case study -
to engage in maths
“… teachers drop in quite often and say ‘Ooh that’s interesting!’ and it gives them ideas of their own”.
In this school the maths club is run by the maths champion (also coordinator) with support from another member of staff at every club session. There was a maths club in the school before the start of the Project and this focused on identified gaps and worked as a booster with a formal approach which it was felt did not inspire pupils to attend, especially with competition from other far more popular clubs in the school.
“We did more things they were struggling with in class and motivation was difficult to keep them coming”
What are the particular strengths of this model?
- The maths club builds on the school’s strong club ethos. There are many clubs and pupils are keen to join them.
- The club’s theme (cookery) requires planning and support but engages the pupils and allows flexibility in terms of mathematical demand (more and less complex recipes), focus (for example – pupils working independently) whilst engaging pupils in mathematics in an every day context.
“When I first started they would not do anything unless I told them to do it. Now they are a little bit more let’s have a go, lets get on with it.” Champion – School A
- The club is used to experiment and try out ideas for wider dissemination. For example, the resource used for starter material that will be assessed with a view of extending its use.
- There is a positive approach, with teachers learning to ‘let go’ and encourage and allow pupils to make mistakes. Teachers and pupils take risks in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.
What impact has the club had within the school?
- Teachers regularly pop in to the club and employ ideas they see in their own classrooms.
- Much has been learned in the club that contributes to the school’s development plan.
- The club acts like a mathematical hub with pupils wanting and choosing to join, even those who are struggling with the subject.
- The club is having a positive impact on parents’ views of the school and what it has to offer.
What else has the school learned?
That pupils are attracted by a maths club that is voluntary and they see membership as a ‘privilege’ and everyone who gets a place wants to come.