Brimsdown Primary School
What makes Browney an Accredited School?
Embedded across the school in all year groups since September 2018, Maths — No Problem! has inspired significant transformation in the way maths is taught, learned, and conceptualised at Browney Academy. Teachers at Browney, have now all been through extensive CPD that covered the fundamental heuristic nature of learning, and now see themselves not as mere educators, but heuristic architects: “assisting the natural development of learner[s] in their voyage of discovery” (Moore); affording opportunities for the children in their care to “discover […] rather than be told by a teacher” (Bruner).
The unique theoretical approach of Maths — No Problem! has, through its introduction in year groups Year 1 to Year 6, established a culture of mathematics at Browney that is truly pedagogical.
School at a glance:
- Small Primary School
- Became an academy in March 2014
- Member of the North East Learning Trust
In their own words
Our Maths — No Problem! journey
Teachers at Browney academy have used the established theoretical underpinnings of Maths — No Problem! to greater inform and reinvigorate the approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics at the academy. Across all year groups, this difference has had a notable effect, not only on the outcomes of lessons – where children have greater retention and can demonstrate considerable improvements in reasoning – but in independence, resilience and collaboration within lessons.
This significant improvement can also be seen in a notable uplift in year-on-year summative attainment since implementing Maths — No Problem!. When data from academic year 2017-2018 is compared with attainment from current academic year 2018-2019 — gleaned from the use of identical, external summative tests — there is a statistically significant improvement in both key stages. Most notable is the degree of improvement seen in reasoning across the school, with a 15% increase in raw scores in Year 2, and a 17% rise in test scores in Year 6.
Such an improvement, particularly after using Maths — No Problem! for only two terms, is a testament to the effectiveness of how reasoning and problem solving is woven into the scheme. Problems are often set in real-life contexts with carefully chosen practical resources and pictorial representations used to explore concepts. These pictorial representations have offered children opportunities to show their understanding, rather than answers to a series of calculations.
Such successful implementation is a product of the opportunities that staff were given to evaluate the scheme at the outset: senior leaders — the Head Teacher and Maths Coordinator — attended a range of training to update and substantially refine approaches to maths mastery. We were able to observe best practices in two, established Maths — No Problem! schools, and consider a wealth of approaches to planning, journaling, marking and feedback.
Our extensive inset training, also provided by Maths — No Problem!, was essential to successful implementation of the scheme. From the comprehensive inset sessions, staff were able to fully understand how the textbooks support key Singapore maths principles and challenge pupils to develop a deeper, structural understanding of maths. Having never used the scheme before, modelling sessions using the textbook were particularly useful — afterwards, teachers stated that they felt confident using the materials in both key stages, and were able to see how the resources could be used to enhance learning, not limit creativity in the classroom.
Maths — No Problem! in our school
The use of practical resources, pictorial representations, and recording now takes place in every lesson with opportunities for journaling taking place almost as regularly. Children in all year groups have a maths journal and are provided with opportunities to record or reflect at different points in each lesson. Browney students have begun to shift the focus from the ‘how’ of mathematics to the ‘why’, with ‘reasoning’ not merely tagged on to the end of a unit of work in a series of word problems, but as a part of daily routine.
Thus, maths at Browney has become synonymous with reasoning: children’s engagement has increased, as they are not performing repetitive tasks by rote. Instead, they have gained a deep understanding of concepts by recording their learning in their own words. With such improvements in attainment achieved after merely two terms, the potential of Maths — No Problem! is substantial, not only when children have benefitted from its methodologies across an entire academic year, but when the spiral approach has afforded children the opportunity to build on their knowledge year-on-year as they progress on their mathematical journey through the school.
To work alongside Maths — No Problem! not only broadens Browney’s perspectives by facilitating partnerships as representatives of diverse learning communities, it allows us to learn from one another’s differences. It has been an opportunity to share the excellent maths provision and outstanding teaching with schools hoping to improve their maths. And as a vanguard of the Maths — No Problem! scheme, we get to showcase the wide-reaching, cultural transformation its implementation has had here at Browney Academy.