Headteacher, Winsford, Over St John’s Primary School
We have been working with First4Maths for the last two years as a school and as a cluster of schools.
At school level, Sarah has been incredibly supportive in helping us to address the way in which we teach reasoning through INSET, book monitoring and planning support. Staff have found the process incredibly useful and the children’s use of reasoning skills has developed greatly. This was recognised by our Ofsted inspector in July 2019 who stated that: “Pupils’ books feature a diverse range of problem solving skills. This provides a context for pupils’ calculations and assists in developing their mathematical reasoning skills.” We have found Sarah to be easily approachable, very supportive and with excellent subject knowledge to answer all the questions that we have had whilst enabling us to drive forward the teaching of Maths as a school.
As a cluster of schools in the Winsford Education Partnership, First4Maths has supported us in a variety of ways as we acknowledged that the progress of pupils in Maths could be improved as a town. First4Maths have held moderation sessions for all year groups that have been tailored to the needs of each year group as identified by subject leaders across the town. We have also held termly planning sessions for each year group to enable teachers to plan ahead for Maths with the support of maths experts. Furthermore, First4Maths have also trained Teaching Assistants in high quality support at Year 2 and Year 6. All this work has had a positive impact on the teaching of Maths as a town with staff more confident in planning accurately for their year groups as well as being confident to accurately assess their children. As it has been so beneficial, we are continuing to work with First4Maths for a second academic year as a partnership to further skill teachers.
I would highly recommend getting in touch with Sarah or Toni, whatever your school or cluster’s needs are as they are able to customise any work with you to meet your own needs and I am sure that it would have a great impact on your staff.
Headteacher, Wincham Community Primary School
First4Maths have worked with the school for 18 months. Toni and the team have supported the teachers in analysing strengths and weaknesses in their classes, and have helped them to plan next steps for all children. The impact of this has been huge - staff are much more confident in delivering well structured, appropriately challenging lessons for all learners. Over time, the impact has been twofold. Firstly we have seen a real rise in standards, both through work scrutiny and through end of year assessments. Secondly, teachers have become much more confident in planning and delivering the content of the curriculum, which has had a big impact on staff morale and well being. Toni has also supported our Maths leads in scrutinising books, coaching staff and analysing and planning areas for development in the school. First4Maths consultants have always been friendly and supportive for all staff, establishing a professional yet friendly rapport quickly. I cannot recommend their support highly enough.
Y3 teacher, Acresfield Primary School
Thanks to Toni I have been given a renewed love of teaching maths. All the help I have received, from planning the most logical sequence to teach a unit, to identifying potential misconceptions and how to handle them, coupled with hands on fun practical activities to engage the children, has saved me hours of wasted time deliberating and scouring the internet for the ‘perfect’ resources. I came away from Toni’s sessions brimming with ideas and excited to get back into the classroom and test them out.
Headteacher, Acresfield Primary School
Maths is a strength at Acresfield and this has a lot to do with the high quality professional development provided by First4Maths for our staff. Our children have made rapid progress, our staff have grown in confidence and our school has been able to move forward significantly.