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Johnny Ball works with the LTE

04/09/2015
Johnny Ball works with the LTE
Think of a number….Johnny Ball works with local schools pioneering a new approach to maths
 
Johnny Ball captivated the audience of 190 teachers and teaching assistants from local schools as part of the Learning Trust for Excellence’s leading edge conference on teaching and excelling in maths. His passion and incredible knowledge of the subject inspired staff, providing confidence, encouragement and practical ideas for making maths fun.

A Year 4 teacher from Four Oaks Primary said “It was so exciting to have the opportunity to work with one of my childhood icons. Johnny was so enthusiastic and engaging giving us loads of practical examples to use in the classroom. It was refreshing to see his passion and enjoyment of maths and reminded us that this is what makes maths fun and real for the children.”

The Learning Trust for Excellence (LTE) has placed maths as top priority and is leading the way to develop an innovative and engaging curriculum following recent research published by the OECD which revealed that the UK is ranked 20th globally in achievements of maths and science.

Debbie Allen, Head Teacher at Whitehouse Common Primary School who is steering the LTE maths working group said “Research shows that those countries such as Singapore who are leading the way in maths have teachers who expect every student to succeed. They have rigour, focus and coherence. Like them, we want all our pupils to have access to excellent teaching. We have worked hard to be at the forefront of education, accessing a range of expertise and resources to deepen our knowledge and further develop our skills to teach maths. It’s a really exciting time for the Trust schools as we build on the firm foundations we have as a group of excellent schools with high quality teaching staff”

The new National Curriculum introduced in 2014 raises expectations in maths, recognising its importance in everyday life. It promotes a high quality mathematical education to provide a foundation to understanding the world and to underpin many forms of employment. Rachel Davis, Chair of the LTE reflected on the implications for teachers and schools “If we can take away the fear that sometimes surrounds maths – the fear of getting it wrong, and give children a real depth of understanding, encourage them to take risks, we can replace the fear with confidence and make a real difference to our children, so that they enjoy Maths and can apply their knowledge and understanding across the whole curriculum and ultimately into their future employment. We are in a privileged position as a Trust, being prominent in developing this new approach to maths, working together to meet the challenges and build on the great work started by our maths leaders.”

The Maths Co-ordinator at Hollyfield Primary outlined some of the work planned for the year. “We want to ensure that all children in all our schools make the maximum progress in maths. We are developing a depth of understanding through mastery of maths. We are working closely with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics who are pioneering this concept to learn from the successful teaching and learning techniques currently applied in Singapore. There’s a real buzz about this work and the opportunities we’ll have to develop experts and ambassadors in maths so we can share our learning with other schools both locally and nationally. Working with Johnny Ball was a fabulous start to the year and really got us motivated and thinking as well as laughing!”

The Learning Trust for Excellence comprises a group of seven high achieving schools in Sutton Coldfield who work collaboratively to learn from the strengths of each other and share and develop excellent practice in order to provide the best possible life chances and education across the Trust. The primary schools involved are Coppice, Four Oaks, Langley Special School, Little Sutton, Hollyfield, Moor Hall and Whitehouse Common. They have worked together with the King Edwards Schools, BCU, UCB, the Co-operative College and Rotary to support the achievement of their vision. The collaboration is a proactive response to the changing educational landscape, inspiring excellence and furthering opportunity for all.