SPOTLIGHT ON: DEB FRIIS

Deb Friis is  a secondary maths teacher and research associate at Durrington High School in Sussex, as well as an Assistant Maths Hub Lead, co-leading our Secondary Mastery Programme here at Sussex Maths Hub.

Recently, Deb led a session on Mastery in Mathematics for PGCE and SDT trainees at the University of Brighton.

James Kendrick: Senior Lecturer – Mathematics Education at the University of Brighton, had this to say about the experience.

“We recently invited Deb Friis from the Sussex Maths Hub to deliver a remote session on Mastery in Mathematics teaching to our PGCE and SDT trainees. At this point, in a normal year, trainees are between their two school placements, and it is an excellent time for them to reflect on what they have learnt about maths teaching, and to begin to explore in more detail what good quality maths teaching is.

Although the trainees have already encountered many of the ideas around Mastery and Research Informed teaching, it was brilliant for them to be able to see how these ideas and practices are shared across the profession through the work of Maths Hubs. Having this delivered by someone who works in a Research School alongside working with a Maths Hub demonstrated to them how dynamic a profession teaching is – with its continuous improvement and research informed practice. This made the session very relevant to them at their point in training, but also created a genuine sense of excitement that they were entering such a dynamic community and that they would have opportunities to continue to develop their own practice and understanding.

The session was really well prepared, and was delivered online using Desmos, with some self-study in the morning followed by a live online component in the afternoon. The move to online delivery has been a very steep learning curve for everyone, but the way Deb ran it demonstrated how effective this model of delivery can be.

The trainees really enjoyed the session and have fed back to me how valuable it was to them at this point in their training, giving them a lot of practical resources and ways to improve their teaching. Deb handled all of their questions really well, demonstrating the breadth and depth of her knowledge in a clear and concise way. This was an excellent advert for the important work that Maths Hubs do to disseminate research informed practice, allow teachers to share their experiences, and encourage everyone to continue to evolve their teaching through collaboration.

My thanks to Deb for giving up her time in these busy and difficult circumstances, and we hope to continue to build on this in the future.”

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