Girls and Maths Tom Garner. Aims of Session: To help you identify girls who will potentially underachieve from your data; To understand the key issues

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Girls and Maths Tom Garner Slide 2 Aims of Session: To help you identify girls who will potentially underachieve from your data; To understand the key issues affecting the progress of these girls; To outline an overview of possible proactive intervention strategies; To investigate girl friendly teaching strategies and approaches; To provide a range of resources, activities and ideas to take back and use in school. Slide 3 Background: Involvement in a Local Authority working party in 2008-10; Action Research project in School; Dissemination of research findings to Head Teachers in 2011; Primary Maths Specialist Teacher training 2008-2010; Masters Degree Girls and Maths focus for dissertation 2010 2012; Leading intervention programmes 2011-12; Overseeing intervention programmes 2012 to date. Slide 4 Background: The data In 2007-2008 the issue of girls underachieving in Maths became an issue for National Strategies. So, what did they do about this? Slide 5 Background: The data There was a serious lack of research into this issue. Whilst there has been more research since then Slide 6 In 2008 this search returned just 2,000,000 results. Slide 7 Mathematics Boys 200778 200879 200979 2010 6 79 2011 7 80 2012 7 84 201385 Girls 200776 200878 200978 2010 6 79 2011 7 80 2012 7 84 201385 Percentage of pupils at level 4 or above (Test) Table 2: Percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above and level 5 or above in key stage 2 tests and teacher assessments by gender Source: statistics website Slide 8 Table 2: Percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above and level 5 or above in key stage 2 tests and teacher assessments by gender Mathematics Boys 200735 200835 200937 2010 6 36 2011 7 37 2012 7 42 201343 Girls 200730 200828 200932 2010 6 32 2011 7 33 2012 7 36 201339 Percentage of pupils at level 5 or above (Test) Source: statistics website Slide 9 Identifying the Girls Slide 10 Why is this important? Focus on more than expected progress i.e. 3 levels (from KS1 KS2) your 2As to 5. Ofsteds focus on challenging the more able. The new focus on secure level 4s. Slide 11 Children achieving a level 2A, 3C or above at the end of Key Stage 1 should be achieving level 5 at the end of Key Stage 2. Boys are making this progress, girls are not. Nationally in 2013 there was a 4% difference between boys and girls achieving level 5. This gap had varied from between 4% 6% over the last 7 years, but the gap has not narrowed. Slide 12 Which children? Girls 2A in Maths at the end of KS1. Slide 13 Your Data Activity 1 Use your tracking data to identify these children in your class/school. Slide 14 Which children? What about the girls who achieved a 3C? Issues: How well is your data at the end of KS1 quality assured/moderated by your SLT? Are the 3Cs secure level 3s or girls who are really 2A? Should 3C girls be included or not? Slide 15 Tracking These girls need to be tracked carefully throughout Key Stage 2. You should expect no less than one whole level of progress by the end of year 4. 3C girls should be monitored and, if no progress has been made by the end of year 3, intervention should be put in place. Slide 16 Tracking Slide 17 Key issues affecting the progress of (2A) girls Slide 18 Activity 2 Read through the 14 comments attributed to boys and girls attitudes to / feelings about maths. Decide which fit your impressions of boys and which are more suited to girls (7 each). Which comments will have the greatest bearing on girls who feel that they are not achieving? Slide 19 Boys Are less likely to keep using time -consuming strategies for calculations, and will try alternatives for bigger numbers Will quickly try out a method soon after it has first been demonstrated Are less worried about rules or understanding just want to get the correct answer Will have a go without worrying about presentation, consequences and results Aim to reach the end as quickly as possible even if they have not answered everything on the way. Will use a new strategy or just get the answer wrong Are more likely to put mathematical success down to ability, but see failure arising through lack of effort. Girls Can often use weak, inefficient strategies, which initially get the correct answer but which need refining Not confident in taking onboard more efficient mental strategies Like to have methods clearly defined and explained and to be shown how to use them. Pay more attention to detail and are more unsettled by the unexpected. Want to complete what they are being given to do and need time to think about how they can respond. Prefer to follow rules without developing real understanding. Are often convinced that mathematical success is down to effort, but failure is through lack of ability. Slide 20 Research shows that girls do well