Gloucestershire LA EiML Case Studies: School C
James Liptrot is subject leader at an 11-18 girls grammar school with about 850 pupils on roll. At the time of the network meeting which first introduced the EiML materials he had been in post for just over one year. The mathematics department at the school comprises five full time subject specialists and one teacher with a 50/50 split between mathematics and science. In addition there are two science teachers who contribute to a smaller proportion of the mathematics teaching.
This year, James’ main focus was on developing effective improvement planning with a particular aim of involving students in the review of current provision and shaping of future developments. As such, James has reviewed the Key Element ‘Self-evaluation’ and the Core Responsibility ‘Planning for improvement’. We asked James a few questions to establish the way in which the EiML materials contributed to this aim:
GM: How were the materials used?
JL: I was introduced to the EiML materials through a cluster meeting for new subject leaders arranged by the Gloucestershire Maths Advisory Team. The example resources and ideas proved very useful. I was simply able to pick up and use some of these directly, while others were close to what I was planning to create for my school so I adapted them for my own priorities and situation.
GM: What did you choose as a focus and why?
JL: The mathematics department was already making good use of quantitative data in self-evaluation, but qualitative data was used only sporadically. A consistent approach towards engaging pupils and parents was considered necessary. For this reason I saw real value in the materials, case studies and prompts within the Key Element ‘Self-evaluation’ and the Core Responsibility ‘Planning for improvement’.
GM: What actions did you take?
JL: I used the ‘Maths on Track’ (MOT) document as it stands to reinforce the data analysis that was already carried out. This is a fairly substantial document but prompts analysis and consideration of all the key points for a mathematics subject leader. Previous self-evaluation work within the school had focussed very much on particular ‘events’, so I chose to adapt the example questionnaires within the materials in order to gauge student opinion. These were used with a sample of Key Stage 3 students and followed up by interviews conducted by a support worker. The results of this process were shared within the department and the implications discussed.
GM: What is the current situation?
JL: The most significant outcome of this so far is that our provision for Year 7 has been adapted. An honest evaluation of the scheme of work in response to the feedback received showed us that it should be re-designed to encourage and demand improved differentiation at both ends of the ability spectrum in our selective school.