Shacklewell Primary School in Hackney has been doing Maths Mastery for eight years. Five weeks ago, they started using the Ready to Progress materials as an intervention. We spoke to Jonathan Omisore, Assistant Head Teacher and Maths Lead, about how the school is using the interventions and the difference being made to students.
"We have two programmes for each year group with no more than six in a group. Each class has three to four twenty-minute sessions a week.
It’s clear to see straight away the impact that it’s having, the small group aspect of it, it benefits children with a lack of focus in a normal classroom setting where there are so many distractions. You get time to have those important conversations to develop their understanding and address those misconceptions that teachers can miss in a classroom environment.
The times tables interventions have been amazing. We had a child in year 4 who didn’t know his two times tables. Within three sessions, he knew them. That’s the impact it’s having. Teachers are seeing the results straightaway.
With the videos I’m able to ask some children to get on with a task and then say to those who haven’t fully understood it ‘you guys need to watch this video in its entirety. I’m pausing it and questioning them. It makes your approach very individual. They’re not moving at the same pace.
The beauty of the videos is that it shows the concrete manipulatives for when children are drawing pictorially. We only have so many concrete manipulatives to go around. But they still see that model being presented.
What I like about the videos is that it empowers support staff to know that what they’re doing is right. If they’re unsure about what they’re doing, there is that model there to support them.
In my last school we didn’t use any sort of programme or scheme, so maths was down to teacher subject knowledge. It was down to where you could find activities, your understanding of the curriculum objectives and how children learn. It was very much down to teacher ability. If you had a teacher who wasn’t confident or who didn’t have the subject knowledge, it was clear from the learning in the children’s books.
With Maths Mastery, you can hear the impact. And what I mean by that is that the children are discussing their learning, they’re able to reason with their learning, the quality of learning in the books, the quality of the teaching, teacher pedagogy, all these things are indicators to me that the programme is working."
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