Case Study - Creative
approach to maths
“The maths club enabled people to be more creative… and we said ‘Let’s put some of that back into the lessons’. We could see its effect so everyone is doing it. Now once a week up to Year 3 and once every two weeks for year 4 to 6 all classes do a creative lesson. So it has influenced our whole policy.”
The club started in Year 5 with an enterprise focus. The aim was to give pupils opportunities to develop their knowledge of number, space and money, as well as their problem solving skills in a practical context. A year on, the school has branched out offering clubs in Years 4, 5 and 6 with a definite emphasis on the creative and incorporating some IT aimed at developing number and money skills. Creative and practical aspects first tried in the maths club have been such a success they have found their way into the curriculum throughout the school.
What are the particular strengths of this model?
- The maths club developed out of identified needs in terms of pupil needs and current curriculum opportunities.
- The maths club has been used as a safe environment to experiment and try new ideas out.
- There are plans for future developments with an awareness that, as the need changes, club activity will need to change.
What impact has the club had in the school?
- Findings from club experiences has resulted in changes to the curriculum, with practical sessions now happening in every classroom on a weekly basis.
- The practical nature of the club and resulting practical lessons in classrooms have helped in the identification of different needs of different pupils, for example the identification of unexpected gaps in pupil knowledge, improved pupil behaviour, deeper understanding and better mathematical communication skills.
What else has the school learned?
Pupils are engaged and enthused by practical mathematical activities. In general, pupils have enjoyed the practical maths more than the IT based sessions. The effort involved in running such clubs is greatly outweighed by the positive outcomes.
“I could have gone for the easy option of buying board games … but they (pupils) would not have been knocking on the door or asking to join. Looking back you think they got a lot more out of that than I realised and other pupils wanted to join so children want to be at the maths club, though they might not say so!”