Can Maths be cool? Yes, it can! At SBL
Have you been a maths lover at school?
When I was at school, I learnt Maths predominantly from a textbook. I learnt many methods and procedures in order to simply get the answers right. Whenever I was asked to apply that knowledge in a different context, I became unstuck. What I am describing here is something Skemp (1976) calls “instrumental learning”. It wasn’t until further into my education at GCSE and A Level that I was encouraged to understand the “why” behind the correct answer. This led to greater empowerment to understand the subject more fully and a greater ability to problem solve, no matter the context.
At School Beyond Limitations, our facilitators seek to support students from the very beginning to learn “relationally” i.e. to understand why a method works and how it connects to other Mathematical procedures. Armed with an abundance of creativity and an ability to make Maths learning contextual, our facilitators create personalised learning journeys for all of our students, no matter their age, level or confidence in the subject. In order to support all stakeholders on this Mathematical journey, as a team, we have created the “SBL Maths Continuum”.
Why was the Continuum created?
- To offer greater support in understanding where students are and where they can move on to next in their Mathematical learning.
- To determine important English vocabulary to support students’ Mathematical language learning.
- To create a Maths program together as facilitators in order to profit from collective expertise in the Mathematical field.
- To encourage students to add resources of their own. If students are able to teach back a skill, this leads to a greater depth of understanding.
- To promote SBL’s self-directed and supportive ethos.
- To support all stakeholders in using a variety of resources to effectively personalise Maths learning at School Beyond Limitations.
How is the Continuum used?
Our facilitators use a blended, personalised approach both in lessons and during mentoring. In order to increase engagement in the subject, students are introduced to skills from the continuum through everyday contexts, stories, songs and scenarios. Students are extended horizontally and not simply vertically. That is, they are encouraged to learn at a greater depth within a skill and apply their knowledge rather than moving on to the next skill straight away. Ultimately, our facilitators foster a greater sense of self-awareness within our students so that they can decide how best to progress on their own Mathematical journey at School Beyond Limitations.
What does the Continuum look like?
- There are 10 areas of Mathematical learning.
- The skills are listed on a continuum all the way from Early Years learning up to the point of starting the iGCSE Maths course.
- The students use a skills list (either as a whole or in small sections) and reflect alongside their facilitator on their confidence levels at each juncture. From this, the student then decides what they will work on next.
- Students understand the skill they are working on, are offered support in understanding that skill, practise that skill using a fluency activity and apply their knowledge by carrying out a reasoning or problem solving exercise.
- Important English Mathematical vocabulary is highlighted in each skill in order to support our EAL learners.
At School Beyond Limitations, we truly believe that everyone can “do Maths” and the continuum goes hand in hand with SBL’s belief that students are the masters of their own learning. However, the SBL Continuum requires the collaboration of all stakeholders. All facilitators are here to support their student every step of the way on this journey of Mathematical empowerment.
If you also wish for your child to enjoy maths and have a holistic, international school education where every child is seen and encouraged in their uniqueness, and if you’d love your child to be prepared for a meaningful and fulfilled future please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you would like to access more information about School Beyond Limitations and/or ask any questions, please reach out to us.