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Dr Rachel Wallis

Profile summary

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Professional biography

Rachel is a Curriculum Tutor on the Primary PGCE Programme, an alternative route into teaching (via a part-time or salaried route), at the Open University in Wales. Rachel undertook a degree in Pure Mathematics before becoming a primary teacher.  She was a primary teacher for 15 years, and worked in Initial Teacher Education in Wales for 10 years before joining the Open University in September 2020. 

Research interests

Rachel has recently completed a PhD in design based research focusing on measures as a context for learning the multiplicative relationship.  Her main research interests are mathematics learning and teaching, curriculum and pedagogy. 

Teaching interests

Rachel teaches on all modules of the PGCE programme encompassing units with a focus on curriculum, understanding learners, pedagogy, planning, assessment and professional learning.  Rachel supports research activity of PGCE student-teachers for their Masters level module. 

Impact and engagement

Since 2012, Rachel has worked on various Welsh Government groups to support Mathematics and Numeracy education development in Wales, including the Mathematics Task and Finish Group, National Numeracy Expert Group and the National Network for Excellence in Mathematics. 

Between 2016 and 2020, Rachel worked as part of the Camau team, facilitating the development of a progression framework for Mathematics and Numeracy within the Curriculum for Wales and has worked alongside Mathematics and Numeracy pioneers since the publication of the Curriculum for Wales to support curriculum and pedagogy development in Wales, for example, the development of materials to support understanding of the Proficiencies 'Principles of Progression' in Mathematics and Numeracy

External collaborations

Rachel is an external examiner for the PGCE Primary programme at the University of Manchester. 

Rachel is a member of the Welsh Government supported Collaborative Research Network for Curriculum and Pedagogy. 


Using collaborative peer reflection to develop student teachers’ practice (2024)
Cole-Jones, Nia; Defis, Nerys; Glover, Alison; Jones, Mathew and Wallis, Rachel
Distances et médiations des savoirs, 46, Article 10045

‘My picture is not in Wales’: pupils’ perceptions of cynefin (Belonging) in primary school curriculum development in Wales (2023)
Chapman, Susan; Ellis, Rosy; Beacuchamp, Gary; Sheriff, Lisa; Stacey, David; Waters-Davies, Jane; Lewis, Adam; Jones, Catherine; Griffiths, Merris; Chapman, Sammy; Wallis, Rachel; Sheen, Elizabeth; Crick, Tom; Lewis, Helen; French, Graham and Atherton, Stephen
Education 3-13, 51(8) (pp. 1214-1228)

Using video technology to support micro-teaching and reflection in Initial Teacher Education (2022-07-15)
Defis, Nerys; Glover, Alison; Jennings, Carys; Stewart, Sarah; Wallis, Rachel; Craggs, Ben; Hay, Ceris; Linton, Beth; Powell, Thomas and Williams, Amanda
Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, 8(1)

“My picture is not in Wales”: Building a sense of cynefin (belonging) through children’s perceptions in primary school curriculum development: a case study of Wales (2023)
Chapman, Susan; Ellis, Rosy; Beauchamp, Gary; Sheriff, Lisa; Stacey, David; Waters-Davies, Jane; Jones, Cath; Griffiths, Meris; Chapman, Sammy; Wallis, Rachel; Sheen, Elizabeth; Crick, Thomas; Lewis, Helen; French, Graham and Atherton, Stephen
In : British Education Research Association Conference (12-14 Sep 2023, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)

Exploring the impact of student teachers' online collaborative peer reflection (2022-10)
Cole Jones, Nia; Defis, Nerys; Glover, Alison; Jones, Mathew; Wallis, Rachel and Williams, Amanda
In : Distance education: A Brave New World? Modalities, Challenges, Opportunities and Prospects (20-21 Oct 2022, Virtual)

Teachers as curriculum-makers: professional learning implications for enacting a new curriculum in Wales, perspectives from the Humanities and Mathematics and Numeracy Areas of Learning and Experience (2021)
Hughes, Sioned; Makara Fuller, Kara; Morrison-Love, David and Wallis, Rachel
In : European Conference on Educational Research (6-10 Sep 2021, European Conference on Educational Research, Geneva [Online])

Evaluating the learning of number concepts through measures: ​A design-based research project​ (2021)
Wallis, Rachel
In : British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, Spring Conference 2021 (6 Mar 2021, Online)

Design research: A ‘tomorrow’ approach that needs consideration ‘today’? [Blogpost] (2023-01-25)
Wallis, Rachel
BERA Research Bites

So Far So Good: Building the Evidence Base to Promote a Successful Future for the Curriculum for Wales (2020-09)
Hayward, Louise; Makara, Kara; MacBride George, ; Morrison-Love, David; Spencer, Ernie; Barnes, Jan; Davies, Heddwen; Hughes, Sioned; Ryder, Nanna; Sharpling, Elaine; Stacey, David and Wallis, Rachel
University of Glasgow and University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Learning about Progression – Informing thinking about a Curriculum for Wales (2018-04)
Hayward, Louise; Jones, Dylan E.; Waters, Jane; Makara, Kara; Morrison-Love, David; Spencer, Ernest; Barnes, Janine; Davies, Heddwen; Hughes, Sioned; Jones, Christine; Nelson, Sam; Ryder, Nanna; Stacey, David; Wallis, Rachel; Baxter, Jayne; MacBride, George; Bendall, Rachel; Brooks, Siân; Cooze, Angella; Davies, Linda; Denny, Helen; Donaldson, Peter; Lewis, Ishmael; Lloyd, Peter; Maitra, Srabani; Morgan, Catherine; James, Sue Pellew; Samuel-Thomas, Shan; Sharpling, Elaine; Southern, Alex; Stewart, Sarah; Valdera-Gil, Francisco and Wardle, Georgina
The University of Glasgow, The University of Wales Trinity Saint David; CAMAU