Ark Atwood Primary Academy

“Our pupils now say they love maths, and they work with confidence and resilience”

Daniel Upfield | Headteacher

When we joined the partnership, our pupils were achieving the national average but there was a lot of variation in attainment. We had some very high attaining pupils and some who were really struggling with maths.

In 2014, the number of pupils within our school achieving a Level 3 at Key Stage 1 was double the national average, and 92% of our pupils achieved a Level 2b+. A third of these children came from disadvantaged backgrounds – and we’re proud to say they were not left behind in maths attainment. The programme has had a big impact on consistency across the cohort of learners.

The programme is not just about excellent results; it’s about the change in pupil attitudes. The children now talk about being mathematicians. They say they love maths and they work with confidence and resilience.       

Daniel Upfield - Ark Atwood headshotI believe the key to our success with the Mathematics Mastery programme has been the consistency of approach within our school. Staff are faithful to the programme, making sure that the principles behind objectives are met. We devote staff meetings and inset time to talking about the approach. It’s a whole school initiative – everyone is expected to be involved and contribute. Consistency of training and staff development is crucial.

I began our Mathematics Mastery journey as the ‘school lead’ for the programme, as I firmly believe headteachers have to get stuck into the programme, and really learn the nuts and bolts. It’s critical to work with your team to ensure they understand the programme and can see the benefits for themselves.

We all live by the same message. Staff and pupils need to be resilient and confident in maths lessons, and we all need to be successful in maths teaching and learning.

In 2014 we were thrilled to be awarded the TES Numeracy and Maths Award for our work within the partnership. The TES judges said: “This is simply an example of the brilliant application of a brilliant programme achieving brilliant results. Well done.”