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Fundamental Skills For Trainee Teachers (English & mathematics)

All prospective teachers are expected to be competent in the Fundamental Skills for English and mathematics.

SSF will use diagnostic assessments during the recruitment process to see where applicants are at the initial stage of their journey to become a teacher. These will be used to inform training needs so that we can help ensure that all fundamental skills are secure before the end of the training year.

In September 2019 it was announced that the Professional Skills Tests will be replaced by centre-led assessment at the end of the 2020 recruitment cycle. This means that applicants for teacher training with a September 2020 start will not be required to sit professional skills tests.  It will become our responsibility to assure that all of our trainees have fundamental English and mathematics skills during the selection process and that these are developed during the training programme.

All teachers are expected to be competent in Fundamental English and mathematics. By the end of the teacher training year, all trainees must be able to demonstrate competence in the following areas:

  • Speaking, listening and communicating are fundamental to a teacher’s role. Teachers should use standard English grammar, clear pronunciation and vocabulary relevant to the situation to convey instructions, questions, information, concepts and ideas with clarity. Teachers should read fluently and with good understanding.
  • Writing by teachers will be seen by colleagues, pupils and parents and, as such, it is important that a teacher’s writing reflects the high standards of accuracy their professional role demands. They should write clearly, accurately, legibly and coherently using correct spelling and punctuation.
  • Teachers should use data and graphs to interpret information, identify patterns and trends and draw appropriate conclusions. They need to interpret pupil data and understand statistics and graphs in the news, academic reports and relevant papers.
  • Teachers should be able to complete mathematical calculations fluently with whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages. They should be able to solve mathematical problems using a variety of methods and approaches including: estimating and rounding, sense checking answers, breaking down problems into simpler steps and explaining and justifying answers using appropriate language.

The skills outlined above are incorporated into our training programme and there are additional support sessions for trainees identified as requiring additional this. There is also an option for our trainees to request additional subject knowledge training through workshop based activities.

Support materials

The following texts/websites are very useful sources of support:

Useful Websites:

Useful Books:

  • Carol Vorderman ‘Help Your Kids With…’ books. There is a very good selection of  English and Maths books - outstanding reference guides with an at a glance guide to all topics

   Image result for carol vorderman help your kids with maths

  • CGP revision booklets are brilliant and are only £5.95 each - child friendly explanations really help adults too ( Our two top recommendations are: 



  • ‘Mathematics explained for Primary Teachers’ Derek Haylock- a core book for use whilst teaching Mathematics. 

Image result for mathematics explained for primary teachers