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Posted on January 9, 2018

Key Maths Recommendations from the EEF

The EEF recently published some guidance to support teachers and boost primary and secondary school pupils’ maths skills. The Education Endowment Fund has reviewed the best research and their guidance offers schools and teachers practical tips of what to do to develop great maths teaching. We've compiled all the useful recommendations into an easy to read infographic for your reference. 

 

 

 

Each of the recommendations is practical and based on lots of research. Two words that definitely appeal to us! We wanted to take a moment and actually look at recommendation number 1 in a bit more detail. According to the EEF report: ‘[Assessment] information allows teachers to adapt their teaching so it builds on pupils’ existing knowledge, addresses their weaknesses, and focuses on the next steps that they need in order to make progress. Formal tests can be useful here, although assessment can also be based on evidence from low-stakes class assessments, informal observation of pupils, or discussions with them about mathematics.’

Assessment information is essential to finding out exactly what pupils do and do not know and helps to inform the planning process. The EEF report goes into some detail regarding this: ‘Teachers’ knowledge of pupils’ strengths and weaknesses should inform the planning of future lessons and the focus of targeted support’. This is key. The assessment data should show a teacher what pupils can and cannot do and this will enable future planning and intervention. Feedback is at the heart of this process. Clear and targeted feedback to pupils enables them to identify exactly which areas they can improve on and work on filling those gaps.

Here are some of the elements of effective feedback as noted in the report.

  • Be specific, accurate, and clear (for example, ‘You are now factorising numbers efficiently, by taking out larger factors earlier on’, rather than, ‘Your factorising is getting better’);
  • Give feedback sparingly so that it is meaningful(for example, ‘One of the angles you calculated in this problem is incorrect—can you find which one and correct it?’;
  • Compare what a pupil is doing right now with what they have done wrong before(for example, ‘Your rounding of your final answers is much more accurate than it used to be’);
  • Encourage and support further effort by helping pupils identify things that are hard and require extra attention (for example, ‘You need to put extra effort into checking that your final answer makes sense and is a reasonable size’);
  • Provide guidance to pupils on how to respond to teachers’ comments, and give them time to do so; and
  • Provide specific guidance on how to improve rather than just telling pupils when they are incorrect (for example, ‘When you are unsure about adding and subtracting numbers, try placing them on a number line’, rather than ‘Your answer should be -3 not 3’).

(All information taken from EEF report which can be found here)

 

Here at SATs Companion we’re continually working with teachers and schools to improve confidence and raise attainment in both Maths and English. The first recommendation stood out for us because this is something we identified when we initially started the journey to develop SATs Companion. Assessment can be time consuming and more often than not finding out where pupils stand with a topic in the right moment can be difficult. With SATs Companion formative assessment is simple and easy to integrate into your lesson or as homework. As soon as the task has been completed the work is instantly marked and the results go directly into your reporting area as a teacher.

This not only assists the teacher to identify areas of improvement and highlight key strengths but also ensures that the assessment can ‘inform the planning of future lessons and [becomes] the focus of targeted support’.

With SATs Companion, every single question a pupil answers helps to build up key data insights about what the pupil can do and what the pupil needs to work on. This helps with future planning and also means you can see in an instant where your class, group, and pupils stand with a topic.

You can see the system for yourself and receive £100 worth of SATs Test Papers for your school at the same time! Register for a 20-minute demonstration today!