OUR LATEST WORK
We have recently launched a new and innovative way of working in mathematics. This is based upon research around pupil starting points and has proved successful in other primary settings that we are working alongside. In order to constantly improve our teaching and learning we have been striving for the next practice that can in turn deliver best practice - in this case mathematics. We launched the 'starting point' philosophy in November 2019 with year 6: testing and trialling the most effective way to increase progress and have the maximum impact upon learning. We then moved this into year 5 with myself, as leader, supporting my colleagues in the delivery of our new approach. We are excited by the impact we are seeing in lessons and in books and we have just rolled this out across the rest of Key Stage 2 prior to the Covid-19 lockdown. We are now refreshing our training ready for immediately re-starting this in September 2020. It is non-stop progress at the moment which is hectic, exciting and interesting work. They key now is to measure our impact over times, embed this philosophy and extend it further.
The key principles of our 'pupil starting point' philosophy are:
* The use of pre-learning tasks to determine starting children's points for every unit of work. No child is pre-set to a seat or group. We use our pre-learning judgements to personalise where our children begin. Nothing is assumed. Nothing is generic. Our mathematics teaching requires reflective and pro-active teaching.
* Children 'peel off' at relevant points within the lesson. Starting at either FLUENCY 1, FLUENCY 2 or FLUENCY 3 based upon our pre-assessment and live marking during guided learning.
* Guided learning gathers relevant groups together within lessons and targets just those children who require that input. Then at each level of guided learning our children then 'peel off' and apply their learning to the relevant level of fluency. It is personalised. It challenges - but is never requires our children to repetitively complete endless questions. Let's make our children think, learn from mistakes and move them forward at the correct pace.
* Self marking and immediate live marking is applied throughout. Reflection and correction is an immediate process - considered whilst working. We embrace mistakes and corrections. Trial and error is encouraged. Less may be more! THIS IS OUR SCHOOL VISION IN ACTION.
* Our professional development work with our teaching assistant team really pays in mathematics. Another adult is another teacher! Adults work together so that the teacher can lead learning, whilst the additional adult monitors, intervenes and offers live feedback. It becomes a 'team' philosophy that really works.
* FAST TRACK is a key strategy. This is deployed for those children who can immediately move to a higher starting point based upon pre-assessment. We don't waste time moving children through levels - we move immediately to the correct stage. Our teaching assistant team are vital in enabling this dynamic starting point.
* Groups within the room are dynamic. They can change from unit to unit and within lessons. Intervention is enabled within lessons as a way of brining children with common errors or misconceptions together in the maths working bay for additional input. Intervention is pro-active and live, rather than re-active and detached from the lesson.
* Each room now has a working Mathematics Bay with working wall. Built as a hub for practical resources and additional input. Flip chart, pens and resources at the ready!
* Marking Bays have been established to increase independence and apply appropriate pace to learning. Fluency activities have limited questions meaning that progress, rather than quantity, is a measure of impact.
* A higher level PROBLEM SOLVING layer is on offer for our FAST TRACK children. An emphasis here upon demonstrating understanding and applying in different ways rather than simply making numbers bigger!
* This philosophy looks carefully at applying learning in different ways and encourages wider ways of showing understanding. It is not about making bigger numbers - the depth of the challenge is key. We feel that this system teaches a little less but really embeds the key mathematical concepts.
THIS SYSTEM IS OUR VISION ALIVE IN OUR MATHEMATICS CLASSES. IT APPLIES AND ALLOWS FOR EVERTHING WE HAVE IDENTIFIED AND PRIORITISED TO MOVE OUR TEACHING AND LEARNING FORWARD. WE HAVE GRASPED OUR CHANCE TO SHOW IMPROVEMENT AND ARE IN EXCITING TIMES WITH LOTS MORE TO COME IN THE COMING MONTHS.
As leader, I am always happy to talk about our new systems and will be available to chat when we have the next opportunity to gather together to share our systems and work.