COULD TIMES TABLES ROCK STARS RAISE MATHS GCSE OUTCOMES?
Let's ask GLF Multi-Academy Trust...
A CHALLENGE FOR A BIG TRUST
Catherine Brown, previous Head of Maths at Glyn Secondary School, was met with a concerning problem when she was appointed Maths Development Lead in GLF Multi Academy Trust.
“Across the trust, as I was going around, I was thinking there’s still that need to develop that fluency,” Catherine reported. “So, I think the biggest thing for us was we wanted to raise numeracy and fluency standards. We have schools with quite a high proportion of prior attainment being low. And obviously, times tables are a big part of that.”
Catherine was also very aware that there was no consistent approach across the schools in terms of learning times tables. She didn’t want to have to waste time asking 7 different heads about the numeracy standards in each school. It needed to be more cohesive.
Catherine understands Literacy is high on the agenda, for the benefit of the students as well as something Ofsted look at…
“I think sometimes numeracy is forgotten about and unless you’ve got an advocate on SLT, who is a maths specialist, it can sort of fall by the wayside a little bit.”
But that is precisely what Catherine wants to change.
“It’s just phenomenal. For them, it doesn’t feel like they’re working.”
Having seen the remarkable benefits Times Tables Rock Stars had on her students at Glyn School, Catherine was determined to roll it out to all the secondary schools in the Trust.
Catherine knew, “it’s super easy to set up,” and was incredibly excited to sign up 5 of the 7 secondary schools in the Trust for Top of the Rocks.
The reaction from students and staff was… “Overwhelmingly positive!” Catherine smiled. “Lots of children are actually doing times tables without being prompted or, you know, they don’t see it as a chore. They wanted to do it.”
Catherine likes how TT Rock Stars is pitched at the right level for all age groups, including secondary students.
“I think, because it, sort of, has that familiarity to the Xbox games that they’re perhaps familiar with. I think that does help.”
THE DATA SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
Looking at the stats from a MAT perspective, Catherine could see the impact of Times Tables Rock Stars.
“You can look at the stats from the best performing school, and there is a direct correlation to student GCSE outcomes.”
“That’s what I’m trying to drive. We can try to raise those standards, so that everyone can actually have brilliant outcomes.”
Catherine can now “pull off a report really, really easily,” allowing her to share ideas between the schools in the trust.
Ultimately, this improves her understanding of each school’s needs.
A great thing is sharing best practice, which is the whole purpose of a MAT, really, isn’t it?”
Catherine’s advice to those thinking about Times Tables Rock Stars for their school?
“Do it! It’s worth it. It’s definitely worth the money. And you will see the benefits in the students and what students can do.”