Governors Visit Report – Maths Observation

Date: 3rd July 2019

Governor: Helen Keedy

Staff Member: Alana Fordham

Classes observed: One class from each of Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and whole of Year 4 cohort

Year 1

  • 1 to 100 count up
  • 2, 5 and 10 times tables
  • 30 to 0 count down

Year 2

  • 100 to 0 count down
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 times tables
  • days of the week
  • months of the year

Year 3

  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 times tables

Year 4

  • 1 to 12 times tables inclusive
  • one class – days of week and months of year

Every morning at the start of the maths lesson, the times tables routines are sung out by the class. Each class had adapted the modelled routine which had been developed by Miss Fordham and Mr Ryan. The times tables were recited singing along to classic hits such as “Stayin’ Alive” for the fives, “The Greatest Showman” for the eights, with some classes choosing their own favourites.

The younger classes were clearly using their fingers to number count, for the older classes the fingers were moving, but there seemed less reliance.

The classes had dance routines to accompany the number work which involved all, including in some cases the class teachers and TAs. One class had the boys on one side of the room, with the girls opposite – this was clearly popular as it allowed friendly competition, and greater space for the boys to demonstrate their flossing and dab moves.

One Year 4 class had visited Year 2 to see how they had adapted the routine to include days of the week and months of the year. The Year 4 class then adopted this change into their routine.

What was very obvious was the popularity and inclusivity of this new initiative; all the pupils were joining in, the speed at which the times tables were recited could only have been achieved by daily practise and the volume at which each class performed was an indication of genuine enthusiasm.  Miss Fordham has observed that focus groups have successfully accessed the new methods and their maths fluency is improving. If pupils are observed to need further support, such support is provided in small groups during the maths lesson.

It has also been noted that there is increased engagement and enjoyment of maths as a result of the physical, active start to maths lessons for all classes.

The fact that all pupils are so number fluent by the end of Year 4 was a credit to the staff and the lead taken by Miss Fordham and Mr Ryan. In the recent pilot trial for the new Department of Education Times Tables testing 70% of the current Year 4 cohort passed the pilot test – their comments were fed back to the team developing the test. The biggest barrier was the time it took to input the correct answer into the computer, and ensuring the answer typed in matched the intended answer given.

Plans for the future include spreading the routine to include shape-space-measure. Now that the pupils know their times tables, the speed of recall is the area to improve.

Further Steps

  • Observe EYFS
  • Re-observe all classes to see how change of cohort classes impacts on the format currently being used – opportunity to mix the pupils’ ideas
  • Re-observe to check improved speed of recall
  • Scrutiny of SEN/PP data for maths


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