Ark Atwood TES Nomination

Blog: Dr. Helen Drury, Director of Mathematics Mastery

Ark Atwood TES Nomination

Posted: 2/07/14

We are delighted to hear that Ark Atwood have been shortlisted for a TES Schools Award in the Numeracy and Maths category. This is a fantastic success story for the teachers at this school and acknowledges all of their hard work and inspiring vision in the pursuit of outstanding maths teaching.

Ark Atwood joined Mathematics Mastery as a pioneer school, taking on the approach over two years ago. In this time, we have loved watching the teachers take on the Mathematics Mastery curriculum, making it their own and pushing their professional development. When we visit the school, we find bright, engaged pupils who are outstanding examples of children exercising depth of understanding. Their teachers are imaginative, engaging and hold high expectations for every pupil in their classroom.

Stephanie Lester, Year 2 Teacher at ARK Atwood Primary Academy, explained how Mathematics Mastery has worked for her class, “This is the first thing I’ve done in maths which hasn’t been about differentiation between different groups,” Stephanie says. “The expectation is that all pupils will have achieved – by the end of the lesson, by the end of the unit, by the end of the year. They all get the chance for success. Some children will get it faster than others – but by the end, all of them will have got what they need to achieve.”

They saw remarkable progress in students, with one pupil progressing from WC in October 2012 to 2B in December 2013. By using the clear structure of our 6-part lesson plan, providing opportunities for pupils to discuss the mathematics with a partner and Star tasks to push all pupils leaning, this child grew in confidence and resilience.

The impact of Mathematics Mastery is also shown in their results to date. This is a school in a challenging, inner-city area, where 35% of pupils are eligible for free school meals. After their first year of Mathematics Mastery, a huge proportion of their Year 1 pupils were ahead of national expectations. Even though pupils started Key Stage 1 with low levels of prior attainment, 85% of Year 2 pupils had already achieved Level 2 by December 2013 – two full terms ahead of when they would be expected to achieve this. Crucially, all pupils performed well. The gap between those pupils who received free school meals and those who didn’t was negligible and there was no difference between SEN and non-SEN pupils.

TES Schools Award nominated three other schools, from across Britain in this category. We wish them all of the best when the winners are announced on Friday 4th July. Regardless of the result, they have proven the success that can be seen in a classroom when you tap into the true maths potential of each and every pupil.