In Mathematics this year, there have been several changes. We have introduced a series of vastly differentiated textbooks to support teaching. These "Target Your Maths" books provide ample practice for concepts and skills developed in class and allow teachers to target particular groups with different levels of practice. Some pupils respond very well to this style of learning. However, due to our time out of school, these useful resources have yet to be utilised fully.
Teachers are familiar with bar modelling and contextualised learning that are part and parcel of the Singapore maths style, so this year more emphasis was placed on the need to put maths problems into real life situations, before the learning begins and this was supported by concrete modelling which helps pupils to visualise problems. This aspect of Maths is something which will be developed further in the coming years.
Pupils have been given the unprecedented opportunity to work more independently in Maths due to the weeks away from the classroom and in this time, they demonstrated that progress was still possible. The IXL online scheme proved to be an essential resource at a time when printing and books were not necessarily available in every home. Having studied the results, it is clear that the more time spent on IXL, the more progress was made. In the school as a whole, over 608,000 questions were answered and the average pupil Mastered 79 discrete skills during the period of intense use at home.
Work on times tables, was well supported by parents in home learning and it is an area that cannot be overlooked; it cannot be emphasised enough that fluency in this aspect of the subject, is the foundation of much that follows in Secondary Education.
In testing, we have moved on to new systems, notably IXL Diagnostics, which provided an ongoing summary of progress as well as forming the basis for future work. New summary assessments introduced for the end of the year will give more detailed information to educators, which will then help determine future strategies on an individual, class and whole-school level. Other new formative assessments will be undertaken in the coming year, adding to the bank of information at the fingertips of teachers and leaders alike.
This core subject is constantly being updated to match the needs of 21st Century pupils and with developments such as those above, we should continue to see improvement in our pupils' knowledge, skills and more importantly understanding, as we head into the third decade of this millenium.
Mr. Karl, Maths Subject Leader