In their own words
Our Maths — No Problem! journey
We have come on a long journey. Two years ago, a new management team came into the school because of our two previous RI [requires improvement] inspections, with maths being a key area to develop. Working alongside leaders within the borough, we started to move towards a mastery approach.
At the same time we looked into our marking practice. As a school we moved to an innovative approach of conferencing children (fast feedback) instead of traditional marking methods — something which the NCETM advocates as good practice. This is an excellent use of Assessment for Learning and fits hand in hand with the Maths — No Problem! pedagogy.
During our research into fast feedback, we visited Three Bridges Primary School in Southall where we saw the Maths — No Problem! programme. We were impressed, and thought that it would work well with our mastery and fast feedback approach. Due to our fast feedback initiative, a number of schools expressed an interest in seeing how it works, which we present at a half-termly conference.
Maths — No Problem! in our school
Initially our maths lead and two members of the school middle leadership (Year 4 and Year 6 achievement leaders) attended the three-day In-Depth Maths Mastery Course delivered by one of the Maths — No Problem! trainers. The associate headteacher attended a one-day overview course led by a Maths — No Problem! trainer two months earlier.
We started Maths — No Problem! in Year 4 and Year 6. The achievement leaders in these year groups are our champion teachers, both observed to be outstanding. They show a great passion for the programme, and for training and supporting other staff in the school. They have an excellent understanding of the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) approach, and their enthusiasm for this has been completely contagious so that all our other teachers now feel the same.
We have now successfully implemented the textbooks and workbooks across the whole school, doing a one-day Inset with all teachers and support staff. Everyone is aware of the new approach and scheme that we are using. Our children are noticeably more confident with their maths, prompting visitors to often comment on the maths being taught, with remarks such as, “Wow, the maths looks amazing, how can I find out more information?”