2020 was full of challenges for everyone, but children in particular have suffered. In our school in Sussex, we quickly realised that their mathematical skill and confidence in particular had been set back very significantly. I was keen to try to do what I could to try to alleviate some of that, and to put in place some sort of robust system that would prevent such a thing from happening again, or at least mitigate against it.
Many of the children we serve do not have easy lives at the best of times, and while I knew they needed careful practice, the thought of piling on exercise after exercise did not feel like the best way forward.
One thing was very clear:
we needed to rebuild
I started researching in my own library of maths books and online. It quickly became apparent that there was nothing that fitted us perfectly, so I decided to try and create something to help. And so was born the Fluency Project (known internally as the M.A.D. project).
It’s still a work in progress, but so far the results are encouraging. This programme is aimed unapologetically at HEARTS and MINDS – attitudes towards maths need to change before real progress can be made, but the reverse is also true. So I set myself the challenge of creating engaging but simple resources that would offer children the chance to revisit and recall basic key skills and facts.
This took up way too many evenings and weekends, but it didn’t really feel like work, and the fruits are just starting to show. So far, the programme has proved popular with even the more reticent of children, and I am keen to offer it to any other schools that have found the same issues.
So: here are the first three elements of the programme which are now being made available to every school:
These three resources are available now (click on the images), but our A3 Maths Mats will still be another week or two. I am aiming to have them all completed by February 2021, but I’d rather take a bit of time and get them right. Every child in our own school has also been given a free copy of ‘We Love Maths’ in case they need to isolate at home. These are like reading diaries, but for maths. Click here to check them out – they are only £1 per child to make them as affordable as possible.
Finally, I have taken the liberty of listing a few other resources below that I hope you might find of interest; some are free or very cheap!