Strengthening transformational teaching strategies to improve pupils’ trajectory towards the end of KS1 standards and securing fundamental number knowledge and strategies necessary for KS2.

    Progress focus

    The Herts for Learning Nimble with Number: KS1 Mental Fluency Project has robust data evidencing transformational teaching strategies to improve pupil’s trajectory towards the end of KS1 standards and securing fundamental number knowledge and mental addition and subtraction strategies necessary for KS2.

    Participate in this project

    The project is being delivered to schools in the counties surrounding Hertfordshire.

    Options to participate:

    • Year 1 classes each summer term: During the third term in the academic year, the project runs with Year 1 pupils to ensure they are well prepared to tackle upcoming Year 2 content.
    • Year 2 classes each summer term: At the start of the academic year the project is run for Year 2 classes who did not participate in summer 2020.

    Project Delivery

    The cost is £890 per school for each six-week project which includes:

    • a one-day launch session
    • a mid-project twilight
    • a final ‘celebratory’ half-day cluster
    • a two-hour, in-school mid-project visit where elements of the project can be tailored towards specific school needs
    • training is available for two delegates from the project school: a KS1 project teacher and the mathematics subject leader

    Please note that to achieve the best outcomes and make the delivery of the project viable in your area, we need to work with a minimum of eight schools in each cohort.

    If you would like to bring the benefits of the Nimble with Number: KS1 Mental Fluency Project to your school, or schools in your area, or would like further information, please contact the Primary Mathematics team by emailing nimblemaths@hertsforlearning.co.uk

    Impact/outcome expected

    Since first launching in 2015, 88 schools have participated in the six-week project across Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Over 500 pupils have been assessed, and on average the impact on pupils’ number sense equated to:

    • 9+ additional months progress overall for all Year 1 and Year 2 children*
    • 11+ additional months progress overall for prior low attaining Year 1 and Year 2 children
    • 89% increase in automaticity overall for KS1 children identified as PPG learners

    *Source: KS1 Fluency Project data using the Hattie effect size methodology

    Pupils typically demonstrated the following changes in their mental fluency:

    • increased attention on quantity and magnitude – able to identify smaller numbers that live inside larger numbers and make decisions how to regroup them based on the calculation shown and more accurately estimate where numbers live on an empty numberline
    • increased accuracy – children solve age appropriate calculations correctly with greater frequency and can identify whether suggested answers are reasonable or not;
    • increased automaticity – able to recall facts and apply them to solve calculations within three seconds with greater frequency
    • increased flexibility – have a far greater range of strategies and facts to work with and more likely to select from these appropriately
    • increased confidence – pupils offer more contributions in group discussions about strategies that could be used to solve calculations mentally and when estimating where numbers live on an empty numberline
    • increased mathematical communication – pupils articulate their thinking more clearly and reason more precisely about choices of strategy, facts used and whether solutions are reasonable or not.

    By Rachel Rayner and Charlie Harber, Herts for Learning Primary mathematics advisers, 2018

    Contact details

    Express an interest