Gloucestershire LA EiML Case Studies: School D
Nikki Pearce is subject leader at an 11-16 mixed comprehensive school with about 1 050 pupils on roll and a specialism as a Technology College. At the time of the network meeting which first introduced the EiML materials she had been in post for just over one year, as had the Key Stage 3 coordinator. The mathematics department at the school comprises 7.5 full time equivalent teachers who have six classrooms and a dedicated mathematics ICT suite between them.
For a number of reasons, Nikki decided that during her second year in post it was timely to consider a review of the curriculum in mathematics and as such chose to focus on the ‘Curriculum and lesson planning’ Key Element. We asked Nikki a few questions to establish the way in which the EiML materials have helped with this focus:
GM: How were the materials used?
NP: I was introduced to the EiML microsite and materials through the network meeting for new subject leaders that was being organised and supported by the Gloucestershire Maths Advisory Team. I took the opportunity to review all of the Key Elements and Core Responsibilities and consider what they had to offer in support of my aims for the year ahead. I also received onsite consultant support to help in developing ideas.
GM: What did you choose as a focus and why?
NP: I found that the named ‘Key Elements’ and ‘Core Responsibilities’ were a helpful categorisation of the priorities for a subject leader, irrespective of the more detailed content within them. Given the changing GCSE specifications and their incorporation of functional skills, and the fact that this is a consequence of the new secondary curriculum with its increased emphasis on process skills, I felt that it was appropriate to focus on the ‘Curriculum and lesson planning’ Key Element.
GM: What actions did you take?
NP: We met to evaluate and review our schemes of work in light of the EiML materials, and to identify appropriate areas for development. This process made it clear that there was a need for us to develop students’ functionality in mathematics. Key members of the mathematics team met with a Senior Mathematics Advisor from the National Strategies and a Secondary Mathematics Consultant from the LA with a focus on embedding best resources within a scheme of work.
GM: What is the current situation?
NP: We now have a scheme of work that incorporates functional mathematics and reflects the established departmental vision and national priorities. We have integrated small, medium and large tasks with functional elements.