Sandringham Primary School
What makes Sandringham an Accredited School?
Since starting its Maths — No Problem! journey in 2015, Sandringham Primary School has elevated its maths standards across the board. The school invests in training to ensure all staff are up to speed with maths mastery best practices. Improving processes and updating teaching strategies keeps Sandringham Primary School at the forefront of innovative teaching.
Teachers at Sandringham Primary School believe all children are capable mathematicians. We saw this during maths lessons where pupils are encouraged to discuss their thinking with their peers.
School at a glance:
- Situated in Newham, London, it provides for children aged 2 – 11
- 4 form entry school with over 1000 pupils
- The vast majority of pupils speak English as an additional language
- Almost one fifth of pupils receive special educational needs support
- Almost one third of pupils are eligible for pupil premium
- Rated by Ofsted as “Outstanding”
“Currently, one of our main priorities is the improvement of oracy levels across the school. During our maths lessons, we have noticed a huge impact on the quality of mathematical talk and discussion as a result of children exploring their maths.”– Robert Cleary, Headteacher
In their own words
Our Maths — No Problem! journey
Maths — No Problem! is embedded across our school in every year group from Year 1 to Year 6 since we started using it fully in September 2015. Prior to this, our KS1 teachers were introducing the scheme slowly, however we felt that this should become a whole school policy and therefore took it “whole school” 18 months ago.
In order to be successful with the materials across the school, we have invested heavily in resources and training. All members of SLT, all year group leaders and specialist maths teachers have attended either the three or five-day intensive training. Whole school training — including TA’s and support staff — was delivered by MNP and making sure all members of staff fully understood the approach was crucial to its success. Since the training, our maths specialists have delivered further training as a result of other one-day MNP courses.
At Sandringham we pride ourselves in being a self-improving school. This means we are constantly reviewing and updating our approaches to teaching and pedagogy in line with the latest research and findings. In relation to the teaching of mathematics, our policies and staff support materials are regularly updated. We have a wide range of supporting materials for our staff — including microscopic progression across the 4 calculations and fractions, the importance of talk, videos of model lessons as well as updated planning guidance. This is to name but a few.
Research widely shows that children who are able to talk about their thinking will gain a greater depth of understanding. This is evidenced not only through classroom conversation, but the children’s reasoning skills in their exercise books. The high quality talk which takes place daily in our maths lessons is then converted to high quality written outcomes. There is an expectation amongst staff that the children will write a daily reflection at the end of each maths lesson to reinforce the learning of the day.
It was Clare Lee who said ‘children who can talk about their maths, see themselves as mathematicians.’ We foster this view at Sandringham and believe that all children are capable mathematicians. It is up to the teacher to create the climate in the classroom which allows this to happen. Across the school, it is expected that all children are able to use and understand the correct mathematical vocabulary, this is supported in our policies and can be seen in classrooms.
Maths — No Problem! in our school
Time has been spent at Sandringham, unpicking the structure of the Maths — No Problem! lesson and linking it to the researchers we value. As a result, our maths lessons are observed using a carefully constructed observation form which links each part of the lesson to the valuable research it supports.
The use of manipulatives to support learning based on Bruner’s 3 stages of learning (enactive, iconic, symbolic) which has later been adapted to the CPA approach, is embedded across the school as the model for learning and introducing new topics. Our staff are clear in their understanding of the CPA, as well as its limitations and potential drawbacks.
Following on from our visit to Singapore last year, we were able to take away many ideas that we have since adapted and implemented at Sandringham. Lesson study as a model for CPD, the introduction of a foundation curriculum for struggling learners and further research on the use of heuristics as tools for problem solving. The visit inspired us to continue our journey of improving our teaching of the subject.
We regularly share our maths practice with other schools who come to visit and spend time in our lessons. We get positive feedback and love sharing our maths journey and supporting other schools.
From Ofsted in 2017:
‘Mathematics is taught consistently well across all key stages, with pupils building on their skills year on year. Pupils receive plentiful opportunities to practice their problem solving and reasoning skills, with a focus on the process rather than simply outcomes. Reflection time in each lesson requires pupils to articulate the concepts they have learned. In doing so, pupils consolidate their learning as they accumulate mathematical skills.’