Mathletics Testimonial: Using Mathletics in a primary school

Mathletics Case Studies

We know Mathletics delivers powerful results wherever it is used, but don’t take our word for it. Take a look at what teachers across the country are saying about how Mathletics is impacting learning in their schools.

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Using Mathletics to inform and guide teachers’ professional judgement.

The Challenge: Opening and developing a new school is a huge undertaking. The Academy has approximately 520 pupils, with three parallel classes in each year at KS2. Becky Campbell is one of the Year 6 teachers, with a class of 27 pupils. Some are EAL pupils, some have special needs and there is a wide spread of mathematical ability in the class so with SATs in mind, Becky has to make sure that all aspects of the curriculum are covered and that there are no gaps in pupils’ knowledge.

The South Norwood Academy in Croydon is a large primary academy which opened on January 1, 2016, following the closure of South Norwood Primary School. It is the latest school to join the Synaptic Trust – a ‘world class learning community where no child is left behind and where creativity is fuelled by innovation and invention. Everyone, pupil and adult alike, is encouraged and expected to excel’.

“The best thing about Mathletics is the instant feedback. The children can see how they are doing straightaway and it is wonderful not having to mark 27 books!”

Becky Campbell, Year 6 teacher, South Norwood Academy.

The Solution: The Academy uses Mathletics from 3P Learning – an award winning, curriculum mapped, digital resource for maths, designed to increase learner engagement, confidence and motivation among pupils aged from 5 -16 (KS1-4) using a ‘gaming-style’ challenge and reward system. Becky is the lead teacher for this, charged with ensuring that all staff are getting the best from the resource. She has spoken to teachers individually and has organised a session to support staff who are new to the school and to refresh the knowledge of longer-serving teachers. Talking to others about the range of functions in Mathletics has helped her to appreciate everything the resource has to offer.

Lower down the school teachers make use of practical mathematics but it is not always easy to find appropriate physical activities for Year 6 to do. Nevertheless children need to experience a variety of approaches and teachers have to make sure they are using different media and not always doing everything on paper.

“The best thing about Mathletics is the instant feedback,” said Becky. “The children can see how they are doing straightaway and it is wonderful not having to mark 27 books!”

The Benefits: Becky has been looking closely at the reports and assessments features within Mathletics and has noticed that these sometimes highlight shortcomings she may not have been aware of. Sometimes a pupil will struggle with a topic and Mathletics provides a visual representation of learning gaps which shows that they have not mastered something quite fundamental. “This is really helpful,” said Becky. “I can now be sure that any intervention I choose is at just the right level for them. It gives me more confidence in my professional judgement.”

Teachers in Year 6 work through all the topics lesson by lesson with the whole class, but some pupils will be in an intervention group in the afternoon working on areas where they lack knowledge or are not confident. Sometimes children will be streamed into ability groups so those with the greatest need get extra attention. Becky might have one-to-one sessions with pupils to explain a process step-by-step and then set targeted Mathletics content for homework to see if the pupil has understood and to consolidate learning.

This works well and is part of the school’s strategy to encourage pupils to be more independent. They enjoy the competitive element, certificates and prizes, but more importantly Mathletics has also changed the way children approach their work. Becky has noticed that they like to have printouts and targets so they can see what they have to do to improve and they are gradually taking more responsibility for their own learning.

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