Head Teacher and Maths Lead from Gloucester Road Primary School in Cheltenham
• To see Maths from Nursery to Year 6 under the ‘Swimming In Maths’ whole school theme.
• To see how the high impact, collaborative element of Maths lessons prepares our children to reason mathematically, apply their knowledge, understanding and deepen further.
The day began with a short presentation from myself that gave our visitors the reasoning behind ‘Swimming In Maths’ as a consistent, whole school approach that encourages and nurtures;
• fluency (rapid and accurate recall and application of facts and concepts).
• a growing confidence to reason mathematically.
• the ability to apply maths to solve problems, to conjecture and to test hypotheses.
After break, I taught the first 20 minutes of what the daily collaborative ‘Deep- Dive Challenge’ looks like and our visitors made observations. Feedback was good, they were pleased at how well our children work together at all levels and every child was engaged in their learning. They questioned a range of children.
I took them around every class in the school, including Reception and Nursery to see maths. The Deep Dive Challenge was being used in lessons, themed Working Walls were also clear in each room. It was a great opportunity for me to see maths being taught across the school and it gave me an insight into how staff are providing the daily challenge, before children settle into the main part of their maths lessons. Reception and Nursery were particularly keen (staff and children) to share maths around the EYFS area.
After the class visits, we chose a group of children from Reception class to Year 6 to take part in a Question and Answer session. They were reworded appropriate for younger children.
1. Do you enjoy the Deep-Dive Challenge, what happens?
“We have hard questions.” “They are a fun way to start maths.” “We learn new things every day.”
2. How does the-Deep Dive Challenge help you with learning?
“We get an idea of what will happen next.”
3. What did you do during the Maths Festival last Friday?
“We made party hats!” “We had challenges that were linked to Euro 2016.”
4. What do you enjoy most about Maths at Smithdown?
“I like the challenging starters, we work with our friends.”
5. How can we make Maths even better at Smithdown?
“More challenges!” “More Maths!”
6. Do you like having your work shared on Twitter and through the Blog?
“It makes me proud of myself.”
7. How do you know that you are doing well in Maths?
“My teacher marks my work.” “My teacher tells me.” “I can see on the Working Wall.”
Our visitors also asked their own questions that they had brought from the children their own school.
1. What do you do when you find things hard?
“Ask for help from my friends, teacher, I think in my head, keep on trying.”
“The Deep Dive Challenge helps.”
2. Is it okay to make mistakes?
All children said a resounding “yes.”
3. Can there be more than one answer?
A mixture of “yes” and “no.”
A hugely successful day! Links have been made and both schools would like to develop this further in the future.