The experience of implementing the creative curriculum in many of our junior schools shows that integrating different subjects in project-based activities inspires pupils and encourages them to become more confident and independent learners.
It is easy to see how cross-curricular work can underpin and accelerate progress in literacy and in creative writing. The next step is to inject maths teaching and learning with the same sense of exploration and excitement, and in many cases, a sense of confidence in dealing with maths.
All our junior and prep schools are taking part in a project, starting in September 2012, but involving a great deal of behind-the-scenes work beforehand, which aims to develop new horizons in maths. A package of teaching strategies has been identified, which provide additional support for pupils who find maths more difficult and increase the sense of challenge for those who take to maths in a big way. The comparison with the creative curriculum is instructive here: experts recommend that one of the best ways to raise the bar in maths is to teach it as a more open-ended process of investigation, rather than as a series of closed questions with relatively straightforward answers, and a pre-ordained set of steps towards achieving them.
Part of the excitement with this cross-GDST project lies in getting teachers together to discuss and disseminate best practice, and to encourage the growth of a community of best practice.
Statistics show that pupils in GDST junior schools outperform girls in the independent sector as a whole, in mathematics as well as in reading. But there was a general feeling that maths should be as exciting, as challenging, and as rewarding as other curriculum areas. The ‘Maths in Junior Schools’ project aims to ensure girls leaving our junior and prep schools find maths just as stimulating and creative as the other subjects they know and love.
If you would like to know more about this, please watch the video below.
(If for any reason you cannot view the video please go to the GDST YouTube channel to view the video there)