Project focus

    Diagnosing and intervening effectively – Place Value (Year 3) is a research project that forms part of work being undertaken by Herts for Learning to develop a resource which allows schools to use diagnostic questions to track back to identify gaps in mathematical knowledge and to create teaching sequences for personalised maths interventions. 

    Herts for Learning has designed and piloted a sequence of diagnostic questions to expose gaps in mathematical knowledge in place value and teaching guidance.

    This project provides schools with training in successful use of the diagnostic assessments, creation of individualised interventions using the teaching guidance and support for effective implementation.

    The project is being delivered with schools in Hertfordshire. If you would like to express an interest in participating in the project, please sign up on this page.

    Impact and outcomes from 6-week project

    Adults who delivered the structured interventions identified:

    • the diagnostic assessment increased the precision in the focus of the intervention
    • completing the diagnostic assessment allowed identification of the root of place value difficulties which were slowing progress
    • teaching guidance and training improved their subject knowledge
    • teaching guidance provided clarity in the small steps of progression needed
    • teaching guidance improved their ability and confidence to model to pupils using appropriate resources
    • teaching guidance improved precision in their use of vocabulary
    • the whole process increased their awareness of pupil strategies and how to provide effective support both within the intervention and within lessons

    Pupils who followed the individualised interventions typically displayed the following changes:

    • improved understanding in the place value gaps identified
    • increased precision in their use of mathematical vocabulary
    • improved use of concrete resources to support understanding and selection of these independently within class
    • improved ability to reason
    • increased confidence and precision in asking for support when needed
    • increased ability to self correct and check reasonableness of responses

    Project delivery

    Participants will receive the project CPD through:

    • one day launch session
    • twilight surgery where specific school needs can be addressed
    • end point half day cluster to support evaluation and next steps

    The training is for two delegates from the project school. This should include the adult who will deliver the interventions and the Year 3 teacher. In schools where the Year 3 teacher will deliver the interventions, the school should choose another appropriate delegate. Each school is allocated a project adviser. The adviser will be on hand throughout the project period to answer queries and support the school as needed. 

    After the initial launch day, schools use the diagnostic assessment tool provided with two Year 3 pupils, who have been identified as having gaps in their place value understanding. Full instructions for how to complete the diagnostic assessment and generate the individualised interventions are provided on the project's launch day.

    At the twilight surgery, schools bring their completed diagnostic assessments and the interventions that they have generated for each child. Project advisers will provide further specific support as needed to ensure effective delivery.

    As part of the project, schools must deliver interventions (2 x 20mins weekly) for each of the two focus pupils for four weeks using the identified intervention sequence created. 

    At the final half day cluster, TLAs will gather feedback and support evaluation of the project. They will also provide training to consider how to secure learning and integrate intervention effectively with future teaching.

    If you would like to express an interest in participating in the project, please sign up on this page.

    Blogs to read

    Closing gaps in maths - a teacher's view

    Supporting children with dyslexia in mathematics 

    Diagnosing and intervening effectively: a small scale study

    Project contact

    Gill Shearsby-Fox,
    Primary Teaching and Learning Adviser - Mathematics
    Tel: 01438 844863


    Contact details

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