Sonia sees Complete Maths as support in two “streams” with dual-benefit to pupils. On the one hand, supports her and her team through planning and assessment, allowing them to better understand their pupils, while on the other, provides individualised tuition for pupils to access independently. Sonia says the platform enables “a consistency in the quality of teaching we can deliver as a team. We've got that central point that we can go back to and work from together, and that ensures every student is getting the same diet, no matter which classroom they are in.”
Curriculum Coherence and Consistency
This year, the department at La Mare has focused on developing coherence in their curriculum and consistency of teaching and learning. They have spent their time together discussing sequencing and pedagogical approaches, using the lesson frameworks on to support these discussions. “The prerequisites and dependents are just superb. The content of the curriculum is so huge that it allows us as teachers to remember and think ‘Crikey, I forgot you would need to know that in order to do this part!’” The team are also using to align the language they use with pupils through consistent use of the ‘I can’ statements, example questions and key word definitions. This means that, as pupils progress through the year groups, and should they need to move classes within a year, they carry forward the understanding they have developed rather than misconceptions from use of different terminology.
Whilst the department has always strived to teach in a stage-appropriate way, the quizzing and assessment functions on have cut down teachers’ workload, allowing them to make more effective use of planning and teaching time. Sonia describes how her teachers are using assessment functions through a mastery-based learning cycle:
“We've always tried to find a suitable starting point when starting a new topic, and with five teachers, our classes are all going to have slightly different starting points. Complete Maths allows us to find out what they already know, which can only mean a more engaged learning experience because we're hitting the ground running rather than treading water going over the same content again. We can then personalise our planning, crack on with teaching, and then quiz again to find out what they have learned, which then advises our planning for the next slot. This is why Complete Maths is exactly what we need - we're all about tailored and personalised - and Complete Maths supports both the team and the student aspects of this.”
Having initially started with , the excitement of Sonia and her team in starting to use with their pupils is getting their pupils excited about using the platform too! Sonia is really keen for her pupils to progress at their own pace and develop a love of learning, seeing her role as a teacher to support and facilitate this. She uses an analogy of taking all pupils on a bus journey, while allowing some to “get off and get the high-speed train then hop back on as they need to”. Her pupils have previously wanted to learn more according to their interests which creates a conflict between needing to keep the class together and keep track of what pupils are learning — but with they are able to learn these topics in more depth if they wish to. Meanwhile, the analytics from and quizzes keep their teachers informed of areas of strength, and any gaps in their prerequisite knowledge, so they can continue to move, as a class, at pace through the curriculum.
This integrated use of and presents an answer to a common challenge in secondary education: set moves. It is very important within the culture at La Mare that there are no ‘ceilings’. Guernsey’s state education system has very recently transitioned from being selective (11 Plus) to fully comprehensive. Sonia explains the effect of this change on their pupils, “Thankfully, we don’t put children in the position anymore where they feel like failures at 11 years old. I think it’s great that wherever pupils come from, they have access to the same opportunities, the same curriculum, and now, all will have equal access to Complete Maths. We will be able to identify pupils who excel in maths, even if they have had problems which meant they underperformed at primary school.” With , pupils are able to push themselves on, addressing any knowledge gaps in their own time, so they can be ready to move at the quicker pace of a higher maths set and their teachers can set a bespoke course on any ideas they need to catch up on before they join the new class. Meanwhile, enables pupils to do corrective instruction independently to support their in-class learning, while teachers easily track pupils’ progress on quizzes. As Sonia puts it, “Complete Maths complements what we do, and what we've always been trying to do, that we couldn’t achieve with just manpower - and allow us to see exactly what pupils can do, giving every child an opportunity to shine!”
From September, all Guernsey’s Secondary Schools will be accessing Complete Maths, and with scope for the Primary Schools to do the same, Sonia sees much potential for collaboration and consistency across the island through Complete Maths, starting with meetings of the Heads of Maths: “When we're having discussions about Curriculum, we can go to a central point - it becomes not just the central point within each department team, but also a central point for us as Heads of Department across the secondary schools. It also allows for better communication and collaboration across teams so that every child, no matter what area they're from or their academic background, has the same educational opportunities.
In collaboration with the primary schools, this benefit extends to transition. Sonia describes a pupil who has an extraordinary talent for maths which was occluded by pastoral concerns in the transition process. She reflects on how the data from and , as well as the programs themselves, can support the primary-secondary transition through being able to access each child’s learning history. “With all the historical data about a child’s strengths and weaknesses, potentially right from Reception to when they leave for work or university, we would be able to tailor the learning environment to be more personalised and more relevant to the child. We want to provide every single child a personalised version of the curriculum and whilst we can’t do that as individuals, we certainly can with the help of Complete Maths and .” As such, learning with and throughout their schooling supports teachers and pupils in their journey to becoming mathematically literate, giving them the best possible start in life.
“We want to provide every single child a personalised version of the curriculum and whilst we can’t do that as individuals, we certainly can with the help of Complete Maths CLASSROOM and TUTOR.”