Aim: To improve the quality of pupils’ knowledge and understanding, as well as their level of resilience when tackling challenging problems in order to prepare them for the challenges of the new Mathematics curriculum.
Background: The school intake has a higher than average level of pupil premium and SEN pupils. Many pupils join the Academy in Year 7 with poor mathematical skills and little knowledge of basic tables. GCSE results for Mathematics had greatly improved but had stagnated in recent years and a target of 65% A*-C was challenging for pupils and staff.
The focus was on pupils mastering their tables to be more confident when problem solving. Pupils were tested on a weekly basis during class time and results recorded to show progress made. A tables ‘focus of the week’ in every classroom ensured all pupils were encouraged to revise independently using websites and resources provided. The ‘mistake of the day’ boards in classrooms encouraged more pupils to ask and answer questions in class.
The focus was on the impact mathematical knowledge and higher levels of confidence would have on the resilience pupils showed when problem solving. The introduction of Maths mastery was key for the development of problem-solving skills for pupils and pedagogy for teachers.
Maths mastery was embedded into the curriculum and began showing a huge impact on pupil progress and teaching and learning. A Maths mastery lead teacher was employed who ran weekly sessions in which teachers had the opportunity to develop their pedagogy and plan lessons together. Progress was monitored every half term with pre and post testing in place for Years 7-10.
Evidence: Pupil interviews, learning walks.
Impact: The pupils felt comfortable making mistakes and were therefore more resilient when tackling problems. The introduction of Maths mastery had a huge impact on assessment and monitoring. Staff used an online programme called ‘gradebook’ to track the progress of individual classes and vulnerable groups. This evidence was successfully used to demonstrate progress over time and was clear in lesson observations. There was a huge improvement in questioning from staff in lessons. Regular sharing good practice meetings led by the Maths mastery lead ensured staff were continuously developing their teaching and discovering new strategies to help develop pupil understanding.
Reflections: I have learned the importance of continuous departmental CPD in order to improve pedagogy. My staff have made huge developments towards their own personal targets and supported each other well as a team through the challenges of the new curriculum. Pupils’ progress has been well monitored and as a result I have, as subject leader, a clear understanding of where any intervention needs to be applied. Pupil independence and levels of resilience have improved hugely and a curriculum for all has been evident.
Contact: Leanne Mc Devitt, Subject Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org