This project is being conducted by Goldsworth Park Primary, Cranborne Primary and Uplands Primary.
Cranborne and Uplands
- Started using the OUP Inspire Maths books with year 1 in Jan 2015 as part of the Maths Hub national project
- Staffing changes/issues as well as some challenges associated with a mid-year start meant that it wasn’t adopted overly successfully last year, however both schools have been using it in year 1 since September.
- Opted to use the Maths No Problem with year 1 as part of the second phased of the Maths Hub national project
We are fortunate to be trialling both textbooks in the region and are therefore in a unique position to comment on both.
You can read the individual summaies of the two textbooks here:
Maths No Problem
OUP Inspire Maths
Compare and contrast
- Both use a Singapore approach, however Maths No Problem! covers everything in the NC whereas Inspire doesn’t.
- Inspire’s package included assessment materials and a teacher guide. Maths No Problem! has no teacher guide so more thinking is required of staff.
- Inspire teacher book is overloaded whereas Maths No Problem! lessons only go over 2-3 pages.
- The lesson approach is different: Maths No Problem! have an exploration task to start every lesson where Inspire follows a more traditional approach using teacher input.
- Both have good variation within the tasks and the questions.
- Thought needs to be put into the children with barriers to Maths for both schemes.
- Inspire does challenge the fast graspers through acceleration. Thought needs to be put into challenge activities for more able in Maths No Problem! but it sticks within the end of year expectations.
- Students love both schemes.
- Inspire assessment materials are not great – sometimes not linked to what they been doing. Maths No Problem! assessments are in a similar format to the textbooks and follow them directly
- Training experiences were mixed with Inspire – some key aspects of the programme were held back. Maths No Problem! training was excellent.
This project is being carried out by Cranborne Primary and Uplands.
- The books is based on the Singapore approach ‘My Pals are Here!’.
- Used by over 80% of primary schools in Singapore.
- Highly scaffolded learning framework with problem solving at the core.
- Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) methods are throughout.
What does it consist of?
- 2 Teacher guides
- 4 Student practice books (A, B, C, D)
- 2 Textbooks (A, B)
- Assessment book
- Online support
Links to the UK curriculum
- Based on the Singapore curriculum and so does not directly match the UK NC.
- A correlation chart is available to map missing objectives, however this can cause difficulties with both resourcing and standardised testing.
- Aspirational program as Year 1 covers both Year 1 and some Year 2 NC objectives.
Ease of use for teachers?
- 5 days of teacher training provided as part of the program are essential.
- Teachers planning guides are easy to follow but trying to fit each ‘session’ into a typical 1 hour lesson is challenging.
- Resources are provided, saving lots of time!
- Good variety of activities in books.
- It is tricky to map the objectives to the UK curriculum and it definitely requires professional judgement and experience as well as flexibility in approach.
Ease of use for pupils?
- Children need to be trained to use the books, including switching between textbooks and practise books (this is possible!)
- Children love the books; they are bright and the layout is clear
- Challenging for less able readers – particularly at the start of the year
- Large volume of written work means that sometimes the less able do not reach the investigative activities (4 pages per lesson) which means they aren’t all learning the same thing.
Is there sufficient challenge?
- Good for more able children who quickly grasp concepts due to the CPA activities.
- Fast graspers have up to 4 pages of activities to complete per lesson, but sometimes need additional challenge.
- Lower attainers need to be supported, particularly for reading the tasks.
- Need to build in lesson time for lower attainers to access the high expectations.
- Strong focus on verbalising thinking into full sentences and giving clear explanations has had a hugely positive impact on the children’s learning.
- Children need to be provided with a range of resources that can be accessed throughout the lesson which has led to greater independence.
- The assessment book included contained multiple choice questions which the younger children struggled with.
- The format is very different from any other part of the program and doesn’t always link to the textbooks.
- After the first assessment, we decided to discontinue using these.
Are we going to continue?
- Yes – we have bought into the scheme for Year 1 again next year, but not yet rolling out across the whole school.
- Would tweak a few aspects- timings, practice books, move some to Reception.
- Cost is a barrier that we need to try and overcome if we are going to move it into Year 2 and beyond.