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Esh Winning Trials Collins Adapt with their Y4 pupils

About the school

Esh Winning Primary is a medium-sized community school located in a former mining town, serving an economically diverse range of families. In common with many schools, children’s learning experience during lockdown varied considerably, leaving some children with gaps in their mathematical knowledge and understanding.

What problem were you looking to address?

Many of the children lack self-belief: while the school has raised the profile of maths and follows a structured maths programme to ensure consistency across the school, some of the children lack resilience.  To address this, the school has adopted a two-pronged approach: 1) promoting a growth mindset with a focus on learning, rather than ‘getting it right’; 2) adopting a range of games and apps aimed at boosting children’s enjoyment of maths.

“I want them to enjoy maths; I don’t want them to feel anxious because they don’t know something. They love Times Table Rockstars, so I want to harness that enthusiasm and build on it.”

What were the potential barriers or challenges?

First and foremost, the platform must be accessible and easy-to-use. There are 34 children in the Y4 class, and, unless children are able to log on quickly, and work independently, the 30-minute session will be taken up with logistical issues.

The gaps in learning also mean that some children require more support and practice in certain topics. The platform needs to adapt to their level of working, to help boost their confidence and competence.  

How did you use it?

In addition to their daily timetabled maths lesson, the Y4 class have daily access to a set of iPads. Three of these sessions per week (each lasting around 30-40 minutes) were allocated to using Collins Adapt Primary. The pilot started in mid-May, which means that so far, we’ve used it around 10 times. It was really quick and easy to use, I just linked one of the iPads to my computer and then I talked them through how to log on. We are good with IT anyway; it didn’t take them long to grasp it. My more able have been able to support the less able with logging on.

Although it’s possible to allocate tasks to the children, I’ve not had time to do this, so they’ve literally logged on and worked through the default content assigned for that week. As it follows the White Rose Maths long-term planning, we’ve used it to consolidate their learning. My aim has been to let them have a go, and see what they thought of it.

What’s the outcome so far?

My children absolutely love it. They really enjoy using it. Some of the children have asked if they can carry on with it beyond the allotted 30 minutes, which shows how engaged they are.  It’s definitely helping to build fluency: when they came to the unit on fractions, which we’d recently covered in class, they worked through it quickly, and most could do it. Because it’s adaptive, it also adjusts to their level of working, so the less confident and less able aren’t given the same content as the more able, and it can take them longer to work through a task or module. Because we’ve used it in class, we’ve been able to provide additional one-to-one support if a child kept getting an answer wrong, and that allowed them to carry on and finish the task.  Children can see their learning journey: how much they’ve done, and how much they have left.

Overall, we’re really pleased with their levels of independence, their motivation and their engagement. It’s too soon to say whether it’s impacting on their competency and learning retention, but we’re definitely continuing with it in September, so hope to have some evidence in place soon.

What are the next steps?

Alongside using it in class, we’re planning to start using it for home learning from September. We’ll also be rolling it out to other KS2 year groups.

Advice to another school considering piloting Adapt?

Definitely try it. My children love it, we really enjoy using it.  If the children are enjoying it, we’re getting something out of it. Our really good mathematicians enjoy the maths challenge, while the less able will be enjoying the motivational aspect while also gaining confidence. Given a choice, they would choose Adapt over the other maths apps and platforms we use.