Eye Church of England Primary School, Peterborough
“We really want to reduce the disadvantage gap and my headteacher wanted all children to be able to access it. We realise that, due to COVID, there are significant gaps in a lot of pupils’ knowledge, particularly in terms of place value, addition and subtraction and mental calculation strategies. TUTOR is helping to address these gaps.”
Hollie took inspiration from Kieran Mackle’s Thinking Deeply about Primary Education podcast using the analogy of a ‘maths house’ to introduce Maths mastery and to her pupils:
“When I introduced , I wanted the children to first imagine a ‘maths house’, and what they would like to have in their maths house. Then, I asked them what we need for our house to be stable - houses have piles in the ground, the foundations. I liken these to, for example, number bonds and times tables as these are the fundamental foundations of maths. In order for us to have brilliant rooms in our maths house, like for example, algebra and percentages, we really need to have a good understanding of the things that come before them. Then, I introduce and I tell them it is a tool that's going to help them to get these foundations really firmly in place before they can have a really super maths house!” - Hollie Stafford, Assistant Head Teacher, Eye Primary School
To make sure the diagnostic was a true reflection of pupils’ security in their mathematical foundations, Hollie both made this clear to pupils when she launched it with each year group in turn and made sure this was done in school. A Teaching Assistant supervised groups of children in the afternoons as they completed the diagnostic and they were given a login to take home. The majority of their TUTOR learning takes place at home, outside of the school day. Where schools have limited device access and want to catch pupils up with targeted tuition outside of the school day, is an affordable and accessible alternative to human tutoring services.
In describing the diagnostic to pupils using the ‘house’ analogy, Hollie explained to pupils how delivers stage-appropriate tuition and makes sure within each Goal that pupils’ prerequisite knowledge is secure before they learn and practice the maths. Underpinned by this mastery learning approach, also enables teachers to set tuition on specific ideas to support their teaching in the classroom.
At Eye, the Y4 and 5 teachers have been using to intervene with pupils for further corrective instruction when they haven’t secured the lesson objective within the maths lesson that day. By adding the Idea to ’s Bespoke Course Creator, teachers can very quickly direct pupils towards tuition on these specific concepts. Hollie explains this approach has been impactful because, “this really helps them to access the learning the following day and not get left behind - by becoming secure in that assembly time, they are then able to be successful in their next maths lesson. The explanations on the videos are slightly different to how the teacher has explained it in class, using the same approach of representations and manipulatives that we follow.”
Hollie believes all pupils should be able to enjoy and excel in a broad curriculum, which is why teachers use assembly time for interventions, “we don't want [pupils] missing history or geography, for example. Previously we may have used that time [to intervene with pupils], but we have stopped that because we don't want children to miss out on other subjects they may excel in.” allows pupils to access individualised tuition, with the teacher able to interact with them one-to-one.
Another example of where has enabled teachers to respond to their pupils’ needs is using the analytics: Hollie recalls, “one teacher noticed that a child was struggling with a particular concept, then through TUTOR’s analytics discovered other children were also struggling with it too. As a result, she was able to intervene in class with those children and led a great session.”
On the other hand, one of their Y6 pupils is very far ahead of age-related expectations in maths, so has enabled him to keep learning and being challenged at an appropriate mathematical stage. Hollie recalls, “one maths lesson, there was a problem which he solved using very advanced algebra. Through , he had learned a formula normally encountered in Y9/10 and applied it to the problem to result in a solution which none of the teachers could fathom! He showed me how he had solved it and I could see it was correct - I was very impressed!”
A keen team of Teaching Assistants have been delivering the School-led tutoring programme at Eye Primary. However, they felt less confident with supporting maths than other subjects. So, with extended access for the whole school (a typical arrangement) and knowing the quality of teaching and pedagogical approaches within it, Hollie suggested the TAs could use for support with running these sessions. They have creatively used to prepare and deliver these sessions in a variety of ways, according to their confidence in delivering the mathematical concept and their pupils’ needs.
