Freckleton Strike Lane Primary School - Innovative Practice Award
As a school we believe children will not learn how to solve problems unless they are given structured opportunities to do so. At Strike Lane we felt it important to provide our children with ample opportunities and the necessary experiences to develop a wide range of skills and strategies to solve an array of mathematical problems. We have introduced streamed problem solving groups from foundation stage to KS2 with the intention of allowing the children to explore different areas of problem solving including finding all possibilities, logic puzzles, finding rules/describing patterns and diagram problems/puzzles.
We met as a whole staff to outline our main priorities and an effective strategy for running this initiative throughout school. We devised a system where children would be placed into small, differentiated problem solving groups for a weekly session. Our vision and objectives for this project are to develop problem solving within a whole school context and to raise attainment in Numeracy through developing key skills and strategies. Through these focussed sessions we want to encourage children to develop their collaborative communication skills. Linking with the priorities in our school development plan we also wanted to incorporate the use of ICT to our problem solving sessions.
Balshaw Lane Community Primary School - Innovative Practice Award
Following analysis of data, it became apparent that girls were generally achieving lower results than boys in the area of mathematics. A pupil questionnaire was designed and completed by pupils from year 2 to year 6. The results of this were analysed and techniques researched to enable girls to fulfil their potential. End of year data showed a positive trend in girls' mathematical achievement and pupil interview also revealed a more positive attitude towards maths lessons.
Numeracy Action Group
As a network of schools each with high percentages of EAL learners, we identified specific aspects of learning and teaching in numeracy that our EAL learners struggled with. To raise standards in numeracy we completed various self-evaluation activities relating to our Key Stage 2 children, particularly Year 3 and Year 5. From our self-evaluation, we identified specific focus areas. These were the effective use of keywords and developing the use of a more kinaesthetic approach to areas of mathematical learning.
Waddington and West Bradford C.E. Primary School (Good Practice)
We developed a maths setting system for pupils in Years 3 to 6. The name of the system is 'Starquest' as each maths group is named after a star. The idea is that pupils travel from star to star in their quest to improve maths. The sets are entitled Proxima, Barnard, Rigil, Wolf and Sirius. Pupils were grouped initially according to their attainment at the end of the summer term 2007. Age was not a factor and so some groups contained pupils from three different year groups. One of the groups contains pupils who have learning difficulties in the subject. Pupils are formally assessed at the end of every term.
In terms of pupil learning it has been found that children are very motivated by the possibility of moving 'up' a set. Pupils in the 'top' set are very proud of their achievement and work extremely hard to stay there. Pupils who move 'down' are highly motivated to 'get back up' again. A pupil questionnaire showed that pupils enjoyed the system and 98% wanted to continue working in this way. A tiny percentage of pupils missed their best friends as they were in a different set.
All the staff involved in Starquest have a meeting every half term to discuss pupil progress and wellbeing. Any pupils who are struggling or excelling are moved. There were initial fears that pupils moving 'down' would be upset, but as there is often movement in both directions, it has become apparent that pupils are not upset, as they realise that it is in their power to move 'up' again.
MAC Group (Innovative Practice Award)
The MAC Group was designed to enable five schools to work together to raise pupils achievement in Mathematics by improving pupils ability to solve mathematical problems and to encourage them to carry out mathematical investigations in subjects throughout the curriculum.
Despite some setbacks, (e.g. Ofsted Inspections) and a narrowing down of the original plan to concentrate on Y3 children, the project has been very successful so far. Children have very much enjoyed the new approach to Mathematics .and there is evidence that their work is already improving. This is a real success story for developing pupils learning through collaborative work. We look forward to the future!
... the needs of more able pupils
Balshaw Lane Community Primary School
The school identified the need to raise standards of achievement and attainment in maths at key stage 2. Maths was highlighted as a key objective within the school improvement plan and a key strategy was implemented which involved developing a six week, 18 lesson maths programme. This was delivered in the spring term involving our two year 5/6 mixed age classes. The programme's success relates to well paced coverage of year 6 key objectives and increased teacher-pupil ratio to ensure both classes are grouped to three ability levels. The more able pupils were then targeted with AGT teaching activities whilst the mid and low attainers revised and consolidated key objectives as required.
... through greater use of open-ended tasks, investigations and problem solving approaches (Good Practice Award)
Blacko Primary School
Through lesson observations and value-added data, staff identified a need to improve the number of children attaining level 5 in Maths at the end of Key Stage 2. Teachers and support staff have received training in practical mathematics and investigations and the use of ICT has been developed to support and extend the childrens learning. Tracking information is now used to target additional support, appropriate resources have been purchased and parents have been involved through information evenings and sharing targets. Staff performance targets have focused on raising the achievement of more able pupils in mathematics and an after school mathematics club has proved very popular. Test results indicate large improvements in achievement for more able pupils and childrens confidence and enthusiasm for mathematics has developed notably.
... through improving teaching and learning (Best Practice Award)
Garstang St. Thomas C.E. Primary School
Following concerns over Key Stage One national test results in 2000, the school undertook a self-evaluation to identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching and learning. As a result, an additional teacher was appointed for KS1, allowing a reduction in class sizes. Short and long term targets were set for literacy and numeracy and strong emphasis was placed on enriching feedback the children received on their learning. A phonics programme and other learning resources were purchased and additional SSA hours provided. Learning environments were improved and the Foundation Stage Curriculum introduced. The school was given the DfEE School Achievement Award in 2002 and the Basic Skills Award in 2004.
The project has been continually reviewed and evaluated by staff and the SMT. There has been a year-on year improvement in KS1 assessment results.