Maths - Winstanley College - Highly Commended for the BMC Award

The Maths department's new projects included a three-tiered home-work package, a peer-mentoring scheme and the wider use of MS Teams to encourage effective independent study.

Creation of a tiered homework package - By creating a common template and sharing the workload between all members of the department, staff created the first-tier home-works, called "fluency & skills" for each of the Year 12 units. These fluency tasks assess understanding of the basic skills of a new topic and are marked by the teacher, in order to provide timely feedback and intervention before students are then asked to complete the second-tier task; a problem-solving assignment based on exam questions relating to the same topic, which also enables students to become familiar with exam command words, techniques and marking criteria. For the final tier, students complete regular revision assignments in a portfolio, which reassess knowledge and skills across a variety of topic areas, whilst also encouraging the independent study skills which will be vital for progression.

Implementation of a Peer-mentoring scheme - After each internal assessment, Year 12 students who have under-performed are asked to attend weekly mentor sessions with a volunteer Year 13 mentor. Meeting once a week for one hour, in the dedicated Maths Study Room, students work through any issues arising from assessments or current topics, discuss exam-techniques and organisational skills with a trusted peer. The scheme has proved beneficial for both mentors and mentees and is modelled upon the idea of having ‘academic-parents’, as is often used at university level.

Use of MS Teams - A broader use of MS Teams was implemented to encourage students to better engage with the subject outside lessons, take ownership of their learning and engage in super-curricular activities. All students are members of a main Maths team where regular posts are made by the department which advise students on the best resources to use during free-study periods or in preparation for upcoming assessments, in addition to advertising challenging supra-curricular events such as the Winstanley Maths Premiership alongside tutorials and competitions delivered by local universities.

The team is also used as a resource-bank where students have access to folders such as 'weekly revision', 'past-papers' & 'question banks' and students can also access electronic copies of the topic booklets created in-house, which include hyperlinks to matching video tutorials. All the strands of the project are based around the desire to ensure that students develop into inquisitive, independent, and successful leaners, with the study, technology and communication skills to progress and excel in the future.