Primary School Teacher Rachel Webster: How your Year 7s have been taught maths

August 30, 2017 - Podcast
Primary School Teacher Rachel Webster: How your Year 7s have been taught maths

On this episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, I spoke to Rachel Webster.

Rachel is a former primary school teacher who is taking on the role of a Primary Maths Specialist with the White Rose Maths Hub from September.

The reason I wanted to interview Rachel is that for many years I do not feel I have been teaching each new crop of Year 7s as well as I could have done. Dylan Wiliam has said one of the most important things for a teacher to know is where their learners are at, and I have made the mistake of pretty much assuming these Year 7s know very little about maths. I have introduced concepts such as fractions, factors, ratio and algebra as if they have never seen them before. Perhaps just as importantly, I wasn’t sure exactly what these Year 7s would be expecting maths lessons to be like based on their prior experiences. Just in case any other teachers out there want to know a bit more about the mathematical background of their Year 7s, I thought it would be worthwhile having an experienced primary teacher such as Rachel on the show, and thank goodness I did, as it proved to be a cracker!

In a wide-ranging interview, we covered the following and more:

If you have Year 7s at all this year, or if you have any influence over your school’s transition policy, then hopefully this will prove an invaluable listen. I know it will change how I approach my teaching, and I will reflect on that during my takeaway at the end of the interview.

The books Rachel recommends, along with the book recommendations of all my previous guests, can be found at
My research page, summarising my takeaways to over 100 papers can be found at

Rachel Webster’s Big 3
2. TES for the White Rose Maths Hub Schemes of Work
3. YouCubed

Thanks so much for listening, and I really hope you enjoy the show!
Craig Barton

I am a maths teacher, currently teaching at Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, UK. Here are links to some of my work:
Mr Barton Maths Blog
Twitter: @mrbartonmaths
Diagnostic Questions
Mr Barton Maths Podcast
Just the Job Podcast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>