After being in post as subject leader for two years, I wanted to create a vision statement for mathematics that conveyed a clear purpose for the teaching and learning of mathematics throughout the school. The process took one academic year and involved all staff and governors.
A key term of reference throughout centred on how mathematics contributes to the five outcomes of Every Child Matters.
In citizenship and PSHE lessons, pupils were challenged to provide a profile of what the teaching and learning of mathematics would look like in an ideal school. The outcomes of these discussions were fed into the final vision statement.
The School Council will now discuss mathematics (at least once a year) as part of regular ‘curriculum’ item on the agenda.
Our school vision was incorporated into the mathematics policy and supported the aims of the curriculum in terms of:
- acquiring, and applying, core skills;
- gaining real enjoyment and pleasure in learning;developing logical reasoning, analytical and problem-solving skills to a high degree;
- broadening knowledge and understanding of how mathematics is used in the wider world.
All of these are vital for the life opportunities of our children.
I wanted to make sure that this shared view was realised through the actions of all concerned. I, therefore, introduced an annual cycle to monitor and review the extent to which the vision consistently, and accurately, reflected the learning and teaching of mathematics throughout the school. This involved conversations with colleagues and pupils, collaborative planning / teaching and paired observations.
The desire to secure the engagement, and active involvement, of more parents and stakeholders was given fresh, and renewed, impetus through a series of workshops and meetings to emphasise the importance of mathematics, to discuss our vision and aims and to explore some of the ways they might be able to share their expertise throughout the school. 80% of parents attended and feedback consistently referred to an improved appreciation of the contribution they could make.