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Core Responsibilities (Primary): Developing a common purpose and a shared culture


This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 03 November 2009 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 13 May 2010 by ncetm_administrator

You may have a clear statement of your vision and aims but its effectiveness is more to do with the culture and ethos of your staff and these things take time to develop.

  • Do all teaching staff have a clear sense of why mathematics is important for the development of all children?
  • Do all teachers enjoy mathematics and mathematics teaching and actively promote the subject?
  • Do all children enjoy learning mathematics both in school, at home and outside the classroom?
  • Do all parents, governors and other stakeholders present and encourage a positive image of mathematics
  • Is there a ‘buzz’ about the school for the subject?

This module will help you reflect on these questions. Here is a suggestion of how you might use the materials:

  • look through and discuss (with your line manager/senior leader and your teaching colleagues) the list of example statements (also available to download as a PDF) and decide which best fits your stage of development
  • use the ‘moving to the next level’ questions to identify the steps which will help you and your colleagues move to the next level
  • use the ‘Stories of change’ (reflections and thoughts from other fellow subject leaders explaining how they have worked on these issues) to form your own next steps
  • record your thoughts in your own learning journal and specific actions and developments in the policy to practice pro-forma. You may also wish to use your Personal Learning Space to record your own thoughts and reflections.

Description

There is no agreed philosophy for the teaching of mathematics and observations demonstrate conflicting approaches, messages and classroom climates that hinder learning.

The views of other stakeholders are not sought and do not feed into the aims.

Teachers’ enjoyment of mathematics is not evident and they are reluctant to improve classroom practice. There are few opportunities for reflection. Teachers rarely discuss mathematics and, when they do, it tends to be either negative or based around classroom management.

The learning environment is not used to encourage or promote an appetite for learning.

Most pupils have negative attitudes towards mathematics.

Moving to the next level

If you are category 4:
  • How can you create a vision statement for mathematics?
  • Which stakeholders is it important to involve?
  • In what way might stakeholders be able to make a contribution?
  • How can you encourage positive talk about mathematics within the school?
  • How can you use the learning environment to promote mathematics?
  • How can you investigate the reasons for pupils’ attitudes towards mathematics and their image of themselves as mathematicians?

> Stories of change

Description

A vision statement exists, but not all staff have contributed to it. It has little impact on classroom practice.

The school informs, and tries to involve, some stakeholders. This often proves to be a one-way process. 

Teachers’ enjoyment of mathematics is inconsistent and mainly negative. There is some informal talk about mathematics and the teaching of it.

Learning environments are rarely updated and the quality of displays needs to be improved.

Children’s attitudes to mathematics are variable and often reflect the enthusiasm and approach of individual class teachers. There is little appreciation for the importance of mathematics.

Moving to the next level

If you are category 3:
  • What steps could you take to involve all teachers in the creation and understanding of a vision statement for mathematics?
  • How can you ensure that stakeholders recognise the importance of mathematics?
  • What steps can you take to identify the contributions that stakeholders can make?
  • How can you structure regular opportunities for the discussion about the teaching of mathematics?
  • How can you improve the quality of learning environments?
  • How can classroom displays enhance teaching and learning?
  • What steps can you take to ensure that pupils recognise the importance of mathematics?
  • What steps can you take to ensure that all pupils enjoy mathematics?

> Stories of change

Description

All staff have contributed to, and agreed, a shared vision for mathematics. This intention influences classroom practice.          

Stakeholders recognise the importance of mathematics and some make positive contributions on a day-to-day basis.

Teachers’ enjoyment of mathematics is mainly positive. Regular time is set aside to discuss the teaching and learning of mathematics; this is beginning to encourage mathematical dialogue as a matter of habit. 

Learning environments are vibrant, enhance teaching and have some impact on learning. 

Most children enjoy mathematics and appreciate its importance.

Moving to the next level

If you are category 2:
  • How can you ensure that the vision crystallises shared beliefs and is reflected in classroom practice on a day-to-day basis?
  • How can you ensure that positive attitudes about mathematics are reflected across the school?
  • How can you ensure that stakeholders are pro-active in making a positive contribution?
  • How can you create a climate where positive talk about mathematics and the teaching of it is intrinsic to the workings and relationships within the school?
  • How can you create a rich learning environment that values contributions from pupils and promotes a wider appreciation of mathematics?

> Stories of change

Description

All staff have contributed to, and agreed, a shared vision for mathematics. The vision conveys the beauty and wonder of mathematics and recognises the significant contribution it makes. This statement underpins the entire workings of the school and is evident in classroom practice observed on a daily basis. 

The importance of mathematics is recognised beyond the classroom, and other stakeholders make a positive contribution by sharing their expertise.

All teachers enjoy mathematics and their classroom practice reflects this consistently. Teachers talk positively and enthusiastically about mathematics on a regular basis and respond positively to the challenge of developing their practice.

The learning environment promotes an appreciation of the history, culture and beauty of mathematics.

There is a school culture in which children enthuse about their achievements in mathematics. Children’s thirst for learning reflects the enjoyment and excitement of mathematics.

Moving to the next level

If you are category 1:
  • Is there an agreed cycle for monitoring and reviewing the vision statement?
  • Are there agreed and manageable systems for enabling stakeholders to make a positive contribution?
  • How can you cultivate a positive engagement with mathematics beyond the school?
  • Does the learning environment change periodically to reflect current teaching and learning?

> Stories of change


 
     
 
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