Sir James Smith's School, Cornwall

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Jon O’Neil, Head of Maths at Sir James Smith school in Cornwall, first came across Complete Mathematics two years ago when he saw CEO Mark McCourt presenting in Exeter on ‘Mastery in Maths’.
In Jon’s own words, “I was so struck and inspired by him that we ripped up our KS3 Schemes of Learning and in September started a mastery approach which has rolled through to KS4”. Jon and his team have been and users ever since.
Embedding mastery
For mastery teaching to be effective, teachers needed to be able to drill down into the prior knowledge pupils would need to access each lesson. The readiness quizzes on made this an easy process, with results then enabling teachers to plan tasks and activities that met the learning needs of every pupil. The team at Sir James Smith know they can trust the resulting data — they were even able to use the MathsAge generated for each pupil from their assessment results to contribute towards Centre Assessed Grades.
“Instant feedback is available for students to find out where they’ve gone wrong … and how to correct the errors they’ve made”
CPD is easier too — with the whole department enrolled on , Jon knows his team have continual access to high-quality courses to support them in their delivery. Jon recently decided to launch a ‘CPD Book Club’, consisting of short, weekly CPD sessions in which the team spend 20-30 minutes watching and discussing a video from one of the courses. They also use the time to share best practice, before jointly compiling resources which are then shared as Smart Notebook or Powerpoint files with all of the team. In this way, has become a regular part of teaching life at the school from which all staff can benefit — and this has been supplemented by several subsequent encounters with Mark McCourt, either through school visits or at CPD workshops.
“...and the student jumped up and down saying ’I get it now!’ ”
With the launch of , Jon was able to incorporate the Complete Mathematics principles into home learning, too. All of Sir James Smith’s feeder primary schools are now enrolled on the Secondary Ready course, and year 6s in these schools have also been added to where they are able to complete weekly quizzes set by the Maths department as part of their transition. These of course bring added kudos for the younger pupils coming as they do from a secondary school! When the new intake arrives in September, Jon’s team will already have access to assessment data which will enable them to hit the ground running without any wasted learning time.
A robust curriculum
will be the final addition to the school’s Complete Mathematics toolkit, enabling them to embed true mastery-based learning in the classroom, in the staffroom, and now in pupil’s homes too. As Jon explains, “We think the rationale behind the curriculum is robust and evidence based and what Complete Mathematics are doing and offering is exceptional.”
Jon recognised from the beginning that Complete Mathematics works best when schools are able to engage with the full range of products and services on offer, all of which have been meticulously designed to complement and support one another. We’ve benefited too: — not only has Jon’s feedback helped us improve our products, it’s also thanks to schools like Sir James Smith that we can see first hand how well , and work when implemented together.

Other schools interested in engaging with us on this level can of course expect help from us in purchasing and implementing the Complete Mathematics package — have a look at the rest of the video testimonials, and please get in touch with us to find out more.

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