"It’s been one of the biggest eye openers for us as a school"
Blackpool Aspire Academy have been using our secondary maths catch-up programme Passport Maths since 2012.
Assistant Principal Ryan Hughes talks to us about their pupils' learning and experiences with the programme
How long have you been using Passport Maths at Blackpool Aspire Academy?
We started using Passport Maths about three years ago, as part of a support programme which came out of a subject-wide review. We have used it every year since.
How do you use it?
So often as a secondary practitioner you don’t teach concepts, like halving and doubling, as it’s not part of the secondary curriculum, so having resources which you can use to teach a child how to do it is great.
It has helped teachers to understand what misconceptions have been formed, what the barriers are for a student, and put support in place. You get to know what it is the kids can’t do and what they can do. In some cases it’s been eye opening to see what assumptions have been made.
It’s brilliant for teacher development, and they have liked it because it gives them other strategies to use to break things down, to make it easier to teach.
Why does it work?
You hear about students who come to secondary school, get put straight in to the lowest group and don’t like maths. Often they are taken through a curriculum which they don’t have the foundations for yet. Passport Maths helps teachers to identify exactly which areas they need support in and then do something which really targets the gaps.
Once students who previously struggled start doing work they can actually do, their confidence improves. They have a go at work they might not have done previously, you start to see their vocabulary change; they know what they have learned and they show off what they can do.
What would you say to anyone thinking about using Passport Maths in their school or academy?
Definitely go for it. It’s been one of the biggest eye openers for us as a school. It’s flexible and it works. It lets you quickly identify what the gaps are and do something which really targets them.