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Good practice in Maths

On the 13 November 2011, Ofsted published a report that examined the work of twenty schools - ten maintained and ten independent - that all demonstrated a 'strong track record of high achievement in mathematics.' This report focused on the 'characteristics of effective practice in building pupils' secure knowledge, skills and understanding of number so that they can demonstrate fluency in calculating, solving problems and reasoning about number.' It highlighted good practice across the schools - in terms of common factors - as well as more individualised approaches.

The report - which can be downloaded from the Ofsted site as a word or pdf document (see below) - covers the following aspects:-

• A brief introduction

• Background information as to why the the survey was conducted

• Key findings - including non-negotiable requirements for schools - e.g. fluency in mental methods and rapid recall of number fact

• A section on when formal methods were introduced for the four operations

• Ensuring successful progression to more formal addition and subtraction recording

• The role of number lines and partitioning

• Ensuring successful progression to more formal multiplication and division recording

• Inverse operations

• The role of problem solving at the heart of learning arithmetic

• Pupils' preferred approaches and their fluency in calculating

• The difficulties that pupils have experienced and how the schools overcame them

• The role of technology and visual images

• School calculation policies

• Subject expertise and CPD

• Working with parents / carers

Education Works Ltd offers mathematical consultancy support to develop any of the above aspects - working in class and/or supporting Mathematics Subject Leaders to develop their expertise.

Please contact sam.adams@educationworks.org.uk

The full report - or report summary - can be downloaded from the Ofsted website. (opens in new window)

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