Let Teachers SHINE winner 2024: Sam Tallintire – Mathematical CPD Library

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A Sunderland secondary school teacher hopes to support colleagues across the region by creating online training video resources for maths teachers.

Sam Tallintire, from Southmoor Academy, has been awarded a development grant by Let Teachers SHINE to begin creating her project, The Mathematical CPD Library.

The grant, totalling £5,000, will enable the production of the first part of a collection of high-quality video tutorials for maths teachers to help them develop their subject and pedagogical knowledge in all areas of the curriculum.

These video tutorials will be supported by resources to be worked through or used with students in the classroom.

The funding will allow Sam to fine-tune the project, before progressing to a fully-fledged project.

Sam wants to develop the training library because there is a lack of comparable resources available for teachers who have completed their initial training.

“If you want to upskill yourself currently, there are only really those videos aimed at your GCSE students,” she said. “This then removes any chance of a teacher considering the pedagogical skills they might need and there is no opportunity to consider how topics might link together at a higher level.”

The current difficulties in recruiting maths teachers mean that many people are joining the profession without a maths degree. Sam herself studied law at university.

“If you are coming in without a maths degree, you are going to have to work quite hard to get your knowledge as good as it could be,” she said.

When Sam became a maths teacher, she was required to complete an advanced diploma in mathematics before she could enter the classroom.

With the shortage of maths teachers worsening, entry standards have been lowered and that additional year of training is no longer a requirement.

“It means people get in the classroom quicker but possibly need a little bit more support in their development,” Sam explained.

The shortage of teachers also makes it difficult to find time to attend training courses held outside school.

Sam’s solution of online-based videos targeted specifically at maths teachers will make it easier for them to access training during the school day.

“Our goal is to provide practical and easily accessible resources that empower teachers to enhance their skills and ultimately improve student outcomes,” she said.

Sam hopes the project will enable teachers to truly share a thorough understanding and love of mathematics at a higher level.

If the initial trial this year is successful, Sam will apply for a full Let Teachers SHINE grant to help her build a comprehensive portal of resources, covering all the different topics maths teachers need to understand and to support their subject knowledge development, along with practical insights on how to deliver such lessons in the classroom.

Sam will provide the voice for the videos, and collaboration with colleagues will ensure accuracy and effectiveness in content delivery.

While the project will initially be focused on Sunderland schools, Sam hopes it will eventually extend much further.

“It’s a north-eastern project, but there’s no reason that couldn’t be nationwide. It should be applicable to all maths teachers, no matter where you’re based, and it hopefully would then improve teaching in the classroom and results longer term.”

Meanwhile, Sam is excited to get started on the pilot. “I’m really, really pleased to receive the grant from SHINE,” she said. “It is so nice to have people outside of your organisation believe in your idea and believe that it can have an impact on students.”

Fiona Spellman, CEO of SHINE, said: “We know that there are many committed, passionate teachers of maths, and that numeracy is a foundational skill that helps all students to thrive.

“This CPD library will mean that teachers can develop and hone their subject knowledge and pedagogical skills and students can access the very best in maths teaching, in a way that raises the bar for everyone. We are very pleased to be supporting the development of Sam’s work, and excited to see the impact it can have.”

Click here to read about this year’s other winners