Lytham Hall Park Primary School
Summary of school
Lytham Hall Park Primary School is larger than the average-sized primary school located in Lytham St. Anne’s, Lancashire. The school was opened in 1973 and was built with an open plan design, meaning that the classes have areas outside the rooms for group activities and extra work space. Over the years, the school has been extended. Most recently, Lytham Hall Park has expanded admission from 35 to 60; this means the school now has two classes in each annual intake. To accommodate this expansion, Lancashire County Council created an additional six classrooms, built a second school hall, and further developed the school grounds to increase our children's access to outdoors for learning and for play. Most pupils attending the school are of White British heritage, with a few pupils from minority ethnic groups as well as a few who speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils supported through School Action is below the national average. The proportion of pupils supported at School Action Plus or with a statement of special educational needs is also below the national average. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for Free School Meals is below average.
When and how they got involved with the Maths Hub
Our first involvement with the Maths Hub was as part of our local cluster project in 2018, which was held in conjunction with the local authority maths team, and focused on the progression of place value teaching within our settings. It was a year-long project that included training days for teachers of specific year groups, and for the maths subject leads. The outcome of this work was impact at teacher and at class level; teachers gained a more in-depth understanding of place value teaching along with many practical activities, often incorporating concrete materials to support and develop children’s understanding. At this point we were beginning to explore mastery approaches to teaching maths.
Having begun teaching for mastery in maths in 2017/18, we spent a great deal of time researching schemes of work. We felt that this would help to provide a structure for teachers, enabling them to achieve a consistency in approach and develop subject knowledge, thus minimising variation across school. We decided that the best scheme for our school was Power Maths. We then joined a Teaching for Mastery Development Work Group in 2018/19, led by a Primary Mastery Specialist from the Maths Hub. Participation in the Work Group involved our Year 1 and Year 6 teachers and our maths subject lead. Following this, our Year 1 teacher continued to the Teaching for Mastery Embedding Work Group in 2019/20.
We have valued immensely the quality of training and support given by the hub and have continued to be involved in a range of projects. Inspired by the opportunities for leadership development, the maths lead also enrolled for the PD Lead Accreditation, which was followed by training to become a Primary Mastery Specialist.
Our EYFS Lead has been involved in the Building Firm Mathematical Foundations in Reception Work Group since September 2019. This has sharpened the focus of teaching using the mastery approach to maths in EYFS. It has also involved exploration of the new curriculum that was due to be put in place in September 2020, and will now come in place September 2021.
We also have an NQT attending the SKTM (Specialist Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics) Programme.
The assistant headteacher and maths lead are currently participants in the Teaching for Mastery Sustaining Work Group (Subject Leader Support Group) with the hub.
As a school, we feel that our involvement with the Maths Hub has supported us to reach a point in our maths journey where we are certainly embedding teaching for mastery in maths. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, our teachers have had to use their understanding of teaching for mastery to adapt and respond to children’s ever-changing needs. Our teachers’ confidence and flexibility in being able to do this is as a result of embedded principles of teaching for mastery in maths. The Maths Hub has supported us through our recovery curriculum planning, where we have used and personalised NCETM resources to develop a curriculum that enables teachers to focus on the key learning that children need to enable them to return to their next programme of study in September 2021.
What was it about the work with the hub that was beneficial to you and why?
Year 2 teacher: In terms of what I deemed to be the benefit of the TRG, I would probably say reassurance – in the sense that the steps we had already taken in our mastery journey were what other professionals were doing or were beginning to embark upon. I also enjoyed having professional dialogue with others about their maths practice in their individual schools. As we were relatively further along in our mastery journey, we were often leading the way in discussions and practice. I also really enjoyed the Shanghai visit – that for me was the highlight of the Work Group and really demonstrated the importance of basic skills/foundations in maths and how they underpin everything.
EYFS teacher: We benefitted from linking the approaches to the new curriculum, as this is supporting us with what the maths expectations will be like from September 2021. Working collaboratively with our school maths lead, I have been able to share maths within EYFS, and having her there to share ideas has been a benefit. This worked well as you don’t get this time in everyday school life, but it allowed this to happen. I feel like the Maths Hub helped reassure us that the maths practice we had put in place for the mastery approach was correct, and it confirmed that how we are teaching it is correct. I enjoyed the practical on-site sessions more than virtual as I liked to see the different resources and share ideas with other professionals.
NQT: The sessions are all themed around different areas of number and reasoning. They also involve activities between the sessions to use in your class, which we then feedback in the next sessions. I have found these really useful in extending my maths teaching in reasoning, which is particularly useful as we do Power Maths. There are regular breakout rooms and these are great in getting an insight to how other professionals have incorporated a particular skill or task. They are also great for reflection, what worked well, and what might need refining. As an NQT, it has helped me question why we do particular activities and skills in a certain way. This has supported me, as the approaches to particular maths skills are explained as well as providing a clear visual representation. It has helped me in planning lessons for particular children who may need to revisit skills either in lesson or as an intervention.
Kerry Ainsworth, Assistant Headteacher / Maths Subject Lead
"We value our involvement with the Maths Hub immensely. It is energising to work alongside colleagues with passion for and expertise in teaching for mastery in mathematics. Through regular opportunities, we are able to reflect on our school’s strengths, share ideas, and plan for school improvement. We feel that we are updated and well informed about national strategies and the most current research to impact our practice. Ultimately, the Maths Hub supports us to do the best job that we can for developing happy and confident mathematicians in our school.
Impact on Leadership
The impact of our work with the Maths Hub at leadership level has been considerable in terms of CPD for leadership, and for subject knowledge. We have been reassured by the opportunities to review our audit strategies and action planning throughout our teaching for mastery journey. Opportunities to collaborate have allowed us to network, share ideas and feel confident in our approaches. We continue to value working with the Maths Hub as it allows us to consider ways for us to keep improving and moving forwards on our journey.
Impact on Teaching
Our involvement with the Maths Hub has supported us through our mastery journey, where initially we made tentative steps, through to relying wholly on a scheme of work, to now being in a position where we are confident in our mastery teaching. Our teachers are confident in personalising our use of a maths scheme to meet the needs of children, whilst also maintaining the consistency in language and mastery approaches. Our teachers have a secure understanding of the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach to learning, using representations skilfully to support children to develop mathematical thinking. We have a structured approach to teaching fluency in school and are seeing the impact on children’s confidence and ability in reasoning.
Impact on Learning
Our children have positive attitudes to their maths lessons, and embrace problem-solving and reasoning with enthusiasm and confidence. They engage in discussion, conjecture and talk about enjoying ‘tricky’ and challenging maths that really makes them think. In lessons, children use manipulatives to support their deep understanding of concepts and use a range of representations to demonstrate their thinking. We have seen an increase in children’s motivation, engagement and self-esteem as maths learners.
Sharon Bowker, Headteacher
"We sought involvement with the Maths Hub due to our desire to improve our teaching in mathematics from an already strong position. We had excellent achievement in mathematics, but wanted to ensure our teaching did not rely on intervention but instead on everyday high quality teaching. Our involvement with the Maths Hub has driven our whole staff understanding of teaching for mastery in mathematics, and ensured high quality CPD which has developed all our staff, from those newly qualified to those leading their year groups. The partnership we have had with the Maths Hub has ensured that the mastery approach in mathematics is embedded across our school to the benefit of all our pupils. Our achievement has remained high, with progress secured in every year group across our school.