Transforming how Maths is taught
At St Margaret’s CofE Primary School we had set ourselves the challenge of achieving 60 active minutes for all our pupils every day. This included activities beyond standard break times.
It had been noted the pupils with the lowest attainment were predominantly boys. These pupils in particular were the ones who looked forward to playtimes the most where they could get outside and move around more. The challenge we faced was to re-engage boys with a love and improved attitude towards maths, resulting in higher attainment in the subject.
We introduced Teach Active after discovering it at a conference in the area. Initially, we started using the resources in our Maths lessons.
After recognising a positive impact, we invited Jon Smedley, creator of Teach Active to come to the school and deliver a session. Teachers have also been encouraged to use ideas from Teach Active in a variety of ways, including Physical Education classes and other areas of the curriculum.
All children participate in Active Maths lessons at least once per week, with many classes incorporating it into their curriculum more. In addition, Teach Active has been introduced as an optional lunchtime club.
Teach Active was also used as an intervention tool to improve basic skills and attitudes to Maths, as well as increasing levels of physical fitness within pupils.
As a result of introducing Teach Active, the school quickly noticed a positive change in attitudes of all children in the class, not just the boys with the lowest attainment.
Since Jon Smedley came to deliver sessions within the school, the excitement from pupils using the program has been infectious. Lunchtime ‘Active Maths’ is also proving extremely popular with our young people.
Teach Active is now fully embedded into life at St Margarets. The children look forward to ‘learning whilst moving’ and will often ask when they will be doing it again. Number trails and calculations are frequently seen both in school and around the playground.
Active Maths easily fits into the weekly timetable, and the more confident the children have become, the more willing they are to take chances and to give other things a go. The children who have been part of the intervention groups have shown an increase in attitude and confidence with Maths work, and look forward to their next lesson.
Both teachers and children have shown 100% commitment towards the program. It is easy to use and very adaptable which has made it popular with staff. The children now look forward to maths lessons, as do the teachers!
Teach Active has contributed to ensuring all children in school are receiving 60 active minutes each day.
It has also had a great impact on the lower attaining boys. One child in particular was finding Maths difficult and was disengaged from the subject. His love of sport helped us to target this individual. He now looks forward to Active Maths and thinks that it is “the best lesson ever”.
Attitudes towards physical activity have improved throughout school, and a love of Maths has been developed across all year groups. The children who were struggling to stay motivated in Maths have had a particular increased interest in the subject, encouraging problem-solving and communication skills between pupils.
As we have been using it across other curriculum areas (such as PE and English), we are pleased that children’s attitudes to health and fitness have improved, and become part of daily life at the school.