Children, and other stakeholders, are now involved more regularly in exploring opportunities for, and planning, mathematical enrichment across the curriculum and beyond the school. For example, as part of the Healthy Schools’ initiative, the School Council, parent/local community groups and the Y5/6 classes planned, organised and made a ‘Huge Healthy Picnic’ for the school sports day. The outcomes of Every Child Matters, especially Be healthy and Achieve economic well-being, helped to shape the aims of the project. Data collection, processing and interpretation, along with the development of money management skills, provided a strong mathematical focus throughout and reinforced our broader aims of the curriculum.
The 2020 Vision document (DfES, 2006) identified ‘Beyond the classroom’ as one of the five key elements of personalised learning.
The Ofsted report Learning outside the classroom: how far should you go? (article/382) evaluated the importance of learning outside the classroom. One of the key findings “… was that exciting hands-on activities led to improved outcomes for pupils, including better achievement, standards, motivation, personal development and behaviour.”
As a school, we have decided to address this exciting challenge through cooperation with our network of local primary schools. Each of the five schools has formed a working party including staff, parents, governors and other stakeholders. There are three timetabled meetings per annum, of which one has a specific mathematical focus, when ideas are shared and proposed events discussed. Last year, the schools took part in a KS1 problem solving day at a local water and wildlife park. The theme for the day, taken from the 2008 Ofsted report Mathematics: understanding the score was ‘Every child’s mind matters in mathematics’.