Maths — No Problem! in our school
All the maths level leaders worked around the clock on the new learning schemes and lesson plans for the next scholastic year, making use of the teacher guides offered by MNP. The Level 1 and 2 teachers prepared maths journals which would guide our young ones into recording their individual learning trajectories. Maths journals were then adopted across other levels as well and we created a personalized journal for logging every child’s learning — an excellent way for children to revisit their learning later in the year. A list of resources to accompany the approach was drawn up and added to teachers’ existing supplies. These were organised in a resource cupboard in the corridor so that they could find all the resources needed for every lesson.
In September 2016, school staff received training from a Maths — No Problem! training consultant; after that, the full implementation of the programme began. The start was challenging, but the constant support from our Maths Leader and Senior Middle Leadership Team helped see teachers through. The Maths Leader attended all Planning Level Meetings (these take place once a week and include all teachers in a particular level) and together with the teachers, went through the work that would be covered over the following weeks. This helped teachers develop the confidence to tackle each new concept or skill they would be introducing to the pupils. Removing any roadblocks in the way of the teachers ensured that professional development was continuous. The Maths Leader herself also delivered several lessons as demos for the teachers, and encouraged them to watch the many instructional videos in the MNP online video library.
In the second term, our Maths Lead started Professional Learning Walks in which strengths were identified and areas for development were discussed for each respective level. This made sure that the teachers were utilising the MNP approach at a good standard, and that it was leading to both quality instruction and quality learning. These walks also allowed teachers to collaborate, share ideas and build further confidence in the MNP approach.
The CHS Maths Leader has also held numerous workshops for parents across all levels to help them understand the Maths — No Problem! approach to maths mastery. The majority of parents were on board immediately and appreciated the value of a programme that would enhance critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills in learners. They saw how it would improve pupil confidence and general enjoyment of the subject. The workshops were repeated every term to ensure that any feedback from parents was listened to and addressed.
Leading the maths revolution in Malta
The adoption of the Maths — No Problem! approach has been admired by many on the islands. Chiswick House has enthusiastically published articles in the local media as well as photos, updates and videos on social media. Our Maths Leader was invited to speak on TV — an interesting interview carried out by the leading Professor of Mathematics at the University of Malta. This professor also brought in other Maths consultants and overseas professors to discuss the implementation of the programme. Other schools have recognised our eagerness to start the maths revolution in Malta where mathematics was, and still is in most schools, taught in the traditional manner of rote memorisation. National results have testified that mathematics teaching needs a shift, and although the school’s results were always excellent, we still believed that learners needed further development in gaining a deeper understanding of the subject, hence our decision to move forward with this change. We are in the process of putting up a section on our website about our adoption of the Maths — No Problem! approach as well as our Mathematics Teaching and Learning Policy.
We are proud that Chiswick House School is not only the longest established independent school on the islands (over a 110 years) but it’s also the largest, catering to more than 1600 learners from Bumble Bees to Sixth Form (2 years to 18 years). We have maintained an outstanding reputation through all these years and have been pioneers in so many educational areas. We are honoured to have the respect of so many other schools who look up to us and who tend to follow in our tracks.
Our Mission Statement is inspirational and as outlined in the Maths Teaching and Learning Policy, it is highly aligned with the approach to maths teaching advocated by Maths — No Problem! We are sure that our professional approach to teaching and learning and the outstanding reputation that the school has maintained, will ensure that MNP has an international model school which will act as a catalyst to support their mission in revolutionising the way mathematics is learned and taught.