Brimsdown Primary School
What makes Brimsdown an Accredited School?
When considering the journey Brimsdown has been on, the strength and commitment of their leadership team is clear. This three-form entry school moved from Requires Improvement (RI) status to becoming a role model for maths teaching— in just two years.
We were particularly impressed by their inclusive approach to teaching maths. It’s worth noting that the maths mastery approach is taught to 10 pupils who are deaf — an impressive commitment to curriculum equality. We were also very interested in their no-marking policy— an innovative approach that focuses on “fast feedback” opposed to traditional grading practices.
School at a glance:
- Three-form primary school of 650~ students
- School speaks an array of languages
- 90% of students are from the 10% most deprived areas of the country
- 50% of students are eligible for pupil premium funding
- In 2017 SATs, 85% of children scored a scaled score of 100 or more
- Noted by Ofsted as “a good school with outstanding leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and early years provision”
- Rated by Ofsted as “Good”
“We believe that our children should be problem solvers, have self-efficacy and have a love of maths.”– Dani Lang, Associate Headteacher
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?”