“ … it did make a big difference – I would say our Year 5 that went through the club – their maths is strong this year and I think the club has to take some of the credit for that”.
This maths club is run by two enthusiastic teaching assistants and led by the maths Champion. The sessions are based around mathematical games. Initially, these were purchased to support pupils with improving their number fluency (a whole school focus).
What are the particular strengths of this model?
- The club is an integral part of a bigger picture. It is seen as something that contributes to the school’s mathematical offer as a whole.
- The strong lead from the Champion means the club has a clear focus, based on school data, and the pupils are carefully targeted.
- The focus has the potential for change according to need.
- The club’s simple theme makes organisation very manageable.
- The use of games aims to develop pupil confidence, ability to follow instructions, the use of strategy and encourages peer support alongside other inter-personal skills that support mathematical learning.
- There is a positive approach, with staff teaching the rules and strategies over time.
What impact has the club had within the school?
- There is significant evidence that pupils involved in the club have improved in mathematics. Although the improvement cannot necessarily be attributed to the club alone, the staff are confident that it has had a major part to play in this learning gain.
- Much has been learned from the club about the use of games in developing confidence and communications skills, as well as mathematical knowledge, and this is being implemented in several ways more widely within the school:
- There are a number of small maths clubs springing up. They are engaging the pupils with games that focus on each small group of pupils’ particular needs.
- Games are being used more and more in classrooms to support the learning of mathematics.
- An additional maths slot has been introduced into the school or approximately in the afternoon. Although not directly linked to the maths club they have been influenced by it. In these sessions a range of mathematical activities take place including the use of games to address specific needs.
What else has the school learned?
They have used opportunities to share the use of games with all staff but they are aware that there is more than can do, especially in the important area of teachers learning how to use effective questioning.