SSIF Project

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Project Aims

The overall aim of the project is to improve outcomes in maths at KS4, particularly for girls and disadvantaged students. A secondary aim is to improve transition in maths between the primary and secondary education phases. 

In the interests of securing long term sustained improvement in KS4, the project will address the onset of misconceptions in key Maths concepts in KS2/3, as well as associated attitudes to Mathematics, through delivering ICCAMS: a programme with a proven track record of addressing the aforementioned issues, as well as improving teacher subject knowledge and supporting developing Maths leaders to secure rapid change in their schools.

The project aims to improve outcomes at the end of KS2 and KS3 sufficiently to support improved outcomes in mathematics in KS4 by the end of 2022/3.

ICCAMS (Increasing Confidence and Competence in Algebra and Multiplicative Structures), is currently an EEF 'Promising Project' and formerly an ESRC project which secured 2 years’ progress for students in 1 year. 

The principles of ICCAMS are to:

  • highlight and explore students’ misconceptions

  • set maths in realistic and intriguing collaborative problems

  • use models and representations productively

  • make connections between mathematical ideas explicit

  • help teachers to use formative feedback

  • enable purposeful dialogue and collaboration between learners.

The ICCAMS programme will consist of five lesson pairs (10 lessons in total). To aid transition between primary and secondary school, the intention is that the same lessons will be taught in years 6 and 7, with staff from both age ranges trained together. 


The ICCAMS materials will be designed to support teachers in differentiating the lessons across a wide range of abilities (e.g. low attaining Y6 to high attaining Y8). Teachers will be trained to deliver the 10 lessons across five full days of training provided by ICCAMS PD leads. Following training sessions, in the effective use of the lesson materials, teachers will have the opportunity to participate in teacher research groups (TRGs) to observe and evaluate each other’s practice (one teacher will volunteer to deliver the ICCAMS lessons for colleagues to observe) before delivering lessons themselves back in their own schools. 

The delivery cycle will conclude with teachers coming back together in a twilight session, led by local SLEs, to reflect upon the impact of the lessons on pupil understanding. These sessions are also intended to allow feedback to be gathered on how the ICCAMS materials have worked in the particular context of this project. Lesson material will be adapted based on this feedback to produce a final handbook of materials which is tailored to the needs of the project. 

At the end of the project, the five lesson pairs and guidance on the use of the materials will be combined into a single handbook.



Initial funding for this project has been allocated from DfE’s Strategic School Improvement fund (SSIF) and will cover the cost of all training and resources from the project start in December 2018 until its conclusion in March 2020. Thereafter, it is expected that partner schools will continue to deliver the materials to ensure improvements are sustained beyond the duration of the project. Ideally, this will be funded through the use of pupil premium funding.