White Rose Maths Reception Jigsaw

Privacy Notice for Teachers and Schools
Privacy Notice for Pupils

What is the purpose of this research study?

Research suggests that high quality early numeracy education can have long-lasting effects and can be a major predictor of later success in school and in work. Research also suggests that too few early years teachers receive the specialist training they require to deliver this high quality mathematics education.

White Rose Maths (WRM) in conjunction with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) are looking to recruit schools from Yorkshire and the surrounding areas and Essex to participate in a large-scale trial of the Reception Jigsaw Package. The trial aims to measure the impact of the WRM Reception Jigsaw on pupils’ early mathematical understanding. The trial will be independently evaluated by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the results will be used to inform future guidance for school leaders.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this research study has been delayed by one year (new intervention starting date: October 2021). All schools that expressed an interest in taking part in 2019 will be contacted again by WRM when recruitment recommences, to confirm if they still wish to participate.

What is the white rose maths reception jigsaw?

  • High quality CPD for Reception and Year 1 staff delivered by White Rose Maths early years specialists. This consists of 5 in-depth CPD sessions (2 hour twilights) which build up over the year to provide a coherent picture of effective teaching and learning in early maths. These sessions will be based in your school. The training comes to you.

  • Based on extensive research, these sessions will provide Early Years Practitioners with a thorough understanding of the pedagogy and subject knowledge required to support children’s early mathematical development.

    The sessions are:
    1. Developing Early Number Sense
    2. Creating a Mathematical Classroom
    3. Mathematical Talk and Questioning
    4. Reasoning and Problem Solving in the Early Years
    5. Exploring Pattern and Shape

  • 5 half-day visits from an Early Years SLE to support Reception Teachers in developing effective practice in their own setting.

  • Gap tasks for the practitioners to complete.

  • Journal to record reflections and progress.

  • Access to WRM videos and materials to support practitioners.

Who can take part?

Schools which meet all of the following criteria are invited to register their interest in taking part in the trial:

  • Schools in Yorkshire and surrounding areas (up to 75 miles from Halifax), schools in Essex or schools in Outer London, close to the Essex border.
  • Schools who have not previously had more than 2 sessions of the WRM Primary Jigsaw training or any sessions of Reception Jigsaw training (in the 2020/21 academic year).
  • Schools who are not participating in any other EEF early years trials in 2021/22.
  • Schools who have stand-alone Reception classes (i.e. not mixed Reception/Y1).

Schools may participate in this trial and the DFE EY professional development scheme so long as the reception teachers in the school do not take part in the maths module of the scheme.

How will the trial work?

Schools who agree to participate in the trial will be asked to provide WRM with a key contact in their school for the duration of the project. At the end of the summer term 2021 schools will be asked to provide a list of all children who will be starting in Reception in September 2021 along with the names and email addresses of all Reception teachers. NFER will then sample twenty children from this list who will then take part in the trial (please note that the intervention will include all children within the cohort but only twenty will be measured).

In autumn 2021 Reception teachers will complete a short observational baseline measure for the 20 sampled children and participating staff will also complete a short survey about their maths teaching. Once these activities are complete, schools will be randomly allocated to be part of either the intervention group or the control group.

Intervention schools will receive the complete WRM Reception Jigsaw Package at a heavily subsidised rate of £1,000.

Control schools will not receive the WRM Reception Jigsaw at this time, however these schools are essential for us to understand the impact of the intervention and will receive £500 on completion of the testing and data requirements. They will also have the opportunity to access the training package at a later date at a discounted rate.

What are the potential benefits for my school?

Intervention schools

  • Specialist training and support in teaching early mathematics at a heavily subsidised rate.
  • Access to WRM videos and materials.
  • Potential to improve Early Years Practitioners’ subject knowledge and confidence in teaching early years mathematics.
  • Potential to improve learning outcomes for pupils in Reception and beyond.
  • Opportunity to contribute to educational research and become a certified EEF Project Partner School.

Control schools

  • Opportunity to contribute to educational research to help inform future guidance for school leaders.
  • Become a certified EEF Project Partner School.
  • Receive £500 on completion of all testing and data requirements.
  • Opportunity for discounted access to the WRM Reception Jigsaw package once any longitudinal data has been collected. (This is likely to be after June 2023)

What does taking part involve?

All schools will agree to:

  • Provide pupil data in summer 2021 for those children who will be in Reception for the 2021/2022 academic year (pupil’s first name, surname, date of birth, FSM status and UPN), along with the names and email addresses of all Reception teachers.

