Latest success stories from Renaissance Learning

Evidence of Year-on-Year Progress with Star Maths

Prescot Primary School, Knowsley

Prescot Primary School, Knowsley, Merseyside, have been using Star Maths since 2018 to support the school’s maths development strategy. At the end of 2021, Renaissance discovered that Prescot Primary School school fell into the top five schools in the country based on Star Maths assessments carried out from August 2020 to November 2021, a total of 3,626 assessments. After discovering this incredible statistic, we got in touch with headteacher Steve George to explore the significance of Star Maths’ role in the school’s maths development strategy.

“The reports from Star Maths provides us with data allowing us to map year-on-year progress.”

We simply wouldn’t conduct Star Maths assessments if our pupils didn’t enjoy them. But, they do, and they enjoy seeing their subsequent development in maths after every assessment period. 

With Star Maths, we can look at the whole cohort or the specific Pupil Premium (PP) or SEND cohort compared to the non-PP cohort. In addition, the reports from Star Maths provides us with data allowing us to map year-on-year progress and subsequently track cohort averages as an indicator of progress.

The data from Star Maths also enables the senior leadership team and me to observe year groups categorised by their respective animal names, which they own from nursery through to Year 6. So, this year’s Year 6 are known as ‘Unicorns’, and I can track every Unicorn’s maths development, talk about their performance with colleagues, and see their journey over the last seven years.

Having year-on-year attainment data from Star Maths allows me to see that the ‘Kangaroos’ cohort was 24 points ahead of this point last year, according to their Star Maths Scaled Score. 

This valuable data also helped us discover that some cohorts have similar averages with either larger groups working above benchmark or, in some cases, larger groups working below. But generally, our cohorts averages tend to be very similar. This information gives us a strong insight into which pupils we can isolate as separate groups that need more intervention and support or groups exceeding their targets and needing more challenge. 

“Seeing a visual impact on pupils progress shows me our intervention strategies are working.”

With the illustrative and longitudinal data from Star Maths, I can see how pupils performed before the intervention and how they developed and thrived after administering intervention and support. Seeing a visual impact on pupils’ progress shows me our intervention strategies are working, which alone makes Star Maths worth it. 

Star Maths has given me valuable insight into the three year groups making twice as much progress since we utilised the National Tutoring Programme. With Star Maths data, I can compare all different types of pupils such as PP and non etc., and whole cohorts to see strong evidence of impact thanks to the Star Maths reports we can generate. 

“Crucially, Star Maths data allows us to see are whether we are closing the gap or not.”

Crucially, Star Maths data allows us to see are whether we are closing the gap or not and for now, the reliable and accurate Star Maths data is looking positive for us. 

We knew that when pupils returned from lockdown, they would have to pick up from where they left off; otherwise, they would miss crucial skills. Particularly for those pupils who could not access remote learning in the same way as their peers, we recognised that they would need extra intervention. So our mantra on pupils’ return to school post-lockdown was to ensure every pupil has the key skills necessary to catch up.

“Thanks to Star Maths data and Focus Skills… I can see which pupils need more support and what maths skills they specifically need to work on.”

Thanks to Star Maths data and Focus Skills, matched to the National Curriculum, I have this information in front of me at all times, and I can see which pupils need more support and what maths skills they specifically need to work on.

When we first invested in Star Maths, we were confident that it would be value for money because we’ve been using Star Reading since 2012, and our reading strategy holds up pretty well. Star Reading works so well for our schools because the data allows us to look back on previous years and see which strategies were applied to specific pupils to help them catch up; subsequently, we can see whether these strategies worked or not. 

With Star Maths, we can analyse our maths strategies’ exact impact on pupils’ maths development, both the most confident mathematicians and the least. According to the latest round of Star Maths statistics, since their return to total capacity, pupils’ maths development is holding up well. Even with the disruption last half term (Christmas 2021), we’re starting to see a turnaround in maths progress and an average increase in pupils’ Scaled Scores.

“The workload that Star Maths sheds for my staff is amazing.”

The workload that Star Maths sheds for my staff is amazing. The Star Maths Scaled Score provided after each pupil’s assessment accurately represents what they understand and are capable of. Therefore, it is easy to delegate catch up learning activities for specific pupils by giving them an iPad and letting them work one-to-one with a teaching assistant, allowing them to catch up in their own time. With Star Maths, we can closely monitor the progress of each pupil’s development, so we have a clear indication of when they’re back on track. 

Our latest Star Maths assessments show that the current Year 6 cohort has improved by 30 points since September 2021 according to the most recent average Scaled Score, and we can’t ask for much more than that.

“Star Maths proves that our maths development strategy is working.”

Most importantly, Star Maths proves that our maths development strategy is working and allows us to share progress and success with key stakeholders, including parents.


In 2021 Prescot Primary School began using Freckle, the new maths practice solution from Renaissance. Freckle allows teachers to maintain continuous practice and development of maths proficiency using engaging and fun maths tasks. With Freckle, the school can now support maths engagement between their Star Maths assessments to ensure evidence of progress in maths in every assessment. You can read Prescot Primary School’s success story with Freckle here.

To find out how your school can utilise Star Maths and Freckle to support your maths development strategy, click here. If you have a question for Steve about Star Maths or anything mentioned in the article, please email it to [email protected], and we’ll forward it to Steve, who is happy to chat with other schools. 

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