With Swimming in Maths, your children will never be out of their depth

I have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the concept of Swimming In Maths and have had the pleasure of presenting to first year students at Liverpool John Moores University plus a network of local schools within the Dingle Granby Toxteth area. In preparation for these talks, I created a Power Point presentation. The contents of the presentation are below. I’ve added a few video clips too, enjoy 🙂

Why ‘Swimming in Maths’?

The recent Ofsted Framework focuses on how well schools are promoting;

  • depth before breadth
  • keeping the whole class together
  • developing conceptual understanding through the use of concrete and pictorial apparatus
  • promoting mathematical thinking and developing mathematical language through talk tasks.

Swimming in Maths is a whole school, consistent approach to the teaching of maths towards fulfilling the aims of the new National Curriculum.

The Deep-Dive Challenge

The Deep-Dive challenge is a collaborative, problem-solving element of lessons where children are provided with a high impact challenge that deepens previous concepts, allowing them to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding further, reason mathematically through cooperation which in turn increases confidence, resilience and ability to tackle a range of problems at all levels. No child is left behind and all children are fully engaged in their learning.

Check out the video clip below, listen carefully to the children discussing the challenge!

The following clip shows one child explaining their reasoning behind their decisions!

Behaviour For Learning

Ofsted inspectors will want to see evidence that:

“Pupils love the challenge of learning and are resilient to failure. They are curious, interested learners who seek out and use new information to develop, consolidate and deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills. They thrive in lessons…”

The Swimming in Maths approach promotes good Behaviour for Learning through the engaging and interesting theme of the Ocean!

Here is a beautiful under water clip that the children love to watch

If you are feeling a bit mischievous, play the Jaws theme tune to create excitement!

The role of Twitter

Twitter has been a valuable and essential tool to get the vision to a wider audience. Since November 2015, @SwimmingInMaths has gained over 500 followers (this continues to rise), a large amount are students, NQTs, teachers, various maths organizations and significant individuals who have been keen send feedback and share ways that they are deepening their own children’s knowledge and understanding. This continued professional dialogue raises expectations and provides links to the latest resources/ methods.

Using Twitter in Class

Children’s work is tweeted regularly and we spend time at the beginning of each day reading how colleagues from across the country and world have enjoyed looking at how we have been ‘deepening’ in the maths curriculum. We celebrate this and the children are aware before they engage in their ‘deep-dive challenge’ that their work may be shared around the world.

Y5 maths 2


Using social media has provided new opportunities to engage children’s interest which has enabled us to develop individual class blogs, a new and developing way for children to enjoy creating and publishing their writing, share their own interests etc. and provides a way for Teachers to maintain that strong ‘home/school’ link between children, their parents and school. It also provides further opportunities to have discussion about staying safe on line.


Preparing a write-up of our maths for the Blog


A maths homework challenge on the blog!

Check out our Year 5 blog here: http://smithdownprimaryblogs.net/year52015/

“With Swimming in Maths, your children will never be out of their depth”


5 thoughts on “With Swimming in Maths, your children will never be out of their depth

  1. This is an extremely useful article and our Year 6 children are enjoying the concept of ‘Swimming in Maths”. Some of our less confident children are happy to swim near the surface when we try something new and are pushing themselves to submerge below the surface as they grow in confidence. As we become more confident, we would like to start blogging like you do too.

    Keep up your inspirational work !

    1. Hi Jacqueline,

      Thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to get in touch. I’m on a journey with it and I’m glad you are on-board (intended pun) 🙂

  2. I stumbled across a tweet of yours and was instantly attracted to the idea of extending the children’s thinking with the mastery elements of deeper not higher challenge in mind… and I love the idea of the goggles and hat as a joke as well. As a new maths SL, I too wanted to present staff with a CPD idea that would have instant impact on their teaching and on children’s engagement. I shall be following this blog/tweets with interest. This is why I love twitter for work; you find something you didn’t even know you were looking for!

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