Latest success stories from Renaissance Learning

Closing the Gap in Maths with Freckle at Bramley Sunnyside Junior School

Bramley Sunnyside Junior School, Rotherham, England

Bramley Sunnyside Junior School has been using Star Maths assessments since 2018 to support the school’s maths development strategy. In 2022 the school introduced Freckle maths practice further to help the proficiency of numeracy skills for all pupils. In the summer term of 2022, we discovered that the pupils of Bramley Sunnyside Junior School had completed almost 5,000 Freckle maths practice tasks in two academic terms.

We spoke to the class teacher and Freckle administrator for the school, Zoe, to find out how Freckle’s maths practice complements the valuable data from Star Maths by providing the school with accurate and tangible intervention strategies to ensure all pupils remain engaged and successful with maths.

Zoe explains:

Freckle solved all of our needs

“With Star Maths and Freckle, we’ve only been using it for two terms, but thanks to the valuable insight it provides, we can already see the gaps that need filling.”

I introduced Freckle to the school because I wanted the school to have an engaging programme for maths. We also needed a homework platform and assessment tool for the school, and with Freckle and Star Maths, we now have all these resources. 

With Star Maths and Freckle, we’ve only been using it for two terms, but thanks to the valuable insight it provides, we can already see the gaps that need filling. For example, the targetted practice features of Freckle are tailored to each individual child without a member of staff even needing to do anything.

We’ve used Freckle this term as a homework tool. Consequently, we’re getting feedback from teachers who can monitor their respective pupils’ out-of-school activity that pupils use Freckle even when homework hasn’t been set!

Families have promoted and well-received Freckle because of the tools Freckle boasts which offer bespoke support. Freckle works so well as a homework tool because the parents don’t need to know anything about the programme; Freckle will administer all the work for them.

So you can put your child on Freckle, and they’ll instantly be engaged and know what they’re doing. In my class, pupils are always trying to collect the most coins on Freckle, so they can customise their unique character in the Freckle shop, which is only accessible for a limited time. The customisable avatar and shop motivate pupils to keep up their maths practice. 

Guaranteed to keep all pupils engaged with maths practice!

“Pupils can always access the instructions, so it’s been perfect for differentiated learning.”

I have one pupil who loves Freckle and setting themselves maths practice targets to win coins to use on their Freckle avatar. Freckle keeps pupils self-motivated because it pitches tasks at just the right level for each pupil to engage with. Plus, pupils can see the health system down the side of the screen, illustrating how well they’ve achieved each task as they complete them. 

We have different sets in our maths classes, so Freckle makes differentiated learning easy for our pupils and staff. No matter what is set for the children via Freckle, pupils can always access the instructions, so it’s been perfect for differentiated learning.

We were concerned that some of our pupils might be unable to access Freckle because the user interface may be too complex on digital devices, but we’ve not had any problems or complaints. 

The perfect partner for Star Maths

“This report will identify skills fundamental to maths progression that pupils must master to grow. For the school, we need those essential maths skills to be concrete. “

What is good about Star Maths are the Focus and Suggested Skills in various reports, such as the Instructional Planning Report. This report will identify skills fundamental to maths progression that pupils must master to grow. For the school, we need those essential maths skills to be concrete. 

Therefore, Star Maths highlights for us which pupils have not mastered fundamental maths skills so that staff can subsequently set appropriate tasks on Freckle as an intervention. The fact that the child doesn’t see it as an intervention but instead enjoys using Freckle anyway is a win-win.

Next week we will take all the pupils who Star Maths identify as not working to their expected benchmark and set them up with daily Freckle maths practice time every morning.

 

Accurate data to close gaps across all maths domains

“Our current year five Star Maths data is blowing last year’s data out of the water. We’ve seen an average increase in pupils’ maths ability in all domains across the board thanks to continued maths practice.”

We’re hoping that Freckle will be used more frequently in lessons from next year because there are many benefits for staff when analysing the data from Freckle and Star Maths. In addition, we will start promoting Freckle as more of an engagement tool with parents. Therefore, we want to see more pupils accessing Freckle not just for homework but every night for additional daily maths practice. 

Our Star Maths data is scrutinised every half term after pupils carry out their next Star Maths Assessment. In addition, teachers and SLT will analyse the data in year group meetings. Our whole-school maths development strategy is streamlined through Star Maths data, so critical stakeholders responsible for supporting pupils’ development will constantly refer to our Star Maths and Freckle data.

Our current year five Star Maths data is blowing last year’s data out of the water. We’ve seen an average increase in pupils’ maths ability in all domains across the board thanks to continued maths practice that we can closely monitor throughout the academic year. 

All children take part in Star Maths and Star Reading assessments throughout KS2, as these assessments give us the comprehensive and detailed data we need to offer appropriate intervention to pupils throughout the year.

Because we carry out Star Assessments as the norm, now pupils don’t find them intimidating, even those accessing Star Assessments for the first time. Instead, they quickly familiarise themselves with the programme, and once they understand how to answer the multiple-choice computer-adaptive questions, we don’t have any problems. 

As soon as they see stars on the whiteboard, they know we will be doing our Star Assessments!

 

A Freckle future for Bramley Sunnyside

“I can only think Freckle and Star Maths will continue to improve with the planning and assessment side for our children.”

Freckle and Star Maths will continue to evolve at our school because they will be used as tailored intervention every night, every evening, in assemblies. We will have a full role with the teacher and parent participation in class and homework. Freckle will be promoted daily to remind children to access Freckle at home, and our teachers will continue scrutinising the data from now on.

I can only think Freckle and Star Maths will continue to improve with the planning and assessment side for our children.

Click here to learn how your school can utilise Freckle maths practice and Star Maths assessments to support your numeracy development strategy.


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