Case Study 5 - Identifying whole school priorities for mathematics
After looking at the variety of materials on offer on the EiML microsite, it seemed logical to select ‘Liaising with SLT’. The main reason for this was to consolidate and develop a whole team awareness of the priorities of mathematics within the school.
I found the case study materials very useful, particularly the section on developing the use of Assessing Pupil Progress (APP) materials. As a school, we had noticed that the present form was causing some difficulties. Having monitored the evidence for one child in every class, it was clear that the form needed to be changed. I sought opinions from other teachers as to what they thought this form should look like. The consensus was that the recording form should look like a previous form that had been used. Therefore, I compiled a form that reflected this. This form is currently being trialled in Key Stage 1, with the intention that it is used in Key Stage 2. In addition to this, a guide to APP has been written, combining different ideas that would make the collection of evidence easier and more efficient.
As a school, we already have timetabled meetings as a leadership team every fortnight. More collaboration has occurred between members of the team. A good example of this is a project initiated by the Phase 2 leader. She had received materials about the forthcoming ‘National Money Week’. This tied in with our annual mathematics week, which had already been put into the diary. It was agreed that this week would stretch into two weeks. The dialogue and discussion around this topic was a very positive experience, which resulted in creating a folder of ideas for each teacher. Teachers have already commented on how useful the materials look.
As an aside, the Art and Mathematics section of the Learning Maths outside the Classroom microsite is very interesting and complements a pack of ideas produced by our LEA entitled ‘Mathematics Through Art (at the Tate Modern)’ Making mathematics more cross curricular is very appealing and worthwhile. I liked the way that these materials were set out with background information on the artist, with suggested activities that could be done with any age group. I have uploaded the link to these materials onto our shared area, with the intention that teachers will use the ideas to link to the blocks of the Renewed Framework.
One of the most useful parts of the National Centre portal is the online community that we set up for ourselves to share ideas, and is a very valuable way to communicate with other members of the project. The forum is also a way to address any concerns or problems. The best example of this was the ‘Core Responsibilities Checklist’: I found trying to convert these files into editable Word documents difficult. By communicating this on the forum, the National Centre portal team became aware of the issues, ensured that this feature was addressed, and a pdf file was created so that they could be printed out and shared. The document itself is an excellent way of analysing where as a school I feel that we are. Usefully, the next steps were very clear. Initially, I have filled in where I feel we are as a school. The next stage is to take it to an agreed leadership meeting where all members of the team can input into it. This information would then feed into the next review of the School Improvement Plan.
Filling in the reflective log was also very useful as it helped me to chart significant events or remind myself of things that I needed to do. This included deciding on which of the materials to trial and progress towards using them. However, I feel that it may be useful in future to have a short series of prompts on this section as to what could be put into this. A box that leaves space to write an achievement with what the next step could be is a possibility.
Simon Airey, Southwark