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TES Schools Awards 2009 - Outstanding numeracy initiative

Winner - Moredon Primary and Nursery School, Swindon, Wiltshire

A numeracy co-ordinator's research into problem-solving has brought higher Sats scores to this school. Children are given the opportunity to solve problems and show off what they can do with the help of a working wall.

Strategies from the calculation policy are displayed on the wall and pupils discuss how to proceed. Problems are presented on large A2 sheets of coloured paper. Groups of children can try out their ideas among themselves and agree how to answer questions. Each group has to make sure that every member can explain how the problem was solved. They then explain their solution to the rest of the class. The school says this helps to reduce pressure.

The programme is for Year 1 and Year 5 so that the impact on Sats can be measured. Teachers set targets for September following the end-of-year tests.

The result? Children are more confident and test scores have improved. In 2007, 44 per cent of pupils got level 5, with a 14 per cent gender gap in favour of boys. In 2008, the score was 57 per cent, with a 10 per cent gender gap in favour of girls. The percentage of boys achieving level 5 was also up by 2 percentage points.

Judges' verdict: "The school has made excellent moves to take forward a number of strategies and to build on research on developments in numeracy. The strategies used to build up the problem-solving and team-working skills of the pupils are a useful co-product." They added: "It's great to reward a teacher who is doing action research."

TES Schools Awards 2009:

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