Latest success stories from Renaissance Learning

Unlocking Maths Success

Guston Church of England Primary School , Dover

We spoke to Jonathan Wells, Guston Primary School’s Assistant Head and Year 5 Class Teacher to find out how the school uses Star Maths and Freckle and the impact they have had over the past two years on bolstering pupils’ maths development.

 

“Since implementing Freckle and Star Maths, pupils’ attitudes to maths have improved across the school. Children now talk about how they are mathematicians and there is a can-do attitude about maths that we have not seen for a long time.”

Addressing challenges with precision

Guston Primary faces unique challenges due to the high mobility of its pupils, many of whom come from military families. This means that the school faces challenges when assessing pupils throughout the year. Jonathan says, “We desperately needed a programme that would give us both an accurate method of measuring pupils’ mathematical ability and a way to quickly address gaps in learning. Star Maths is a robust and accurate assessment and the resulting analysis that staff can conduct on classes, groups and individual children is invaluable. This has allowed staff to target their teaching so children joining our school with any gaps can make accelerated progress.”

 

“Star Maths is a robust and accurate assessment and the resulting analysis that staff can conduct on classes, groups and individual children is invaluable.”

Engaging pupils and bridging gaps

Jonathan says that Freckle has been a game-changer in engaging pupils in maths and helping them to consolidate learning and effectively bridge gaps. He explains, “Freckle is a fantastic differentiated intervention tool. As it’s adaptive all pupils can work on specific objectives so they are challenged at their own level. Freckle also allows us to set homework with ease and monitor completion.”

Jonathan adds, “Previously we have used paper-based assessments but we felt that these never gave a true reflection on the ability of the pupils as they would sometimes assess areas not covered by that year group. The short sharp quizzes in Star Maths keep children on task and mean that teachers know exactly where their pupils are. The data from the tests gives our staff confidence when talking about the maths ability of the pupils in their class. As a school we have also been part of a Mastery project which Star Maths and Freckle support.”

 

“Freckle has definitely made teaching at our school more efficient and effective. As I have confidence that the activities in Freckle will support the maths objectives I am teaching, I have more time to teach focus groups.”

Shifting attitudes

Jonathan says, “Since implementing Freckle and Star Maths, pupils’ attitudes to maths have improved across the school. Children now talk about how they are mathematicians and there is a can-do attitude about maths that we have not seen for a long time. Pupils are excited about using the programme and love the fun side of creating their avatars.”

 

“The data from the tests gives our staff confidence when talking about the maths ability of the pupils in their class. As a school we have also been part of a Mastery project which Star Maths and Freckle support.”

Reducing workload and improving efficiency

Jonathan says that the impact of Freckle on teacher workload cannot be overstated. It has streamlined various aspects, from providing adaptive, differentiated work to linking with homework assignments and offering targeted activities for pupils with special educational needs. Teachers have been able to find more time for focused teaching.

“Freckle has definitely made teaching at our school more efficient and effective. As I have confidence that the activities in Freckle will support the maths objectives I am teaching, I have more time to teach focus groups. The programme’s explanations and videos enable the majority of pupils to work independently, and the easy-to-use analysis that Freckle gives me means I can quickly track children who are struggling and adapt accordingly.”

Empowering teaching with data

Data and insights from both Freckle and Star Maths have become daily guides for teachers. Jonathan states, “The data and insights inform my teaching on a daily basis. Individual pupil analysis has informed specific educational plans for pupils. The minute progress indicators within Star Maths have meant that we can track the effectiveness and progress of intervention groups and, the overall progress reports available inform our pupil progress meetings at the end of each term.”

Wholehearted recommendation

Jonathan concludes, “We have and continue to recommend both Freckle and Star Maths to other schools. It is a complete maths package that works alongside quality teaching to support and encourage. The data is easy to use and allows us to help pupils progress. Freckle is bright, accessible and fun to use. The package reduces the workload of teachers but gives them a bank of knowledge they can trust on their pupils’ maths ability.”

Jonathan also commends the excellent support and training he has received from Renaissance. “The one-to-one approach in training has proven very effective, with regular and relevant follow-up sessions and the help desk has been an invaluable resource.”

 

Discover how your school can enhance its numeracy development strategy by implementing Freckle’s adaptive maths practice tasks.

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