Every Child Counts in Elm Grove School
John* took part in Numbers Count in the autumn term of this year. He is summer born and Year 1 reported that he was quite needy and young for his age. His average maths profile score in reception was 3 and his teacher assessment in year 1 was p6. It was clear that he was significantly behind the rest of his class in maths and there was a feeling that it would be unrealistic to expect him to be able to close the gap.
John started the program by doing the Sandwell test and his number age was 4years and 8 months. It was clear that there were lots of gaps in his understanding of number. He could not count accurately beyond 12, he could not say how many fingers he had without counting and he had little or no understanding of symbols used to write simple addition or subtraction number sentences. However it quickly became clear that he loved the range of colourful equipment (which he thought of as toys) and the chance to play games 1-1 with an adult. He quickly came to look forward to numbers count lessons and started to feel successful. Working on correct pronunciation of teen numbers and connecting these to physical representations with Numicon, straws and other equipment took a long time. However once he had got it, he was soon able to count accurately to 100. He was enormously proud of this and progress in all areas of the numbers count program followed.
It was really useful to have his mother observing a lesson towards the end of the program in which she was obviously very impressed, which made John feel very proud. She was also able to talk about games and activities that she could do at home to help maintain and extend his maths knowledge.
At the end of his time on the numbers count program he had a second Sandwell test which documented 1year and 3 months progress. His class teacher conducted the exit number test and was very positive about what she saw. She was clearly quite driven to try to keep this progress going through his school work. She now saw the possibility of him making significant progress towards level 2.
She was very supportive when it was suggested that he had now reached a good level to take part in the 1st class at number programme. He entered this program and the 1st class @ number teacher reported that he continued to show a great deal of enthusiasm and enjoyment. During this program the biggest progress he made was in his understanding of place value. He was now really beginning to get to grips with 2 digit numbers. Ordering them, making them with structured equipment and talking about using relevant language in particular “tens” and “units”. At the end of this program a third Sandwell test documented further 1year and 3 months progress. Altogether he made 2 years and 6 months progress during his time in year 2. He ended his school year with a teacher assessment of a very solid 1A and it won’t be long before he is level 2.
*Note John is a pseudonym which is unrelated to his real name.