“This is the one product that I would seriously say to any department in the country, if you're only ever going to buy one thing, it's this that you pay for.”
Fiona’s team mainly use for lesson planning, resources, and setting quizzes. In the past 12 months, they have added just under 7500 objectives to lessons between them and generated more than 12,000 assessments. As Fiona explains, “For GCSE and Key Stage Three each objective is a lesson... And quite often, especially if it's revision, I can happily put five or six objectives in because it then gives the kids access to those resources, rather than trying to cover it all within one lesson.”
Pupils at Bewdley are actively encouraged to engage with the resources available on . Fiona and her team regularly direct struggling pupils towards the relevant parts of the ‘Curriculum’ page — they particularly like the fact that pupils can go all the way back to the core concepts of a topic, and work through it from the beginning. During the latest internal exam period, rather than provide pupils with a revision list, the Maths team at Bewdley simply directed them towards where, guided by their assessment results, pupils could see everything they needed to study.
The detailed notes accompanying each objective have also proved invaluable for teaching staff, particularly those earlier in their careers. As Fiona puts it, “[I’ll tell teachers] ‘Go into Complete Maths. Go into your lesson objective. Look at the prerequisites. Are you okay on the prerequisites? Do they make sense? Are the kids okay on the prerequisites?’ [One of our staff] was using it as a very detailed diagnostic: ‘This is what they need to know beforehand. Do they?’ Testing that they were okay before moving on. And it made his teaching far more effective and far more secure.”
This has extended to student teachers, too, who may have had far less time in front of classes than ever before thanks to long periods of remote learning. Fiona describes showing student teachers and encouraging them to use the objectives to help them plan their next lesson. “I’ll tell them, ‘You can't do this [topic] until these units are secure. Are these secure? If you're not quite sure then look up the learning objectives for that prerequisite and drill down, look at each of the little granules, are they secure? Because if they're not, if the foundations are ropey, you've had it.’”
Bewdley is located in a largely rural area of Worcestershire, meaning the Maths team are often unable to attend hubs and other in-person CPD events which tend to be too far for them to drive to after school. Being part of the Complete Maths has therefore proved invaluable. To ensure they are still able to access high-quality training and a supportive network of other teachers, Fiona’s team are subscribed to , where they have benefited from the flexibility offered by online learning. In Fiona’s words, “You can do half an hour at a time… you can pause it and come back to it. You don't have to commit to the whole lot; you can do 20 minutes, eat a sandwich, have it rolling in the background.” Although Fiona had previously enjoyed in-person #MathsConf, the move to a virtual conference during the past year has also had its benefits: “You get sent everything and you can go “Oh, fantastic, I haven’t got to pick! I can sample the whole lot!”
Fiona’s engagement with the platform also means she is well-placed to help us improve it. She describes the impact of one suggestion around teachers being able to see how long pupils spent on assessments: “With a diagnostic, I could tell that the kids had spent literally 30 seconds on it, but I couldn't reset it. I spoke to [Complete Mathematics CPO] Tom at one of the conferences and said to him, it would be brilliant to know how long the kids have taken on it. And so, that facility is now there; I now know when they started and when they finish. I can screenshot it and post it home to their parents!”