“Our TAs run intervention through the School-led tutoring programme, using to support them to deliver these sessions. Where they weren’t confident in the mathematical pedagogy, enables them to deliver content in the same way a teacher would. Some have replicated the ‘My Turn, Your Turn’ approach, and they either learn how to deliver the concept ahead of the session using the representations in the video, or play the instructional video on the board. Using as a support tool has seen them grow in confidence in teaching maths. It has been excellent to see them thrive.”
' enables them to deliver content in the same way a teacher would.'
has also been used to cover maths lessons where a subject specialist is absent. As all schools will attest to, covering ill or isolating teachers has been very challenging. Hollie’s prerogative is for pupils to access specialist maths teaching wherever possible and where there is no human alternative, allows classes to continue learning from a specialist teacher with a non-specialist facilitating. “If you had a Year 6 teacher absent and you were covering that teacher (because you were so low on the ground) with a TA from Year 2, that would be a very overwhelming experience for the TA. Using a platform like would be an excellent idea because you know it's never going to replace a teacher, but it could fill in for someone in an emergency situation.”
Really importantly, pupils enjoy using ! “From discussions with teachers and pupils, they love it!” Hollie says. “They really like the quizzes. I heard them say they like the fact that they can pause the example problem pairs, and they can rewind back and watch it again.”
“They like the fact that they can pause the example problem pairs, and they can rewind back and watch it again.”
The enjoyment of being successful by learning stage-appropriate maths through is exemplified in Bethany’s experience - she completed 92 Goals in just over 3 months, and shared the impact on her learning: “Using Complete Maths has really helped me with my maths learning. By using the program, I have been able to understand my learning better with the help of the instructional videos and quizzes. I think that the program is very good because it breaks down each subject into different stages, so it is very simple to get the hang of harder subjects. Since using Complete Maths , I feel that my learning has improved, and I have found different ways to work out an answer which is easier than previous methods I have been using. Unlike other maths apps this app has been much more helpful as I can pick any subject, and have it explained to me in detail, so I know what I am learning about.”
Whilst for some pupils like Bethany, the feeling of being successful is enough motivation to keep learning regularly on , for many pupils, a bit more encouragement is needed! Hollie has found a good balance with teachers both checking the number of Goals completed each week and praising pupils’ engagement with learning on . “On a Friday, teachers will reveal the scores - who's been completing and exceeding their Goal target, and really praise those who have. Some teachers will give an extra five minutes at the end of break as a reward for their classes, which has raised the profile of significantly. I know it's using a slice of the learning time, but pupils are spending much more time learning maths at home than that five minutes of extra playtime.”
Another very popular reward is class Pizza Parties! Usually after a holiday break, when all pupils in a class complete the expected number of Goals, they are rewarded with a class party - with pizza as the main attraction! Competitions between classes in a year group have also been successful, although Hollie takes care using these types of extrinsic rewards.
Throughout the year, was helping the Year 6s prepare for SATs. They particularly liked the Pizza Party following the Easter holiday, and their teachers liked that they kept progressing with maths over the Easter break. Hollie says that throughout the year, “the [Y6] children did a lot of Goals at home on their individualised pathways and really engaged with it. We set a Goal target of 2 per week and lots of children were doing more than this.”
There has been great feedback from parents. Ros Cowley, whose daughter is in Year 5 at Eye CofE Primary, explains the impact of TUTOR on her daughter’s home learning in the video below.
“I would thoroughly recommend this to all parents as it's so easy to support your children with their learning.”
It sounds like parents are also enjoying some peace and quiet while their children use ! Hollie says, “they all use headphones for it, so it's a quiet space for them to think, and actually some of them said they don't usually get homework help from their parents so it really helps them. I think some parents are often a bit afraid [of maths homework].”
Our mission for is to be able to support all children to be successful with maths, reducing the disadvantage children face when, due to their family circumstances, they have less support from their parents or guardians. Hollie adds, “There is one girl in Year 4 in particular who tells me every week how well she’s doing on . She is severely disadvantaged in terms of her family background so it’s really great to see her engaging with and making good progress in maths lessons.”
“One girl … tells me every week how well she’s doing on ”