Latest success stories from Renaissance Learning

Targeted Maths Intervention and a Reduced Workload at Summerfield Primary School

Summerfield Primary School, Birmingham, England

Summerfield Primary School has been using Freckle maths practice since March 2022 to support targeted intervention and to reduce teacher workload.

We reached out to Mathematics Lead Rebecca Gray about how Freckle’s maths practice from Renaissance autonomously provides differentiated and accurate maths practice tasks to pupils aligned to the national curriculum without increasing their workload.

Rebecca explains:

Hitting the Ground Running 

“We hit the ground running with Freckle at the beginning of the 22/23 academic year.”

We introduced Freckle maths practice to support our intervention groups of pupils. We already use Star Maths in the school, which identifies these pupils needing intervention when they carry out their 20-minute Star Maths assessment each term. So we knew Freckle would link up well with Star Maths.

We’ve been using it in key-stage two since March, and I initially took part in the Freckle training, watched all the training videos, and used the resources on the Renaissance UK website. We had the May half-term and summer holidays to set our pupils up based on their final Star Maths assessment outcomes of the 21/22 academic year. 

When we returned in September 2022, we felt ready to start with Freckle. Thanks to Star Maths assessments, our pupils were already grouped based on their understanding of maths. Therefore, we hit the ground running with Freckle at the beginning of the 22/23 academic year.

Initial Reaction

“Staff really like how it removes the need for the planning element of their intervention because the resources in Freckle are already in place”

The initial reaction from staff using Freckle has been overwhelmingly positive. Staff really like how it removes the need for the planning element of their intervention because the resources in Freckle are already in place, such as a direct link to the unique objectives each pupil needs to cover. 

Freckle takes the burden away from the teacher having to say, “Can you do an intervention on time? Here’s how I would do it. Here are some questions you can do.” As a result, these intervention sessions feel like a whole other lesson. Given how busy the staff are, it’s unfair to expect them to do that additional work. 

I know that staff really like how the teacher can see tangible evidence that a pupil has struggled with long division today or with converting measures, for example. So they can look at the maths domains in Freckle and assign age and ability-appropriate tasks to support that pupil. 

Freckle provides a lot of transparency and foresight into the intervention of every pupil. Staff have commented on how they value visibility over which question types will be assigned to each pupil. I know my intervention teams appreciate how straightforward Freckle is, and the quality of intervention tasks is strong. 

Clear Maths Skills for Every Year Group

“Freckle removes any guesswork when assigning questions to pupils because the accurately mapped skills are already in front of the teacher.”

Seeing what types of questions will be assigned to pupils in advance is really useful for all staff, especially those who support catch-up intervention because they don’t need to worry about how to map specific skills to specific year groups or try to manually assess what level each pupil is working at, it’s all done for them. Freckle removes any guesswork when assigning questions to pupils because the accurately mapped skills are already in front of the teacher.

Therefore, if staff know a pupil struggling with a specific skill, Freckle will identify their progress in maths and how further development should look. Some of our support staff might know a year group’s curriculum really well but may feel less confident teaching skills from different year groups how to present that. Fortunately, Freckle reduces the need for comprehensive curriculum understanding as it shows you exactly how staff should be undertaking intervention strategies that are age and ability-appropriate.

Maintaining Engagement in Maths

“We know that our pupils really enjoy Freckle; they enjoy the fact although the questions cover the same objectives, they aren’t repetitive.

In terms of wanting to complete tasks and just use Freckle in general, every teacher knows what it’s like in schools; we’re always being pulled into different directions, which can lead to them missing intervention sessions. When this happens, our pupils are always aware that they’ve missed a Freckle intervention session and will ask when they can participate again. 

Therefore, we know that our pupils really enjoy Freckle; they enjoy the fact although the questions cover the same objectives, they aren’t repetitive. Furthermore, because a range of question representations crops up, this keeps pupils engaged in maths practice. I have yet to receive feedback from staff members saying that children don’t enjoy Freckle. 

Before we invested in full Freckle, I got a group of our year-six pupils to try the freemium version. Initially, we were worried that our older pupils would find the content too immature for them. Still, after trying it, our year-six pupils informed me they would definitely use Freckle for further maths practice. Therefore, we haven’t had any trouble with engagement. Our pupils all really enjoy doing their interventions using the intuitive Freckle user interface.

Accurate Measurement of Development

“Most importantly, the tasks set by Freckle that we use for intervention are a perfect fit for plugging the learning gaps that pupils need to know.”

With Star Maths, we’ve been happy with the level of skills that the assessment informs pupils they should develop. Furthermore, we’ve found that all skills identified by Star Maths as needing urgent intervention are accurately mapped to the respective pupil’s understanding and ability level. 

Subsequently, the Freckle objectives recommended for mastery in different maths domains also accurately match the pupil’s ability. Therefore, we’re confident that the validity and efficacy of Freckle are sound. 

Most importantly, the tasks set by Freckle that we use for intervention are a perfect fit for plugging the learning gaps that pupils need to know.

Click here to find out how your school can utilise Freckle’s maths practice to provide targeted intervention and reduce teacher workload.


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