Case Study: Wigton Moor 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.
Successful Leeds primary school uses Mathletics to stay ahead of evolving examinations.
The Challenge: “Because our school is situated in a fairly affluent area, people often assume that we are packed with eager-to-learn, super-bright children,” explained Peter Hadfield, assistant head teacher, year 6 teacher and ICT and Maths subject leader.
“In fact, while we do have some pupils with those characteristics, we also have our share of more challenging children who have numerous barriers to learning. 16 per cent of the children on our roll are disadvantaged, entitled to the pupil premium and requiring additional support.
“Currently I am trying especially hard to promote the learning of times tables. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is already piloting ‘on-screen checks’ to see that pupils aged 11 know their tables up to 12 × 12. There will be a timed element to these multiplication challenges. I want our school to be ready for this, so I’ve been looking for something to use to engender an element of competition.”
About the School: Wigton Moor Primary School is a larger than average co-educational primary school for 413 pupils aged between 4-11. Situated in the Alwoodley area of Leeds, 20 minutes from the city centre, it is rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Over half the pupils are of minority ethnic groups, with many speaking English as an Additional Language.
“Gaining mastery means being secure in your understanding. The more you are exposed to something the more you understand, so time spent on Mathletics is very valuable.”
Peter Hadfield, Assistant Head Teacher, Wigton Moor Primary School.
The school chose Mathletics, digital maths resource from 3P Learning, which it is using from Reception through to Year 6. Some use it during lessons, while all the children are encouraged to use Mathletics at home. Additional support is offered through clubs and intervention groups. “For example, three days a week we take our pupil premium children, and others who are not well supported at home or who struggle with internet access, out of assembly to attend a Mathletics session – effectively providing them with an hour and a half’s extra help each week,” said Peter.
Many of the school’s intervention groups are run by teaching assistants. “I did the Mathletics training offered by 3P, as did some of the teachers and teaching assistants – it’s not compulsory, but it’s really useful,” said Peter. “Having our teaching assistants well informed about the resource has really paid off. Training also helped us get to grips with all the features on offer straight away, such as the dictionary which explains mathematical words to the children.”
The school celebrates the children’s success in Mathletics every week – by awarding certificates at its Friday assembly for the ‘Mathlete of the Week’ and the best class in each year group. One of the newer innovations is to celebrate the child who has actually spent the most time on the resource to reward effort as well as achievement. Peter’s next plan is to extend the fun and competition typically seen during house sports days to maths, by running a competition to find a house times table champion.
“I really like the fact that the style of the questions in Mathletics is similar to the style of questions the children will be exposed to in formal tests,” said Peter. “That’s really helpful. The curriculum is so packed these days that, as teachers, we are forced to move the children on all the time – it’s frustrating. So it’s great that we can direct the children to use Mathletics to revisit topics – that’s something that Mathletics allows easily that you can’t really replicate any other way. Parents and teachers don’t have the time.
“Mathletics is also really good for plugging the gaps. For example, recently my class really struggled with area and perimeter. I could set that as homework and get them to go over all that work again outside the lesson time.
“The children see that their friends who get the most points are the better mathematicians. Once the penny drops, they work harder and get better results themselves – it really helps with engagement. It’s hard to state the impact of Mathletics exactly, but it definitely does have a positive impact because in effect every point a child gains equates to extra time he or she has spent on maths,” said Peter. “In my experience gaining mastery of a subject means being secure in your understanding – the more you are exposed to something, the more you understand it – so the time spent on Mathletics is very valuable.
“But there’s no way we could get the children to spend as much time on Mathletics as they do if they didn’t enjoy it. So that’s the best thing about it – the way it engages our pupils. So even those who use it least are still doing more maths than we could ever get them to do otherwise!”
Wigton Moor’s SATs results in maths in 2015 were 97% Level 4, 64% Level 5, and 27% Level 6. Progress for maths shows they are in the top 12% of all primary schools.
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