Our school consists of 51% pupil premium and 36% SEND children. This, as you would imagine presents real challenges regarding attendance, behaviour and engagement in learning. If, as a whole school, we had any chance of raising attainment and progress in Maths and English, we had to change the learning mindset of many of our students and, hopefully, change the outcome as a result. In short, how do we get children with low enthusiasm for learning…to be enthusiastic about learning?
We were introduced to Teach Active at a local Cluster school conference. In all honesty, staff thought that it might become a nice resource to add to our repertoire for lesson starters and intervention. In a very short time, it became very clear that kids loved these active elements of lessons, and loved the lessons as a result. And even better, learning was sticking! This was more than just another resource and helped us to review our entire approach to teaching!
Teach Active Maths quickly became a staple part of weekly Maths lessons, embedded throughout policy, Teaching and Learning and Assessment. Children buzzed about the lessons they had been involved in and recalled the learning with ease. As a revision opportunity in Y6, it gave reference point so that methods could be recalled in a SATs assessment, “remember when we played Order! Order!, what was our method?” Children talked of their love of Maths, far beyond just the active lessons, it changed the perception of an entire subject. It then presented another issue…English. And so the emails to Teach Active started, “have you thought of a Active English?” and my excitement when the answer was Yes!
Teach Active is far more than just active learning and making lessons ‘fun’. It has instilled in our children a positive attitude towards learning, a willingness to embrace the challenge of tricky content and an ability to retain information through memorable teaching and learning, whether lessons are 100% Active, 50% or sat at a desk.
More than that, the impact on the mental health and wellbeing of our children has been exceptional. Positive Mindset is prevalent and that buzz for learning is yet to fade. Teachers have become more adventurous, using the ideas and lesson structures far beyond Maths and English, in MfL, History, Geography…we’re active, we’re learning and we love it!