Research Question: How can a mastery approach in whole class mathematical sessions affect the engagement level with open ended resources in free flow learning?

Researcher(s): Fiona Wasiewicz

Setting(s): Colston’s Primary

Status: Ongoing

Fiona began by looking at whole class teaching. She then looked at the Shanghai Model and has tried using what she terms ‘call and response maths’. From the different things Fiona has implemented her maths lessons are now very different. Fiona begins the lesson with an introduction (starter activity), the children then explore a specific maths topic and finally they look at open ended resources as she moves around the class. With the children who are finding it difficult she brings together as a sub group and they are offered support. She is focusing on how maths works rather than what maths is. Her initial observations are that children are now much more engaged. She has collected the assessments from the objective-led-planning and has found that there is much more evidence of children’s maths in the classroom with the children being more engaged in maths and they love maths in the environment.

A note about Practitioner led Mathematical Research 2017


The Bristol Early Years Consortium Maths SLEs have received funding from the Boolean Maths Hub to:

  • Develop specialist subject knowledge of mathematics teaching.
  • Develop pedagogical knowledge of mathematics teaching.
  • Improve the quality of mathematics teaching.
  • Develop confidence and resilience in learning mathematics.

The SLEs as research mentors are using research as a form of CPD to achieve the above aims. 

The research participants have sculpted their own questions for their research and the SLEs will meet with the research participants 6 times a year and have whole research group meetings three times a year. There are 15 teacher/practitioner researchers who work with children from two years old to seven years old.