Star Primary School

Newham, UK

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School at a glance

  • Large inner city Primary School
  • Approximately 600 pupils on roll
  • Almost a third of the pupils on roll are eligible for Pupil Premium
  • Almost two thirds of our pupils speak English as an additional language
  • Ethnically diverse student population
  • Rated by Ofsted as ‘Good’ in 2022

"We have noticed a fundamental shift in the way children and staff think about maths. Children feel empowered by secure number knowledge to break down challenging concepts and solve complex problems. As with all good learning, children thrive using C-P-A approaches and we are delighted to see this deepening year on year.” —Ms Lisle von Buchenroder, Headteacher

In Their Own Words

Our Maths – No Problem! Journey

Our Maths — No Problem! journey began when our deputy headteacher at the time visited Singapore with fellow senior leaders from the London Borough of Newham to see mastery lessons in action. From this visit, we took part in a trial run in Year 1 with other local schools during the 2015-16 academic year. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from pupils and staff, coupled with the very encouraging academic progress the pupils made during the trial year, we made the decision that all year groups in our school (Years 1 to Year 6) would use it the following academic year.

We took up the option of launching the Maths — No Problem! Foundations programme for Reception when it was first published in the 2021-22 academic year, meaning that all children from Reception to Year 6 benefit from Maths — No Problem! at Star Primary School.

Adopting Maths — No Problem! at our school has meant great changes in teacher practice and a vast increase in teacher subject knowledge. We’ve dedicated time and CPD to developing the C-P-A approach, fostering a ‘talk rich’ maths classroom and developed teacher questioning to enable pupils to justify, prove and explain their mathematical thinking. The Foundations programme has been a great success in our Reception and we’ve been delighted with the smooth transition between maths in Reception and Year 1 as a result of the programme.

Maths — No Problem! in our school

At Star Primary, we are passionate about creating an environment of exciting opportunities for children to develop confidence and a genuine enjoyment and passion for mathematics. Through quality first teaching, a Teaching for Mastery approach, collaborative learning and carefully planned lessons focused on ensuring every learner progresses, we ensure every child reaches their full potential as mathematicians.

Maths — No Problem! has been a key contributor in our quest to develop confident mathematicians who are secure in the fundamentals of mathematics and to equip them with skills and thinking strategies which they can apply to everyday life.

We have made it our mission to dispel the notion that maths is a can or can’t do subject. “I can’t do maths” is a banned phrase for all stakeholders at Star Primary School! We’re very proud of our outreach to parents, through termly workshops or even videos on our school website for example, so that they better understand Teaching for Mastery practices, Maths — No Problem! and how they can best support their children at home. After all, maths is everywhere!

New staff are inducted to Maths — No Problem! at Star Primary by not only providing them with face to face training but also ensuring they can observe and discuss live lessons with more experienced colleagues such as the school's maths lead, a qualified Primary Mastery Specialist with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM). This approach ensures great consistency throughout the school.

We have been so proud to open our doors to different local schools who have been interested in finding out more about our practice and implementation of Maths — No Problem! In recent years, we’ve held showcases for local schools who have explored the possibility of adopting the Foundations programme and we’ve showcased how we’ve incorporated it within our continuous provision for Reception.

Maths — No Problem! has played a vital role in our implementation of journaling at Star Primary. Since seeing the power of journaling first hand at a training course led by Dr Yeap Ban Har, we subsequently developed a maths curriculum with regular opportunities to journal. This has been invaluable in promoting high quality reasoning opportunities but it is also an essential assessment tool for our teachers and leaders as well

School Contact Details

Contact Name:
Mateu Ramonet, Assistant Headteacher & Maths Lead

Star Primary School Star Lane,
Canning Town,
E16 4NH

Phone Number:
02074 765336