Case Study A - a partnership of three small rural schools
Our aim was to raise the profile of mathematics and inspire a change in culture of mathematics teaching and learning, through developing a shared vision.
We started our work on the EiML materials by looking at the Vision and Aims section of the 'Key Elements' and also used the linked ‘Core Responsibility’ section Developing a common purpose and shared culture. In particular we used categories 3 and 2 in the descriptions to be found in this section to help us move forward.
In discussion amongst ourselves and prompted by the Vision and Aims section of the Key Elements we agreed the following vision statement:
Through the creative teaching and learning of mathematics, we strive to build a culture where our pupils develop an independent, enquiring mind, the necessary skills and a ‘can do’ attitude when faced by a challenge.
This is what we did/plan to do:
- Investigation with individual school staff using the Primary National Strategy publication – “Excellence and Enjoyment: how children learn" (handout 1). We decided on a hierarchy of values and then posed the question ‘does our teaching of mathematics reflect these values?’ We offered the challenge to all staff to pose this question after a lesson.
- ISP cluster staff repeated the ‘How Children Learn’ activity and produced a draft vision statement for the teaching of mathematics throughout the cluster.
- We used the descriptions in the EiML ‘Developing a common purpose and shared culture’ section with staff to help us identify where we felt we were and what we needed to do to move forward.
- Individual schools used pupil progress and/or school council meetings to gain the views of pupils and this was fed into the construction of our vision statement. We asked pupils to write a tag lines for maths (i.e. ‘make maths fun’, ‘maths is…purposeful, playful and practical’) and then we shared these across our schools at a joint meeting in July.
- Individual schools drew up their vision statements combining global and local views.
- We shared our vision statement with stakeholders and partner schools at July meeting.
- Raise the profile of an investigative approach to teaching and learning supported by the schools’ ISP work through PPMs, assessment and guided group work.
- We communicated the shared vision to parents by involving them in the teaching and learning of mathematics through curriculum workshops. These included how to question children about their learning, how maths can be shared through everyday activities such as shopping, timetables etc., and how aspects of maths are taught in schools especially investigations. We also shared a ‘weekly problem’ with parents.
- Teaching staff to plan the content for a parent information evening to improve ownership of mathematics teaching and learning.
- We hope to raise the profile, celebration and enrichment of mathematics as a life skill as opposed to purely curricular tasks through improving the mathematical learning environment throughout the school.
Our next steps:
Consider how our shared vision for mathematics teaching and learning is reflected within our schools, across the partnership and communicated to pupils and parents.
Secure and develop a sustainable partnership, which continues to enhance the mathematics experience for all our pupils.
To move this forward:
- subject leaders will meet early in the Autumn Term 2010 to discuss how to develop the shared vision statement.
- we will hold a partnership schools staff meeting in the Autumn Term.
Materials we will use:
How will we know if we have been successful?
The partnership schools have moved to category 2 and satisfied all the five criteria.
As a result of this project, the impact for individual schools so far has been as follows:
The school is in the process of changing its subject leader. The partnership project is enabling the head teacher to define the leadership role for mathematics, to involve all staff in creating a shared vision for teaching and learning, to establish monitoring systems and to identify the focus for further school improvement work.
The teaching staff are beginning to participate in the school learning ethos and the discussions in meetings is now focusing on developing our vision for learning rather than getting bogged down by day to day issues and “house-keeping”.
The subject leader is developing the school’s vision through collaborative working with the partnerships school and through the agreed actions he has identified the next steps for the school improvement work and how to measure the impact.
The subject leader has a good understanding of the leadership role and has developed a clear vision of what he wants mathematics to look like across the school; this is informing school improvement work and CPD.
The teaching staff have all contributed to the vision and are taking greater ownership of helping to realise the vision in terms of what happens in the classroom, school and home.