Our questioning, Quick 6 initiatives and related materials have been shared and sub-shared with many schools. In recent months, we have further developed questioning though the introduction of Iris Connect, allowing teachers to film and reflect on their maths teaching and questioning skills (receiving bespoke in-school CPD sessions to maximise the impact on teaching and learning).
We have a strong collaborative culture at Southborough, planning as teams and sharing expertise, together with rigorously challenging ourselves to further raise progress and attainment. We are a forward thinking and outward looking school – indeed, Southborough was visited by a senior Kent school advisor in 2016, to find out more about maths mastery in action, this successful visit was followed up with a subsequent meeting several months later, where we were commended for the progress we had made.
In addition to hosting teachers and leaders of all levels, (some of whom have gone on to embark on the MNP journey), staff at Southborough continue to visit other schools to update and refine our lessons. Visits include Three Bridges Primary, three other Tunbridge Wells schools who have now taken on MNP, observing Shanghai teachers in action through the Maths Hub, as well as other schools across the South East who are exemplary practitioners in primary education. Several teachers are also involved in a maths hub project to further develop the use of bar modelling.
As a school we wanted to ensure that the small steps approach was understood by all staff and our strategic rollout of MNP ensured that teachers really understood the teaching sequence and significance of ‘in-focus’ and ‘let’s learn’ tasks. We see the importance of the textbooks and workbooks as complementary and intrinsic to the MNP approach and the use of textbooks has been our latest development to build upon children’s reasoning skills. This approach is now being used across the curriculum and lends itself well to reading comprehension and inference — teachers asking not telling and children understanding that they need challenge to reason and struggle in order to get the best results.
Southborough teachers undertook research projects in 2016 – we are keen to develop our maths mastery pedagogy. Research topics included Carol Dweck’s growth mindset and the work of Jo Boaler. Attending the MNP conference to learn more from Dr Ban Har and Dr Hannah Fry and implementing their ideas, has also meant that teaching and learning has been further refined to get the best results for our children. Participating in MNP trials such as end of year sample tests and year 6 diagnostic assessments has honed our understanding of how to get the most out of the MNP teaching sequences.
The leadership team continually monitors and observes teaching and learning. Teachers are supported at all stages of their career to ensure we achieve the best outcome for pupils. Peer observations, pupil voice and weekly book looks are embedded at Southborough – all teachers are involved in these processes in order that we can disseminate and share best practice, therefore, continually refining teaching and learning.
Approximately twenty schools across Tunbridge Wells are involved and the maths cluster has focused on the development of maths mastery. As an MNP school we have already shared our journey to date and, over the last year, have been happy to showcase learning to numerous schools. Actively engaging in the Kent & Medway Maths Hub ensures that our teachers are accessing further maths CPD, in spring 2017 we hope to be accredited as a NCETM lead school for professional development.