Schools have a lot on their plate. They need to ensure that their teaching is supporting children that have special educational needs, speak English as a foreign language, are eligible for the pupil premium, or in reality, need support for a combination of these things. At the same time, any new initiative, resource or teaching method needs to also work for those children that are making the expected progress.
Running breakfast clubs is one way in which schools are able to find the extra time to focus on certain subjects for particular groups of children.Find out what drives these 2 primary schools to run their Mathletics Breakfast clubs and the impact its having on the whole school…
Improving your Ofsted rating – Parsons Heath Primary School
In December 2013, the school’s Ofsted rating fell from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’. One of the areas of particular interest to new Deputy Head, Mr Millbourne, who had been promoted from within the school, was maths. Ofsted mentioned that some work teachers set in mathematics; ‘…is too easy for most-able pupils and too difficult where pupils have not grasped the learning to start with’. The school introduced a combination of different strategies to improve its teaching and Ofsted ranking. One of the strategies was to extend the school day.
“As part of our extended school day we have introduced a morning study club, starting at 8am, during which the children enjoy a free breakfast and the chance to use Mathletics.
“We’ve had a great take up from our year six children –technically attendance is optional but 29 out of 30 pupils get up early to join us, which we really appreciate. They then join their classes at 8.50, set up and ready for the day. Our Year 6 children have even volunteered to run a club for younger pupils using the app on their iPads. Live Mathletics is their default – they like the competition and are gagging to get the school into a top 10 position. So much so that whenever they feature in the top 50 UK schools we take a screen shot and post it on the school windows for the parents to see. Our parents have been hugely supportive of our efforts – not least in getting up themselves to get the children to school for 8am!
“As the school has raised the profile of Mathletics, it has also seen a generally improved picture of maths teaching and learning. The children love it.”
Raising engagement in maths – William Booth Primary School
When Greg McEnaney joined the school in 2013 the school already had Mathletics but wasn’t really making the most of it. “I could see where it could help us to generate some real excitement around maths,” said Greg. “So we decided to put a real effort behind it.
“Mathletics is sometimes used during lessons, particularly for extension work, but the pupils are encouraged to do most of their work on the resource in their own time – either at home or during school clubs.
“The breakfast club has been a particular success, attracting up to 50 pupils most mornings to enjoy a free breakfast and a chance to notch up those important Mathletics points before lessons start. Popular challenges are Play Live and Times Tables Toons.
“The breakfast club is so popular that we have to operate a rota so all year groups have the chance to attend,” said Greg. “It’s also great to see all the computers being used for Mathletics during the lunch hour too. The biggest benefit has to be that the children in this school love maths”, said Greg. “It’s a ‘yes!’ subject here. We have only had a Year 6 for the past four years, but results are improving all the
time. We were delighted to see 84 per cent of our pupils gain their Level 4 in maths in 2015 – our highest figure yet and a fantastic achievement for them.”
Mathletics is a great resource to use in breakfast and after-school clubs because it allows teachers to assign specific courses to children to meet their individual needs. Children can learn independently whilst teachers provide one-to-one support to those who need it during the club. Offering a personalised learning pathway and a captivating experience encourages children to progress.
What better way to start the day!