In their own words
Our Maths — No Problem! journey
We needed to find a solution for the children who were reasonably good at maths, but had little enjoyment of the subject. Our pupils were good at calculations, but no good at applying calculations to problems. High-ability pupils were only asked to find one way of explanation. They saw maths as finding single linear answers to questions, with no interest in exploring their knowledge further. We needed to find a better way to teach — one that supported teacher knowledge without adding to workload.
We were one of the first adopters of the Maths — No Problem! approach in Wirral, and did not hold back in using the programme across the whole school. The staff saw so many benefits to the whole-school approach, and were not prepared to wait another week or term to start. This enthusiasm and passion for the new maths teaching has not diminished.
All of our staff have been trained over two days by Dr Ban Har or the Teaching School, whilst the SLE carries out substantial training through observation and coaching. We use the Maths — No Problem! approach without exception, which ensures all our teaching practice remain consistent. This approach is integrated into our performance management targets, and has been a focal point of our school development plan over the last two years.
The news of our success is spreading, and we have been invited by other schools to do whole staff meetings, additional coaching sessions, and presentations to governors and parents at other schools. These requests are increasing, and coming from further afield. To date we have worked with over 25 schools in different ways, all of whom have taken on the Maths — No Problem! programme.
Maths — No Problem! in our school
The use of Singapore maths has supported our school culture of developing a growth mindset approach. Children started talking about their maths in a more fluent way, which we had not seen before. More able children were able to talk about their maths in a broader way, sharing lots of ideas and methods.
We have seen improved maths scores both in reasoning and arithmetic, and exemplary learning journals that record maths learning from Year 1 through to Year 6. In addition, there is now consistent practices across the school. These have been quality assured by numerous observations. There is a shared practice with headteachers and teachers in observing and taking part in professional discussions in class to see how the Singapore approach develops learning.
We are developing the Singapore maths approach from EYFS, and are now discovering student gaps in maths knowledge much quicker to ensure the whole class develops their learning together.