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We had joined the East Sussex Maths Hub. Our teachers would train with them, and then give it a go in our schools. However, we realised there were big gaps in our subject knowledge.
It took hours to plan, and we really struggled to simply get the questions right. Eventually we said to ourselves, ‘We can’t sustain this — it’s not as good as we want it to be.’ So we started looking at the Maths – No Problem! Programme.
I had previously attended a course with Ban Har, and thought it might be a good option for Saltdean. I had to convince our maths head, Suzanne Morgan.
She wanted maths to be taught differently in our school, but I knew that she’d have to attend in person to really understand the end point of the programme and approach.
By 10.15am on the first day of training, her eyes were twinkling. ‘I get it,’ I remember her exclaiming. Now, every maths teacher in our school attends Ban Har training.
A whole-school approach was really important to us. The lead school at our Maths Hub used Inspire Maths, but we needed something more substantial for our three form entry school. MNP provided this for us.
To implement it, we use Inset days and drop-in lunchtime training sessions to keep up on training for both teachers and TAs. For non-specialist teachers, we use team teaching to boost confidence. When the penny drops for them, they can really own their own maths teaching.
More-experienced teachers go on specialist MNP training (eg differentiation fractions), and come back to run Inset training days on what they have learnt. Overall, this approach allows every teacher to own their own CPD.
For our school, consistent school-wide training and ongoing development means that misconceptions and mistakes regularly emerge. However, we’ve realised that it’s OK for teachers and children to make mistakes along the way.
Our school doesn’t have any kind of formal maths observations during the term – we really encourage our teachers to take risks and feel confident.
While there were plenty of challenges, some programme elements were easy to implement right off the bat. The consistent MNP imagery, visual resources and structure has really helped children progress year by year.
The programme is really about small steps of learning. The challenge for teachers is making sure the connections are there, and helping children build that knowledge.
Our teachers understand not only what their year group requires, but also what is ahead for them in the coming years.
So while the maths mastery we learnt as part of the maths hub is the same maths, the delivery provided by MNP is different. MNP is now our natural language.
Interested in making the switch to maths mastery with MNP? Download your free scheme of work at mathsnoproblem.com/scheme or call 01892 537 706.
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