How can we use creativity to tackle underachievement in primary mathematics?
This project spanned three schools (Colerne Primary, St Saviour’s Infants, Twerton Infants); in each case, the aim was to develop and investigate ways of using creativity to tackle underachievement in mathematics. We worked with whole classes in each setting (year 2s in the Infant schools, a year 3/4 class in the Primary).
We gave students the purpose of ‘Becoming a Mathematician’ and emphasised the importance of students asking their own questions, noticing patterns and articulating their ideas. Educators from the three schools met six times a year to share developments.
A theme to emerge from these meetings was the enthusiasm students had for discovering relationships and pattern within mathematics and the joy of extending these patterns up into big numbers or down into decimals.
We held a conference in July 2012, where students ran fabulous sessions for each other on the mathematics they had learnt this year. There is evidence we were successful in tackling underachievement – in some cases spectacularly so!