During 2020 & 2021, the education for children at Corvedale has been significantly disrupted. Whilst the school remained open for some, and remote learning was quickly established for all, many children did not access full time education for many months. Through our own self-evaluation at the back end of last year we identified that despite the efforts of us all during lockdowns, there were ‘gaps’ in children’s mathematics learning.
On the recent parent questionnaires completed for the governors a couple of you expressed concern regarding the standard of mathematics achieved by your child in school. The staff and I are aware that mathematics is not just a concern for us but a national concern, and it is no secret that Ofsted are focussing current inspections on the impact the Covid pandemic has had in schools especially in the core areas of learning especially reading and mathematics.
With this in mind, I thought it pertinent to share some actions that we’re putting in place during the current year in an attempt to catch-up, a ‘recovery plan’.
Mathematics features as a main objective on our school development plan to ensure pupils are confident, enthusiastic mathematicians and they will be fluent using mathematical strategies and skilled problem solvers. The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics has produced a recovery programme for all schools which we have adopted and using alongside our own resources.
We have identified calculation strategies as one of the gaps in learning, so we are trying to embed retrieval practice in our teaching so that children remember more.
Help us to help your child by taking time to read explanation letters with homework and question them about the maths they’re working on as well as completing the set tasks. Working together, we can ensure that your child understands and remembers the facts being taught, through practise and repetition, which also needs to be reinforced at home.
I am hoping that later in the year we will be able to hold some information evenings for parents to attend to help you help with mathematics at home.
Assessments taken during November were the first some children had attempted for quite a while, if ever and we were able to track progress compared with assessments taken twelve months earlier. Despite all of the pandemic setbacks, encouragingly, the majority of children had made expected or above expected progress. But of course we are always looking at ways to improve.
Children will be assessed again during the current academic year to give us an indication of further progress being made, and we shall be teaching children how they can improve their test technique ensuring all the questions on the paper are answered within the given time; thus giving them a better chance of improving their performance.