Lucy Durrant, Assistant Head Teacher and Maths Lead at Winterbourne Junior Girls’ School in Croydon, tells us about how she and her colleagues use Inspire Maths and MyMaths to support their maths teaching.
Tell us a bit about your school.
Winterbourne Junior Girls’ School is a junior school in Croydon with over 270 pupils. In 2015 Ofsted rated it ‘Requires improvement’ and within two years the senior leadership team improved the rating to ‘Good’ – it is now one of the Mayor of London’s Schools for Success and has become one of the top 30 schools in London.
How do you use Inspire Maths and MyMaths?
Inspire Maths was recommended to us after our 2015 Ofsted inspection and we chose to use it as it supported mastery, which was exactly what we were looking for, and we knew resources from Oxford University Press would be high quality. We went against the recommended phased introduction and implemented it across all year groups at once. This went well thanks to full dedication from all teaching staff. I run 10 minute maths PD sessions during staff meetings, weekly, to ensure mastery in maths is embedded. We use Inspire Maths in all of our maths lessons.
About a year later we subscribed to MyMaths as an online homework resource. We find that the approach and methods used in both products really complement each other.
What effect do the resources have on you and your colleagues?
Both resources create consistency across the whole school. Inspire Maths saves time with planning lessons, and the automatic marking in MyMaths saves time with marking homework. Even if teachers move between year groups, they are confident in the approach they need to follow in their maths teaching.
We used to have cupboards full of manipulatives just gathering dust, but we use them all now. Inspire Maths only requires you to use equipment that you’re likely to have anyway. People often ask us how we can afford a whole-school textbook programme – we just spend smartly on a few resources that we fully dedicate ourselves to using, rather than buying bits of lots of resources that we won’t really use.
What effect do the resources have on your pupils?
Inspire Maths has a high ceiling, low threshold approach that moves all pupils along at the same pace, regardless of what set they’re in for maths. There are high expectations for everyone, and children can clearly see their own progression. It really spurs them to be the best they can be.
MyMaths is great for homework. We have children coming in telling us how they helped their younger siblings with their MyMaths homework – they love playing teacher! Some of the parents at our school aren’t confident in maths, but they access the MyMaths lessons that match each homework to see the methods used, so they can keep up to date with what their children are learning. MyMaths is also great for independent learning – children don’t have to just stick to work that their teacher has assigned to them; they can explore more content at home. We run homework clubs to ensure that everyone has access to a computer to complete their MyMaths homework, but a lack of internet connection at home doesn’t affect as many children as it did a few years ago.
Would you recommend Inspire Maths and MyMaths to other teachers?
I would and I do recommend them to other teachers. Our results speak for themselves – this year’s Year 6s are the first year group to have used Inspire Maths since they started here in Year 3, and their results are our best so far.
To find out more about MyMaths, sign up for a free trial here.