Zuzanna McClintock | Teacher
I have worked with Ark Curriculum Plus in two schools - one in the UK, one in Poland. I first came across the organisation when moving schools and moving key stages within the UK. Using Ark Curriculum Plus allowed me to fully understand the Key Stage 1 maths curriculum, its underlying concepts and the strategies children needed to master in order to become fluent mathematicians. Using the scheme allowed me to confidently move between teaching mathematics in year 6 to year 1. Thanks to the scheme, I have been able to deliver high quality teaching both in the UK and in Poland, as evidenced by the rapid progress the children have made.
Since moving to Poland, I have brought the scheme into my new school as the Senior Leadership quickly noted its success within year 1. The scheme's underlying principle is a focus on the concrete - abstract - pictorial approach. This is used in all lessons thanks to high quality resources, illustrations and animations. The scheme also places a huge emphasis on the usage of correct mathematical vocabulary. This is important in all contexts, but especially so in a context in which the majority of pupils speak English as an additional language. The focus on mathematical vocabulary and speaking in full sentences has enabled year 1 children to confidently and correctly communicate their thoughts, ideas and questions.
The strength of the scheme lies in the deep thought behind the principles of high-quality mathematics instruction. In addition to providing high quality planning, slides and suggestions for independent tasks, the organisation also provides a wide range of videos from real schools and lessons, tutorials for each unit, printable resources such as ten frames and induction training videos.
It has supported all teachers in year 1 to deliver high quality mathematics instruction, enabling children to become confident and fluent mathematicians.
In addition, there is a suggestion to introduce a 15 minute daily Maths Meeting into the timetable - this is an excellent opportunity to recap key concepts and vocabulary, including days of the week, months of the year, seasons and weather. It is also an opportunity to pre-teach difficult concepts such as money and time.
Ark Curriculum Plus encourages teachers to use every opportunity to practise knowledge and skills e.g. through singing and chanting transitions.
I thoroughly recommend Ark Curriculum Plus as it empowers teachers and builds confident mathematicians.
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.