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Assessment in mathematics

Are the boys really better at mathematics?

Kate Kellner is a  Primary Maths Adviser at Herts for Learning

Is it possible that we still have a gap in attainment between higher achieving boys and girls in primary mathematics? And, what should we do about it?

I am not the first to write on this topic. Many have gone before me, to lament the achievement of girls in mathematics. Studies over time, and across the world, have tried to fathom why there might be an achievement gap based on gender. Interestingly, the gap is not present across the whole world. It appears to be more prevalent in Anglo-Saxon areas including the UK and the USA. Continue reading “Are the boys really better at mathematics?”

SATs chat: Why did my children revert to written methods on Paper 1?

 

Rachel Rayner is a Primary Maths Adviser at Herts for Learning

It’s a good question. In my experience working with schools nationally, pupils default to the written method often unthinkingly.   See the lovely examples here of just that happening.

As teachers we value mental fluency and we want our pupils to have it.   But are we working in the right way to engage our pupils over a sustained period of time, out of unthinkingness and into causing pupils to think deeply enough about the facts and skills they are adept at and how they might use them to form a strategy?    Continue reading “SATs chat: Why did my children revert to written methods on Paper 1?”

So you have textbooks…so what?

Siobhan King is a Mathematics Adviser at Herts for Learning

I have been thinking about maths text books: what they add to lessons and how they can be used effectively.  I am a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel and know that teacher time is finite and exceptionally valuable.   Furthermore, I agree with Tim Oates’ assertion that “high quality textbooks support both teachers and pupils – they free teachers up to concentrate on refining pedagogy and developing engaging, effective learning.”  (Oates, 2014, p4) Continue reading “So you have textbooks…so what?”

Subject Leaders and SATs – Where now?

David Cook is the Lead Teaching and Learning Adviser for Primary Mathematics at Herts for Learning

Recently he collated everything he and the team had found after analysing the scripts of both KS1 and KS2 tests and fed this back to Hertfordshire subject leaders and then gathered their experiences together.  This blog reflects that presentation and subsequent work with subject leaders. Continue reading “Subject Leaders and SATs – Where now?”

KS2 SATs 2016 – Lessons Learned

Louise Racher is a Mathematics Adviser at HfL

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” Confucius.

As many practitioners ponder over the “new” KS2 tests, this article picks out some of our “noble” reflections on what would make a pupil confident to tackle the KS2 test without fear and trepidation. Pupils who met Age Related Expectations in 2016 (just over half of year 6 pupils nationally) demonstrated that they had a flexibility which allowed them to manipulate not only the calculations to find solutions with ease within the constraints of the time limit – but also had a good grasp of problem solving strategies. This enabled them to access some complex multi-step problems using higher order thinking skills and demonstrate that they were able to reason with confidence. Continue reading “KS2 SATs 2016 – Lessons Learned”

Supporting Children with Dyslexia in Mathematics

Gill Shearsby-Fox is a Primary Mathematics Adviser for Herts for Learning.

Many people think that Dyslexia purely impacts upon children’s learning of reading and spelling and therefore does not have a huge influence on their mathematics. A difficulty in reading does of course lead to children finding most of the curriculum difficult because it is an essential skill and is needed to access learning and succeed. However, having dyslexia does impact on children’s learning of mathematics in more ways than having difficulties reading the questions. Continue reading “Supporting Children with Dyslexia in Mathematics”

‘It’s differentiation Jim, but not as we know it!’

Nicola Randall is a Primary Mathematics Adviser at Herts for Learning

Over the past year I have worked with several schools developing a mastery approach to teaching and learning in Mathematics. The approach fits well with the new curriculum and enables both teachers and pupils’ depth of learning. From my conversations with teachers and leaders, one question that is on everyone’s mind is ‘what about differentiation?’ Continue reading “‘It’s differentiation Jim, but not as we know it!’”

My Trio of Messages – OfSTED tell us about the state of Primary Mathematics

Louise Racher is a Primary Mathematics Adviser for Herts for Learning

BetterMaths1

Having been lucky enough to be in the same room as the esteemed Jane Jones, Ofsted’s National Lead for Mathematics, I am going to attempt to order my thought succinctly. There were a lot of messages about Mathematics crammed into one day and many thoughts overlapped as is the tendency with this subject. At the end of the day when I looked back at my own scribbled notes I think I could see three general threads.  Overall, I was comforted that her messages aligned with my own and my colleagues therefore all of the training and subscription materials we are currently writing and producing to help and support teachers are steered towards the key messages. Continue reading “My Trio of Messages – OfSTED tell us about the state of Primary Mathematics”

Reflections on Introducing Middle School to the Concrete Pictorial Abstract Pathway

Louise Racher is a Primary Mathematics Adviser for Herts for Learning.

I am pretty lucky. I get to “do” maths all day every day.  Gone are the days when I used to teach PE, history, geography, English … and so on, as well as dealing with hormonal Year 6 children … to have the permission to think about one thing only, mathematics, is an indulgence.

I am still learning, and changing my opinion about which approaches will make the biggest difference, that will continue to change I am sure. What I do know is that the experiences I had in school were not good enough.  Rote learning, procedures with no reason, struggling to keep up, sometimes copying my neighbour to get me through the lesson, because maybe I will be OK on my own tomorrow.  I am passionate about the use of manipulatives across the Primary phase, and into the secondary phase.  So, to have the opportunity to talk to teachers in a middle school and really sell my passion was a great opportunity.  Continue reading “Reflections on Introducing Middle School to the Concrete Pictorial Abstract Pathway”

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