On returning from a Local Authority APP training event, the Deputy Head approached me to explore how previously booked Professional Development Meetings (PDMs) for mathematics could be adapted to support the development of APP. As a result, we decided to develop using the APP guidelines for mathematics for a trial period to be reviewed initially after 2 terms. The planned CPD focused on how open ended activities could support teaching and learning of mathematics was changed to incorporate the use of the Ma1 Guidelines to inform expectations. Teachers were asked to think of a pupil they taught and, using their mathematics book if necessary, highlight statements on the Ma1 guidelines sheet. I used an ‘Always, Sometimes, Never’ activity (these activities can support children in their reasoning skills – eg. “If you make the perimeter of a shape bigger the area gets bigger: is this always, sometimes or never true?”) with the staff and challenged them to identify the sorts of statements they could highlight if a child was successfully tackling such an activity.
This approach of introducing APP guidelines within a Mathematics PDM meant that teachers could immediately see its value and went away to trial its use with Years 4, 5 and 6 children in their own classes, initially focussing on Ma 1 and 2. By the time, teachers came to the next PDM, I was delighted to see that many had already started to use the guidelines for Ma 3 and Ma 4 to give a fuller picture of the children’s mathematical attainment. This flexible approach was made possible through good liaison between me and SLT.
At the beginning of each academic year, I book meetings with my Deputy Head and Headteacher to review the progress with mathematics. I use the Mathematics Improvement Plan as a basis for discussions but also use the time to tackle issues that occur during the year – for example, staff leaving and budget requirements. They occur on an approximately three week cycle. Here is an outline of the focus for the meetings during the last academic year:
||Improvement Plan for mathematics – confirm objectives, precise actions, key personnel, expected improvements, monitoring procedures, resource implications and relevant timescales
agree numerical targets for the academic year
agree year group curricular targets for Term 1
||Pupils identified for additional support:
a) ensure resources and capacity to deliver mathematics intervention programmes are in place
b) discuss implications for CPD
c) areas of focus for intervention groups based on thorough analysis of data
d) agree procedures for monitoring children’s progress.
||share outcomes of ‘focused walk’ (looking at learning environments linked to curricular targets):
- providing exemplifications, learning prompts and interactive activities
- using probing questions to extend thinking and strengthen understanding
- contributions from pupils to demonstrate progress towards achieving targets
confirm curricular targets for Term 3 (based on APP periodic judgements).
||mid-year review of Improvement Plan (re: impact measure) – adjust plan in the light of outcomes from monitoring procedures
discuss progress of pupils receiving additional support.
||provide report on outcomes of (short-term) planning review and work scrutiny: key focus – developments re: agreed Feedback and Marking policy for mathematics.
- progression and standards
- impact measures (from Improvement Plan)
present draft Improvement Plan for next academic year (ie. key issues and improvement measures).