A beacon of excellence – Slade’s open morning shines a spotlight on Maths

Erdington’s Slade Primary School showcased its ‘Maths Mastery’ last week at a specialist open morning attended by teaching professionals from the Midlands and Staffordshire.

Leaders and teachers from Tamworth’s William MacGregor School and Chesterfield’s St Mary’s School, attended Slade’s very first Maths – No Problem! Open Morning – and have given the beacon academy a glowing report.

The event gave visitors the opportunity to see maths in action at the school, which is part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), and to gain an insight into a comprehensively researched and evidence based“Our vision for the open morning was to showcase how ‘Maths – No problem!’ works at Slade Primary School and how it embeds the learning within the children to develop a passion and love for Maths. We wanted other people to come in and see this for themselves and to hopefully go and implement elements of that in their primary schools across the country,”
– sophie evans

Maths Mastery – which incorporates Maths – No Problem! (MNP) is a pioneering programme that provides an engaging and accessible style of maths teaching. As an MNP Accredited School, Slade demonstrate best practice in teaching maths mastery using this approach.

“Our vision for the open morning was to showcase how ‘Maths – No problem!’ works at Slade Primary School and how it embeds the learning within the children to develop a passion and love for Maths. We wanted other people to come in and see this for themselves and to hopefully go and implement elements of that in their primary schools across the country,”
– sophie evans

Tuesday’s open morning provided teachers with an opportunity to see live lessons during a tour of the school and to find out more about maths mastery and MNP. Delegates took part in learning observations across the school, along with a question and answer session and additional presentations on planning, differentiation and leadership.

Slade maths lead, Sophie Evans, said: “Our vision for the open morning was to showcase how ‘Maths – No problem!’ works at Slade Primary School and how it embeds the learning within the children to develop a passion and love for Maths. We wanted other people to come in and see this for themselves and to hopefully go and implement elements of that in their primary schools across the country.”

Since 2016 Slade has embedded the MNP approach across all years – including extensive CPD for teachers – so that children could progress quickly in mathematics.

It has been a whole-school switch where a community of pupils, teachers, and parents have embraced and benefited from the maths mastery approach. With attainment, enjoyment, and subject confidence on the rise, the MNP programme has been a huge success.

Joint Slade maths lead, Danielle Hale, added: “We gave staff from other schools a chance to see a year 2 and year 5 lesson and to go on a learning walk across the whole school, including the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). That enabled them to see those models, those scaffolds, that questioning from the teachers and all of the planning that the teachers have done in order to produce those outstanding lessons.”

Danielle added that the MNP programme has resulted in a “great improvement” in data – a 20 per cent increase in year 6.

Jas Kang is the Maths lead at ATLP’s William MacGregor Primary School. She attended the open morning with headteacher Suzie Norton and NQT Megan Sheward.

“We gave staff from other schools a chance to see a year 2 and year 5 lesson and to go on a learning walk across the whole school, including the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). That enabled them to see those models, those scaffolds, that questioning from the teachers and all of the planning that the teachers have done in order to produce those outstanding lessons,”
– danielle hale

Jas said: “We will take back how mastery is implemented across the school from year 1 to year 6. This includes how all pupils access it, the conversations the children have, the planned questions and how STEM sentences are used throughout the lesson and across different lessons. We will look at how the confidence in the children shows within their learning and how they can talk about their Maths and have a true passion of the subject.”

Teaching professionals from Derby’s St Mary’s Primary School were keen to find out more about Slade’s pioneering work, with visitors Cheryl Linacre, Amelia Stanley and Suzie Britch in attendance.

Cheryl Linacre said: “Slade is a beacon school for MNP and this visit has given us the opportunity meet fellow practitioners, to find out more about the programme and to look at how we could embed that across our school. It’s been a very informative and worthwhile day.”

Jenny Maskell, headteacher at Slade Primary School, said: “Maths Mastery has transformed this school and improvements are evident. There’s a culture of excellence at Slade and that permeates across the whole school, as our visitors experienced.

“It was wonderful to welcome other teaching professionals and to share our vision with them. They saw the best of Slade – confident teachers and happy children engaged in and enjoying outstanding lessons. I am very proud of this school and we cannot wait for the next open morning!”

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