Embracing change

The context
Keyingham is a rural community school with 197 full-time and 29 part-time pupils aged from three to ten years. The school roll includes a higher than average percentage of children with EHCPs; many have significant social needs and a number are diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder.

The school’s Headteacher, Sandra Edmiston, explained that in 2017 maths was becoming a key issue in the school, particularly at KS2. Following the introduction of the new curriculum, maths outcomes had dropped below the national average and she and her team were keen to go ‘back to basics’ in order to raise confidence, improve practice and restore high standards.

The power of positivity
“Our first work with White Rose Maths was a session on The Four Operations, which we did in October 2017,” says the school’s Maths Lead, Melanie Lake. “The staff raved about it and it proved really valuable! We then booked the full Jigsaw programme for all teaching staff and most of our TAs attended, too. We’re now part-way through the programme and very excited at the changes that are happening across the school.”

You can see and hear it happen!
Sandra and Melanie speak in very similar terms of the progress they’ve seen since the Jigsaw sessions began at Keyingham. “It’s increased everyone’s knowledge and understanding and made us re-think the way we teach maths,” Sandra explained. “We’ve now re-structured our approach and practice and the quality of teaching is really improving. Understanding the importance of appropriate mathematical language has had a big impact – and you can now hear that language being used everywhere in the school.”

“The structure of the schemes gives staff far greater confidence in making those all-important smaller steps,” commented Melanie. And if you take a look around our school, you’ll see loads of concrete models and pictorial support being used everywhere. Some of the models, such as tens frames and Bar Models were completely new to us, but everyone’s embraced them because they now understand how and why CPA makes such a difference. In my conversations, book scrutinies, maths surgeries and so on, I see that children who were previously ‘switched off’ to maths are now more confident and willing to explore. The language – and in fact the whole ethos of meeting challenge – has spread throughout the school: even the most able pupils are now perfectly willing to use concrete models to solve problems! We’ve also begun to involve the parents and carers by inviting them in to see what a typical maths lesson now looks like.”

What next?
“As a Headteacher, it’s so exciting to see the whole-hearted enthusiasm for the Jigsaw learning,” says Sandra. “The staff response has been wonderful: they’re so keen to embed all that they learn. The day after a Jigsaw session, there’s talk and discussion going on everywhere – ‘I’ve tried this and it was great for X’, and so on! We’re now looking forward to seeing the impact on results: watch this space!”

“With two Jigsaw sessions to complete, we’ve lots more to learn yet,” says Sandra. “One challenge is how to improve the way we manage lesson structure… Maybe we’ve lost that a little with a focus on monitoring, but it’s important now to think about whether the process we use suits everyone. Does every child need to start at the beginning? And how can we best structure group work?”