Mathletics Testimonial: Using Mathletics in a primary school

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‘Making maths cool’ – online digital curriculum resources are game changers at an inner-city primary.

Online digital curriculum resources have proved to be game changers at Snowsfields Primary School in Southwark, which has been using the Mathletics, Reading Eggs and Spellodrome online maths and literacy digital resources from 3P Learning as part of its efforts to improve results as it moved from an Ofsted rating of ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good with some outstanding teaching’.

Acting assistant head and maths subject leader Zohra Benotmane explains how the resources have had a significant impact on children’s learning, particularly in improving the profile of maths within the school.

Mathletics at Snowsfields Primary School

About the School: Snowsfields Primary School in Southwark, London is a one-form entry, inner city school, that is very close to the London Bridge. There are 28 pupils in each class, with the majority from minority ethnic groups. The proportion speaking English as an additional language is above average at close to 60%. The school has a dedicated resource unit for children with autism which takes 14 children from Reception through to Year 6, with two pupils per year group.

“I discovered Mathletics… I liked what I saw and so I pleaded for the school to buy it for one year. They did – and after which there was no turning back.”

“Our SATs results in both Maths and English have been improving year on year and our use of 3P’s resources has contributed to this success.”

Zohra Benotmane, Maths Subject Leader and Assistant Head, Snowsfields Primary School.

The Challenges Faced: As a fully inclusive school we take a wide range of pupils with differing skills and abilities and a varied spectrum of needs. All teaching is planned to develop outstanding learners who, among other things, have high expectations of themselves, take responsibility for their learning and use a range of resources and strategies effectively. We want “I can” children.

To promote this, we foster a culture where children have ownership of their learning. We want to ensure lessons are fun, interesting and accessible. It’s also vital that we recognise and praise their efforts and celebrate all successes and achievements.

When children have special educational needs we make every effort to give extra help in the usual classroom setting. This may mean that some children are given similar work to the rest of the class, but at a different level of difficulty.

The Benefits

  • A clear link between a pupil’s SATs results and the number of times that child had logged on to Mathletics.
  • SATs results in both Maths and English have been improving year on year, and the use of 3P’s resources has contributed to this success.
  • Maths has a far higher status within the school, a more ‘cool’ status – thanks to the avatars, other incentives & certificates.
  • Put maths at the forefront of students’ learning.
  • A system based on challenge and reward help to fulfill our aim of celebrating pupils’ achievements.
  • Promotes differentiated learning because the class teacher can set the level at which an individual student is working.
  • 95% of students at Snowsfields Primary School now list maths as their favourite subject.

The Solution: I first came across 3P Learning and Mathletics 5 years ago as a Year 6 teacher. I was having trouble finding suitable activities when I discovered Mathletics. I liked what I saw and so I pleaded for the school to buy it for one year. They did – and after which there was no turning back.

The children loved the interaction from the start. It was the first platform where they could compete and they especially loved the element of competition and World Maths Day.

Over the years we began to investigate some of the other tools that Mathletics offers, such as the courses that we could set up for the students and the lesson plans we could use as teaching tools. There were, and there still are, many, many positive resources, really powerful ones that make a difference to pupils’ learning and teachers’ planning, homework, revision and so on.

Mathletics is now thoroughly embedded in the teaching cycle. Since then we have begun to use Spellodrome and Reading Eggs in our literacy lessons and these resources are proving popular and effective too.

A Typical ICT Maths Lesson at Snowfields Primary…

After introducing the lesson objective and WALT (We are Learning To…) on the whiteboard, we usually begin with some whole class work using a Mathletics curriculum activity, with the children working on mini-whiteboards.
Children then move onto about 10 minutes of independent work with related eBook activities. Unfinished activities are often completed in class or set as homework.

The main part of the lesson uses a Mathletics curriculum topic, which I sometimes create myself for a specific lesson, using the ‘Courses’ facility. The children work through the activities at their own pace, accessing the ‘Support’ feature when they need help. Pupils then consolidate their learning, usually using a problem-solving activity from the eBooks which I display on the whiteboard.

Sometimes the focus of the lesson is for pupils to beat their best scores. After the starter activity, pupils move straight onto the curriculum topic. Before beginning their activities, each pupil takes a screen shot of their gold, red and blue reward bars. They then have 20 minutes or so to improve their best scores. We then stop, assess any misconceptions and move back to the activities. At the end of the lesson, pupils take another screenshot and examine their progress.

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