There are clear systems and mechanisms in place to make the vision, aims, policy and practice which have been agreed upon work smoothly and efficiently. The department handbook is a record of ongoing discussions which form policies. A system of public praise for both achievement and attainment exists which celebrates the successes of all students.
There are good efficient systems for making sure the school is well resourced and resources are used to drive a change in teaching and learning in the school. The department’s budget is linked to the improvement plan. Bids are made to enable the department to participate in developmental projects.
A system is in place which supports all members of the department in their individual CPD needs and ensures high quality teaching and learning for all students.
The high quality learning environment is enhanced by displays of pupil work and appropriate mathematical images. The arrangement of tables within the classroom reflects the learning style embraced by the department. Practical resources, including computers, are available to assist pupil learning. The teacher has a personal laptop linked to a projector and an interactive whiteboard which is used to assist pupil learning.
The department’s scheme of work is a living document which leads teaching and learning in the department. The department’s vision of good teaching and learning is implicit throughout as well as explicitly outlined on the front page. Members of the department are able to engage in dialogue through the scheme of work, to comment on resources and suggestions. Each unit gives the big ideas which are to be worked on within that unit and there are suggested lessons which exemplify these. Time is given to add to and discuss key units at departmental meetings.
There is a system in place which facilitates members of the department being able to choose and select the resource most appropriate to their classes needs as well as feedback on the way in which they used the resource and possible suggested follow up activities.
Ongoing assessment using a mixture of tasks and tests informs data collected on a spreadsheet to which the department has access. Regular analysis of this spreadsheet identifies students who are not achieving to their potential, these students are highlighted and questions about the apparent underperformance are posed. This may lead to intervention either as a class, a small group or individually.
A question level analysis of the test is carried out and this identifies key areas of maths (curricular targets) which inform the intervention work and also informs teaching of that topic. This is added into the department’s development plan and forms the agenda for a department meeting and collaborative planning. Students can answer the question ‘What level are you working at?’ and know what to do to get better.