In their own words
Our Maths — No Problem! journey
Our Assistant Head joined the school in 2012, and identified the need to improve the teaching of maths across the school. The children were very secure with written methods, but no logic was applied to problem solving. Using school performance data, we identified that the school needed more children to achieve higher levels in maths. There was no ‘quick-fix’ solution and years of investment were required.
Adopting the Maths — No Problem! approach, our staff took on the key changes of understanding the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach and using ‘maths talk.’ This was a big change in the teaching and learning approach and took some time, a lot of support and a lot of enthusiasm with lots of ideas around differentiation, ensuring that both support children and extension children were catered for. This year we have been refining the approach further by encouraging teachers to model examples to aid the children when writing their explanations.
Maths — No Problem! in our school
The Maths — No Problem! approach eased teachers’ workload and improved planning across the school. It has enabled us to become a learning environment where new ideas can be tried and tested. It has helped with guiding the school vision of improved teaching and learning through consistently outstanding lessons.
Over time, teaching and learning has been transformed. If you walk around our school today you will hear children talking about maths and explaining their thinking. Children are now more confident problem solvers and are more resilient. Many teachers report that they now enjoy teaching maths, and that children enjoy learning more. It has been a massive learning curve for the whole school, and has created many opportunities for learning and training.
The Maths — No Problem! programme supports children with barriers to learning. It ensures that all children are given equal access to the curriculum, and allows all children to take part in the fun investigative tasks that every lesson begins with. Differentiation is through the CPA approach, which children can use according to their needs. Each lesson features maths talk, which supports both EAL and SEN children who can use both visual aids and apparatus.
Aragon is a good school with maths highlighted as a strength in our recent mock Ofsted report — 80 per cent of teaching was judged as good or better. Key stage 1 maths attainment has risen for the past three years with both high-achieving and low-achieving children making excellent progress.