Delegates at Watford and Stevenage simultaneously took part in Herts for Learning’s first ESSENTIALmaths half-day conferences: Reflect, Review, Develop.
At the Stevenage conference, David Cook, Lead Primary Teaching and Learning Adviser (mathematics) explained how Herts for Learning had accepted the challenge to create a suite of resources to help teachers focus their energies upon making the learning in classrooms as effective as possible. It took over 300 days to complete the demanding job of mapping and structuring the sequences of learning in each year group and resourcing the micro steps to achieve them. Aware that there are expensive commercial products available, David explained that the maths team set out to provide a resource that represented great value for money in a time when they face significant financial pressures
Built upon research-based evidence about effective teaching of mathematics, this language-rich, planning resource provides a comprehensive curriculum structure that really supports pupils’ learning.
The take-up of this new resource has been significant:
- 330 schools have been using the planning, in Hertfordshire and beyond;
- 320 learning sequences have been developed including over 850 handouts and resources;
- 2057 members are in the ESSENTIALmaths Facebook group;
- Over 100 maths photos have been shared on Twitter.
ESSENTIALmaths has also been selected as a Finalist in the coveted Teach Primary Resource Awards 2018.
At the conferences, attendees evaluated the first year of implementation and identified further refinements, along with having the opportunity to network with other schools.
Here’s just a few of the things delegates told us they liked most about ESSENTIALmaths at the conferences:
“The variety of engaging activities covering strands from the National Curriculum presented in an exciting and user-friendly way! In addition, the pitch of the questions and the use of the games have made the concept of learning maths fun and exciting!”
“Clear, step by step plans that can be personalised and annotated. Sequential learning steps. Clear teaching sequences with teachers speaking frames.”
“Teachers have had a lot more confidence when using different resources in their lessons. Junior teachers originally thought that resources weren't for them are now using them more often. When I asked the children (as part of pupil voice) what a maths lesson looks like, they are now mentioning the resources that would be on the table rather than just lists of sums. It provides more support to help us word more reasoning type questions.”