1. Commit to the changes
Being in Special Measures forces you to change your approach. The interesting thing is, this position is arguably more freeing for a leadership team than a school judged to be good or outstanding. For leaders who feel their school may need to change their approach yet are satisfied with their current results, they should consider some important questions:
- Is it worth changing?
- Will we risk the quality of teaching we are already delivering?
- Shouldn’t we just carry on as we are?
- Will our results improve?
This position can be dangerous — if the leadership team doesn’t fully commit to this new approach to teaching mathematics, it may result in a muddled approach.
I’ve asked some teachers if they use the MNP scheme. They reply with comments like, “our year 5 teacher uses it I think” or “we use the workbooks as a challenge at the end of our lessons” or “the KS1 staff did some training on it and I think they are using parts of the scheme”.
I’ve even heard headteachers say, “yes we spent the money on it but it didn’t have much impact”. My first response is to say that I’m not surprised.
For this approach to be successful, all teachers must teach it. The scheme has been carefully designed to be used across the whole primary phase – not just for one year group. One of the biggest reasons for the impact it has had in our school is because we insisted on a consistent approach.