at Key Stage 1 through using strategies taught to answer questions. When moving into KS2, boys are happy to use a range of strategies, including newly taught ones, whilst girls prefer to use previously taught but now inefficient strategies. Slide 21 Calculation Strategy How well do you know the steps in your schools calculation policy? Activity 3 Lets think about the two operations that often receive less teaching time: subtraction and division. On your own or with a partner, write down the teaching steps for both of these operations. Slide 22 Calculation Strategy Be confident with your calculation policy. Be aware that you may need to go back a step (for confidence building) as well as looking at moving forwards. When encountering decimals or larger numbers, for example, earlier stages of the calculation policy may need to be revisited to ensure children have the understanding. Slide 23 Generally, girls do not do as well at problem solving activities which are (should be) undertaken regularly in Key Stage 2. Problem Solving Slide 24 The Teaching Sequence Review Teach Practise Apply Evaluate Slide 25 Girls enjoy the routine practicing of skills and techniques more than boys. Leicestershire Maths Team undertook a major study of girls maths attainment and found that However they often get too little opportunity to consolidate what they know when lessons are dominated by the response of attention seeking boys. The quiet hardworking girl is often hidden by her own silence and desire to please. Slide 26 Strategies Do your KS1 staff understand progression in calculation (both written and mental)? Children are often taught one strategy rather than a range of strategies. Slide 27 The biggest issue Confidence Slide 28 Many girls tend to lack confidence in Mathematics. Studies have shown that negative perceptions of Mathematics from mums, and especially female teachers, makes almost no difference to boys but a significant difference to girls attitudes and confidence. Negative Perceptions Source: Slide 29 Proactive Intervention Strategies Slide 30 Early identification and intervention is key. Girls need to be identified at the end of year 2 (from KS1 data) and intervention put in place in year 3 and continued in year 4. Action research shows this works. One cohort achieved expected progress with a number of girls having moved from a 2A to a 4C by the end of year 4 as a result. When? Slide 31 In my action research project, intervention starting in year 5 and year 6 made NO difference at all. Years 5 and 6 are too late to address this issue. Why? Slide 32 All girls group (ideal size is 6-8 children). Once a week best done outside of normal maths lessons. 20-30 mins. Teacher or Teaching Assistant, Male or Female. Two ground rules: - No question is a silly question - You can ask the same question as many times as you like (because if you dont understand first time it is my fault for having not explained it correctly, not your fault for not understanding). Games based approach. Focus on weekly in class objectives a second attempt to have a go. A tried and tested approach Slide 33 Who will lead the session is important. Staff What doesnt matter: Whether it is delivered by a Teacher or Teaching Assistant. Whether the Teacher/TA is male or female. What does matter: Whoever is delivering the session must have a good subject knowledge and must show an enjoyment of Maths. Slide 34 The difficulties Not enough staff. Support needed in year 6. Other interventions take priority. There are only 5 days in a working week. Etc. Slide 35 Negative attitudes to Maths impact on girls but not boys. Teachers Activity 4 What can we do about this? Discuss on your tables an come up with a list of strategies. Slide 36 Negative attitudes towards Maths normally exist because of preconceptions based on past experience. Teachers Changing Perceptions Coaching and Mentoring support: Pedagogical/Subject Knowledge support; Teaching support; Planning support: How to extend the more able; How to support those that dont understand. In other words, teachers who didnt like or understand Maths at school will not like teaching it and will spread their negative perceptions. Slide 37 Break Tea, coffee, juice and biscuits available at the back of the hall. Slide 38 Girl Friendly Teaching Strategies and Approaches Slide 39 What does work: Giving the same girls the impression that maths is easy if we: Have time to think about it Have time to discuss it Have resources to help Have a variety of approaches, especially for calculation Can organise our thinking Trying to empathise with girls who have negative perceptions of maths doesnt work. It is also extremely important to show an enjoyment of maths and link it to real life. Slide 40 Girls feel you gain mathematical success through effort, and that failure in maths is through lack of ability. Boys feel that mathematical success is down to ability and that failure comes through lack of effort. Failure linked in the childs mind