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Semi Specialist Maths (Primary)

Module titleSemi Specialist Maths (Primary)
Module codeEMAM009
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Taro Fujita (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The module aims to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence for you to teach mathematics in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, and to understand how it is taught in related phases. There is an emphasis within the module to explore different approaches to problem solving, using and applying mathematics, for peer support and developing you as a future subject leader in mathematics. The module covers mathematics in wider contexts beyond the classroom and it is hoped that you develop a longer-term view on effective teaching of mathematics grounded in theory and practice.


Taught sessions will be delivered via lectures, seminars, and workshops (on and off-campus), including peer teaching as appropriate. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module will focus on extending the breadth and depth of your understanding of mathematics education in several directions, in order that you can develop children’s mathematics learning in a number of ways. These include:

  • developing a coherent philosophy for mathematics as a creative and imaginative subject
  • recognising the potential for enriching the learning of mathematics through different learning environments
  • gaining a deeper understanding of approaches to mathematics, in particular problem solving and mathematical reasoning, to understand its place in the curriculum and ways in which it can relate to other subjects.
  • developing an initial understanding of leadership in mathematics to enable you to evaluate and select materials, understand the importance of assessment and target setting, and support your colleagues’ mathematics teaching.
  • being able to teach mathematics creatively and being aware of gender, inclusion and social and cultural backgrounds.
  • developing skills in supporting your colleagues in their subject knowledge, enriching your personal subject and pedagogical knowledge
  • to understand the contexts and strategies of informal learning and be able to incorporate this knowledge into your practice as a teacher.
  • to nurture your development as a reflective and autonomous professional practitioner who is able to identify strengths and areas for development in your subject knowledge and pedagogy, through evaluating current professional practice in relationship to developments in research and curriculum theory.
  •  to help you to meet the Standards required for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (2012) and thus be in a very good position to gain employment as a primary teacher able to specialize in science teaching.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. identify and evaluate educational concepts and issues related to the teaching of mathematics ; and engage in critical debate about current educational issues in the teaching of mathematics drawing on evidence from theory, research and practice;
  • 2. recognise pupils’ learning needs in mathematics and interpret these learning needs in order to plan, teach, assess and evaluate lessons and schemes of work;
  • 3. demonstrate confident academic and pedagogic subject knowledge to teach mathematics in Key Stage 1&2;
  • 4. demonstrate secure understanding of the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum for Mathematics;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. critically evaluate the relevance of educational theory to practice;
  • 6. synthesise relevant educational literature in support of an argument;
  • 7. use appropriate technologies for data handling and writing in education;
  • 8. present data and findings in a form appropriate in educational studies;
  • 9. use research data in support of an argument in education;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. manage your own learning development;
  • 11. learn effectively and be aware of your own learning strategies;
  • 12. express ideas and opinions, with confidence and clarity, to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes;
  • 13. think creatively about the main features of a given problem and develop strategies for its resolution.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module introduces students to current thinking in the teaching of mathematics and develops students’ pedagogic and academic subject knowledge in the wider field of mathematics education.  

Whilst the precise contents and order may vary from year to year, key elements of the module might include:

Mathematics workshop programme covering:

  • education theories related to good mathematics learning and teaching; emphasis on problem solving and mathematical reasoning;
  • exploration of common  misconceptions;
  • creating a problem solving booklet and resources; critiquing resources and commercial schemes;
  • mathematical thinking and the role of talk in developing children’s mathematics;
  • collaborative learning and interactive classrooms;
  • using ICT to develop mathematical thinking and spatial awareness;
  • multi-cultural approaches to calculation and strategy games;
  • cross curricular approaches – links to Art and science;
  • mathematics in outdoor learning environments through Forest School, mathematics trails and visits;
  • knowledge of the Early Years and KS3 curriculum

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities33Practical classes and workshops: Mathematics Pedagogy & theory workshops; Peer Teaching and Subject Support Groups
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities8Seminar Days
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities9Pathway activities
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities1Tutorials with academic tutor
Guided independent study40Ready set texts
Guided independent study50Wider reading
Guided independent study22Web-based activities
Guided independent study35Seminar/workshop preparation and follow up
Guided independent study12Peer teaching activity preparation
Guided independent study30Learning support group preparation
Guided independent study60Coursework assignment preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written assignment: Literature review Using research, policy and theory to explore a question.1,500 words1, 3, 4, 6-12, 13Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written assignment: Research Based Enquiry1004,000 words1-12, 13Written feedback


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignment: Research Based EnquiryWritten assignment: Research Based Enquiry (4,000 words)1-12,13See notes below.

Re-assessment notes

 If a submitted assignment is deemed to be a Fail, you will be given feedback outlining what needs to be done to bring the assignment to a pass standard and one opportunity for resubmission will be allowed.


You can choose to resubmit a failed assignment ‘in year’ (i.e. before the final PGCE Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee (APAC) in July). The resubmission would normally be made 4 weeks after receiving feedback on the first submission. Alternatively, you may opt to go to the PGCE Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee with the fail mark. You will then be referred to the College level Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee who will confirm the conditions for resubmission of the work. Normally the resubmission should be by 1st September. You should discuss these options with your tutor.


Note: if you choose the second option, the award of PGCE will be delayed until the Assessment, Progression and Awarding

Committee meeting following any successful resubmission (normally held in December).


If an assignment is deemed to be a Fail, the mark obtained on resubmission will be capped at 50%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative Reading:

Askew, M. (2012) Transforming Primary Mathematics Abingdon: Routledge

Hansen, A. (ed)  (2011) Children’s Errors in Mathematics: Understanding Common Misconceptions in Primary Schools, Exeter, Learning Matters.

Rowland, T. Turner, F. Thwaites, A. and Huckstep, P. (2009) Developing Primary Mathematics Teaching London: Sage Publications

Haylock, D. and Thangata, F. (2007) key Concepts in Teaching Primary Mathematics  London: Sage Publications

Koshy, V. and Murray, J. (Eds) (2011) Unlocking Mathematics Teaching, London: David Fulton Publishers

Cockburn, A and Littler, G. (2008) Mathematical Misconceptions London: Sage Publications

Fielker, D. (1997) Extending Mathematical Ability Through Whole Class Teaching London: Hodder and Stoughton

Hansen, A. and Vaukins, D. (2012) Primary mathematics Across the Curriculum London: Learning Matters

Briggs, M. & Davis, S. (2007) Mathematics in the Early Years and Primary Classroom (Creative Teaching), London, David Fulton

Burton, L. (1984) Thinking Things Through, Oxford: Blackwell.

Mason, J. Burton, L. and Stacey, K. (1988) Thinking Mathematically, Wokingham: Addison-Wesley.

Swan, M. (2006) Collaborative Learning in Mathematics: A Challenge to our beliefs and practices, London/Leicester, NRDC/NIACE

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Nunes, T. Bryant, P.and Watson, A (2009) Key Understandings in Mathematics Learning Nuffield Foundation accessible from accessed 03/07/12


See Ian Thompson’s wide range of articles – in particular ‘Deconstructing the PNS approach to calculation’ parts 1 – 4 available from   accessed 03/07/12


Educational Studies in Mathematics: mathematics education research journal


ZDM mathematics education research journal


Journal of Mathematical Behaviour: Mathematics education research journal

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

PGCE Primary Mathematics.

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module co-requisites

Educational & Professional Studies module (EPSM000)

Primary  Professional Learning module (EDUM034)

Primary Curriculum Studies module (EDUM033)

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date