Earlier this month we ran the 2017 Flurrish User Group at Caddington Village School, organised through Central Bedfordshire CPD.
The day kicked off with a keynote by Dr Tom Mitchell from Liverpool Hope University titled the "Learning Imperative" looking at the psychology of the growth mindset (see Carol Dweck's work). As part of this, he reviewed attribution theory and how this can explain part of how an individual responds to learning (in terms of motivation and so achievement) and so the notion of growth. Modelling correct behaviours-attributions is key to making progress. This is about building praise into feedback, developing resilience in learners and so a positive psychological cycle. This can link closely to maths anxiety and, by using the notion of growth mindset, improve performance and move towards mastery. Flurrish's Number.fy can form part of a successful intervention strategy to achieve this.
Richard Kingham (Caddington), then talked about "The Home Straight" - using Number.fy with year 6 in preparation for Key Stage 2 SATs. This was very much "front of house" from a teacher with extensive experience of incorporating Number.fy in to delivery of the curriculum. Outlining when it's used in class, how it's used as a strategy for improving number fact knowledge and his experience of the sorts of outcomes achieved by pupils. This included a summary of the extent of current number fact knowledge and performance on a weekly maths skills test.
Mike Smith (Flurrish) then followed Richard, outlining how data recorded by Number.fy can be used by teachers to underpin their classroom practice. That is, how do individual pupils perform, what do they know/not know and how can they improve? This included a review of the Cupid statistic (Questions per Pupil per Day; QpPpD) to ensure that everyone is getting enough daily practice. However, not just daily practice but QUALITY practice. Are they playing randomised questions across all 12x tables? And what proportion are correctly answered? Once you know that, the SPEED with which they can achieve that is a good measure of mastery. And the results? Well we presented a plot of Richard's class' maths skills against number fact knowledge - whilst only representative of one week, it shows a strong correlation.
Jeni Houghton (Headteacher, Hawthon Park) then outlined their approach (using assertive mentoring) to improve curriculum outcomes at Hawthorn Park. Number.fy forms one of a number of strategies for this with the data helping teachers understand misconceptions and so target appropriate interventions. She concluded with quotes from staff and pupils which included:
"The impact of more secure times table recall is really being seen across all areas of the Maths curriculum."
"Flurrish trains your brain to do times tables. It's fun when we hold competitions."
After lunch Sue Teague (Headteacher, Caddington) then reminded everyone that DATA is NOT INFORMATION, which is NOT KNOWLEDGE, which is NOT WISDOM. As educators we have a responsibility and duty to best use the data we have and make wise decisions based upon it. So... use headteacher's report from Flurrish to review Cupid, percentage correct and proportion of randomised questions. Do this at school, class and individual level to use granular, detailed and useful data and make decisions based upon it.
The day finished with the exciting launch of our whitepaper "Learning Number Facts" with delegates receiving their own printed copy - if you haven't got your copy yet, then download it today. We concluded by outlining a roadmap for continued development of the Number.fy app and results website - watch this space, but just to let users know that v2 (aka "Nero") will be available for update shortly with v3 currently in development. More news next term!
We were proud to be able to participate in such a productive user group day and grateful to Caddington Village School (and Central Bedfordshire) for organising it. Those who presented provided thought provoking and inspirational talks. We look forward to next year's FUG!!
The Learning Imperative, Dr Tom Mitchell-Gallagher, Liverpool Hope University
The Home Straight (part 1), Richard Kingham, Caddington Village School
The Home Straight (part 2), Mike Smith, Flurrish
Gap Filling and Number Crunching, Jeni Houghton (Hawthorn Park School)
Demonstrating Progress, Sue Teague, Caddington Village School