Previously, children learned maths almost by rote, many found it incomprehensible and through life were not ashamed to admit, "Oh, I could never do maths." This strategy has broadened understanding and confidence.
It may not take curriculum coverage further, but it strengthens what is learned.
During my primary inspections I ask the pupils what is their favourite subject. Before the strategy perhaps one in 10 would choose maths. Now it is the majority (boys and girls).
I will never forget watching the plenary of a Year 2 numeracy lesson when a boy from the lowest-attaining group called out, "I got that - in a different way!" If it had been a cartoon, a light bulb would have appeared over his head. In the old system he would have almost certainly ended up a maths failure. Now perhaps he won't.
It is this solid understanding of mathematics which gives hope for the future in ways that any short-term assessment is unable to foretell.
Clive Whittington 6 The Granary WynyardBillingham Cleveland