I am the Deputy Headteacher at Walton-le-Dale Primary School and I’m also the Year 3 class teacher. Alongside the rest of SLT, I was responsible for putting in place On Track Maths to support ‘catch up’ children. Our school has a very wide catchment area that encompasses council estates and detached houses.
How are you using On Track Maths?
We use On Track Maths as our whole school ‘catch up’ program for children who need intervention support. This is massively important in a school with a mastery approach where everyone moves on together. Without something as high quality and rigorous as On Track Maths in place, the whole mastery approach would be at risk of collapsing at any point. We have teaching assistants trained so that each year group can use the package, which didn’t take much doing as On Track Maths is so well thought through and structured. With all the resources there for them, it makes it easy for them to plug and play. Each day, children who require intervention get an additional 20-25 minutes focusing on exactly what they need on top of, rather than replacing, their maths lesson.
What are the main benefits of the resource and what impact has using On Track Maths had on your pupils’ progress and attainment in mathematics?
Prior to On Track Maths, some of the children that needed that extra bit of help to consolidate or fill in gaps would fall through the net in a mastery approach and potentially end up on the special needs register. However, we have seen significant gains for those children using the package, who are able to keep up enough to access their year group content, whilst filling in gaps with On Track Maths. Increases in their self-esteem and confidence is evident, as they are always buzzing for their intervention session and very clearly more confident in daily lessons. Summative results back this up.
Is On Track Maths flexible?
The common denominator for children that have used the resource and benefitted the most from it are children who struggle with number and calculation. In light of this, we have focused our intervention time on those areas, plus fractions. This has helped give the children the core knowledge they need to access the full breadth of the maths curriculum for their own year group, in their full maths lesson. So yes, it’s really flexible in that you can adapt and use it how you want as a class teacher and also from a leadership perspective.
Does the resource engage your learners?
Yes! The children love their intervention sessions. The resources make the difference here. They get things represented in a different way to that which they struggled with in class. It’s not more of the same. It’s ‘another way’ and that has helped unlock difficult maths concepts and deepen the foundations of maths so they can be built higher in their maths lessons.
Have you found the resource easy to use?
Hugely – although I started to give specifically chosen TA’s training, they didn’t really need it to use the resource, just to help them understand our full mastery approach. EVERYTHING is there for them, they just need a bit of time to photocopy and prepare resources, read through the well-structured plan for the day. And the plans should receive a special mention as the last thing you want a TA to do is become lost in a complex plan. These are spot on in that they can pick it up, read it once, prepare the resources and know exactly what and how they are going to manage that session. There is no second guessing, no having to go back to the plan to re-read lots. It’s simple, effective and has high impact.
Would you recommend this resource to other schools?
Yes, without question. Since its release it has filled the missing link in our approach, and we will continue to use it for many years to come.