Ruth Patrick | Year 7 Mathematics Co-ordinator
We joined the programme in 2016 because we wanted a reliable curriculum that developed the problem-solving and reasoning skills needed for the new GCSE, and to ensure greater consistency in the quality of teaching. Our Ofsted inspection in 2017 was very positive. Inspectors could see a significant improvement in the quality of mathematics teaching.
Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 are learning through the Mathematics Mastery programme. Their understanding is certainly deeper now – even the students with the highest prior attainment, 98 per cent of whom agreed with the statement ‘I feel challenged in maths’ in a recent pupil survey. In fact, the whole survey was overwhelmingly positive about maths. Students really seem to enjoy the problem-solving and discussions we now have in every lesson – they really want to put their ideas in. Their resilience is getting better too.
When we gave our Year 7s last year’s GCSE paper, the impact of Mathematics Mastery on their understanding and resilience was clear. We gave them the paper to see what they could do with it. The results were impressive. Nearly 80 per cent achieved their end-of-year target – which is higher than our current Year 11s – and more than 50 per cent exceeded it. Pupil premium pupils were just one-fifth of a mark behind.
A local primary teacher who came to visit us was impressed at our use of manipulatives and talk in lessons – and at how well our non-maths-graduate teachers were teaching maths. As a result, our school is going to do some training with primary schools on tools like bar modelling.
For non-specialist teachers, Mathematics Mastery gives clear guidance on things like maths misconceptions and how to question pupils effectively. For maths teachers who have always been strong, the programme has increased their confidence in helping children to make connections between aspects of maths.
Visits from our Mathematics Mastery Development Lead are very helpful. I get to go around with someone who’s looking at the maths rather than the behaviour, which helps me to focus that way too. He will listen to our issues and suggest solutions. Also, Mathematics Mastery’s digital tool for analysis of pupil assessment results allows us to monitor gaps in understanding and develop a strategy tailored to the needs of different pupils.
Then contact our friendly partnerships team who will be happy to talk you through the programmes and help you decide on the right approach for your school.
As teachers ourselves, we understand how extraordinarily difficult this period has been for all schools. We have made some important changes to our mastery programmes this year to help support you in the months ahead.