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.