  • Complete a short observational baseline measure in autumn 2021 for the sampled children (NFER will sample 20 children per school) before school randomisation. The observational measure will be a checklist, to be completed for each selected pupil.
    It will be based on the early learning goals and as such we hope that once schools have completed the Reception Baseline Assessment, teachers will find the checklist straightforward to fill in.

  • Complete a short practitioner survey in September 2021 and again in June 2022. Some schools will be invited to take part in interviews.

  • Allow NFER Test Administrators to come into school and carry out a post-test on the 20 sampled children in June/July 2022 (a short maths measure).

  • Potentially provide access for evaluators to conduct an additional assessment as the Reception pupils reach the end of Year 1, this will depend on the outcomes of the trial.

Intervention groups will agree to:

  • Pay a heavily subsidised fee of £1,000 to access the training package.

  • Organise for all Reception staff (including support staff), Year 1 practitioners and the Maths Lead to attend the 5 twilight training sessions at their school.

  • Release one Reception teacher and the Maths Lead to work with the SLE during the 5 half-day coaching visits.

  • Complete gap tasks between the training sessions.

  • Complete the journal to record reflections and progress.

It is important that you only agree to take part if you are committed to taking part in either of the two groups and are prepared to undertake all of the related evaluation activities.

How will our data be used and will it be safe?

The data collected by the NFER will be stored confidentially and securely on password-protected computers and will be held in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) guidelines. NFER, the data controller, has identified the legal basis for processing the general (legitimate interests) and special (research purposes) data. NFER’s legitimate interest for processing personal data is to administer the research. Further information is available in our privacy notices (details below). The data will be treated in the strictest confidence by NFER and named data will only be used for the purposes of this research. No school, teacher or pupil will be named in any report arising from this work.

The data collected will only be used for the purposes of this trial. The overall findings from this research will be included in a report published by the EEF and used to influence practice nationally. For the purpose of research, the responses will be linked with information about the pupils from the National Pupil Database (NPD) and shared with the Department for Education, the EEF’s archive manager and, in an anonymised form, with the Office for National Statistics and potentially other research teams. Further matching to NPD and other administrative data may take place during subsequent research.  For further information see our privacy notices.

Privacy Notice for Teachers and Schools
Privacy Notice for Pupils

Timeline of key activities



November 2020 – April 2021

  • Schools register interest, attend an information event and, if they choose to go ahead, sign a memorandum of understanding to commit to the trial.

June – July 2021

  • Pupil information is collected from schools by the NFER.

  • Reception teacher names and email addresses are collected by the NFER.

September 2021


  • NFER sample twenty children per school and inform schools of selection.

  • A short observational measure is collected for the sampled Reception pupils that will be provided by NFER through the secure school portal.

  • Reception teachers complete the baseline practitioner survey.

October 2021
  • Schools are randomly allocated to control or intervention group by NFER.
  • NFER informs schools of their group allocation.
November 2021
  • Schools allocated to the Intervention group start participating in the White Rose Maths Reception Jigsaw.
  • Schools allocated to the Control group continue with business as usual.
June – July 2022
  • NFER Test Administrators visit schools to complete post-testing.
  • Reception teachers complete the endpoint practitioner survey.
June 2023
  • Test administrators to potentially complete longitudinal testing at end of Y1 depending on the outcomes of the trial.


Want to find out more?

To find out more and register your interest, please contact: [email protected] or call the White Rose team on 01422 433323.


The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) was founded in 2011 by The Sutton Trust, as lead charity in partnership with Impetus-PEF, with a £125m grant from the Department for Education. The EEF is an independent charity which aims to raise the attainment of 3-18 year-olds, particularly those facing disadvantage; develop their essential life skills; and prepare young people for the world of work and further study. It does this by generating evidence of what works to improve teaching and learning, funding robust trials of high-potential programmes and approaches which have yet to be tested. The EEF then supports schools, nurseries and colleges across the country in using evidence so that it has the maximum possible benefit for young people.

White Rose Maths

White Rose Maths are a small group of teachers and mathematicians based in Halifax, Yorkshire as part of the Trinity Multi-Academy Trust.  Influenced, inspired and informed by the work of leading maths researchers and practitioners across the world, White Rose Maths brings together a team of highly experienced and passionate maths teaching experts dedicated to developing maths education for everyone.