Kevin Holland describes a Creative Partnerships funded project he developed to creating contextualized opportunities to study, apply and develop maths using mantle of the expert.
Funded by Creative Partnerships, this was an enquiry schools programme. The focus was on raising attainment in numeracy through a creative approach. As a drama specialist, approaching a numeracy project was going to be new ground for me but I was sure the MOE approach would work. I worked with 3 classes for 90 minute sessions twice a week for 6 weeks. The aim was to give the teachers the techniques to be able to try MOE themselves in the future. The school was also left with the unit of work to enable the programme to be sustainable. My idea was to have a client who needed help in creating a maths TV programme for children with a space theme. The companies were formed with the task of coming up with an outline for the TV programme. They were told that the chief executive of the company would be coming to see the work at a showcase event. It would then be decided which company was going to be commissioned. We ended with a showcase of work where parents and teachers were invited one lunchtime to the school hall. The company members all showed their numeracy/space games, some had made models others power point presentations and some actually played their new games with volunteers. The children were all aware that the boss would be visiting but nobody knew what she looked like! So this made for a very excited group of children all desperate for their games to succeed. And of course they were all commissioned by the boss!
As well as attainment in numeracy rising this term, it was also recognised that mixed ability grouping had a very positive impact. The school usually set their numeracy sessions according to ability groups, so this was something new and something which the school are considering changing in the future. Another impact was that this project could not just cover numeracy, as with all MOE work it seemed to spread and cover other areas of the curriculum. ICT, drama, art and literacy were all areas which we could not help but cover. It just goes to show that a MOE project on space could cover the whole curriculum, including numeracy!
Kevin Holland. Drama practitioner, Bigfoot Arts Education. TEL: 08700 114 914
For planning and evaluations on this project please download the following: