Leading Change – Taking the long view

Posted on May 7, 2020

Teaching for Mastery

Taking the Long View

Woolacombe School in North Devon has embarked on a ten year journey to develop a teaching for mastery approach in mathematics.

This page contains four video clips taken from a discussion between Gail Holmes (Headteacher), Dan Polak (Deputy Headteacher) and Sam Abell (Y1 teacher) three years into this journey. During the discussion the teachers explore key decisions made on the journey so far and the thinking behind these decisions.

Clip 1: Why Change? http://babcockldp.vzaar.me/21525386

This clip explores the decision to make changes to how maths in the school is taught, which starts with observations of the pupils, their mathematics and in particular their articulation of their understanding of mathematics.

Curriculum progression is identified as critical.

Key questions considered at the outset are:
· Are we certain that the order we teach things is correct?
· Do teachers teach in different orders?
· Are children being exposed to consistent imagery, structure and language?

Clip 2: Professional Development http://babcockldp.vzaar.me/21525381

The importance of professional development for all staff is a focus within this clip, which includes discussion about the introduction of textbooks.

The school has taken an action research approach to development and has supported teachers to be involved in research projects. This has included the “Supporting children to be active and influential participants in mathematics lessons through effective use of assigning competence and pre-teaching” project funded jointly by the maths hubs and Devon County Council (for further information see Project Report).

All teachers have also participated in cycles of Collaborative Lesson Research (CLR*), supported by a Maths Adviser. These cycles of CLR included: working together as a planning team over a number of sessions to design a research lesson; observing the research lesson being taught, and discussing observations of the impact of the decisions made (as a planning team) on the learners. This professional development work through CLR took place prior to the introduction of the chosen textbook and is referred to during the video clip.

*For more information on CLR visit https://www.collaborative-lesson-research.uk/

Clip 3: Curriculum Progression and Deep Understanding http://babcockldp.vzaar.me/21525365

In this clip the teachers discuss decisions made for the youngest children (Foundation Stage and Y1) which they consider significant in changing how learners will experience maths throughout the school.

This includes spending time securing understanding of early number, with a focus on noticing, reasoning and developing language.

Clip 4: Involving Parents http://babcockldp.vzaar.me/21525375

In this clip, the teachers consider the role of parents as key partners in education. They discuss changes to both maths home learning and how they share thinking about learning maths with the parents.