital technology and textbooks to support good maths teaching.
  • Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own learning by developing their ‘metacognitive’ skills – their ability to plan, monitor and evaluate their thinking and learning.
  • Use assessment and knowledge of common misconceptions to guide planning, intervention and feedback.
  • Give children who are struggling with maths additional support through high-quality one-on-one or small-group interventions.


The report is free to access and available here.

Posted on 3 November 2017
Posted in: Evidence