Who created it?

Brickwork Mathematics founder Andrea Roberts has over 14 years of experience in primary education and a passion for mathematics being taught correctly. Andrea studied Primary Education at the University of Central England in Birmingham and completed a 4 year BA honours degree achieving First Class Status in 2007.

4 years in to her teaching career, Andrea became a member of the senior management team and responsible for mathematics across the large primary school she worked in. Mathematics has always been a passion for Andrea and to further develop her understanding of mathematics in education, she studied a Post Graduate Mathematic Education course at Leicester University in 2012.

How and why was it created?

As part of her role, Andrea researched methods used in England and other countries and began to incorporate these into the teaching of mathematics at her school. A new structure was introduced where small prior learning assessments were given to the children. This enabled the teachers and the children to see where the strengths and difficulties in learning were and identify quickly the type of activities needed for individuals or groups of children. This ensured that progress was being made in every lesson for all children as regrouping occurred rapidly from the outset of each lesson based on the children’s achievements and difficulties highlighted in the prior learning assessment activities. Appropriate practice and application activities were then selected by the teacher and the child based on the gaps in their learning. With the introduction of the National Curriculum in 2014, this structure was further developed to ensure that the key aims of the mathematics curriculum were embedded in to the teaching structure.

With the use of prior assessment and post assessment grids in the children’s books, progress could easily be identified. The assessment tasks, assessment grids and activities caught the attention of other head teachers and professionals and at county network meetings other schools enquired about the scheme that the school used and where it could be purchased. Andrea and the staff at her school produced all the assessments and activities that were tailor made to meet the gaps identified in the children’s learning. This caught Andrea’s attention that schools needed support with finding and producing assessment and high quality teaching resources to ensure effective practice and to reduce teachers work load.

When the new style of Key stage 2 assessments were introduced in 2016, Andrea was further inspired to share the structure and resources with other professionals when 93% of year 6 children achieved the expected standard or above in mathematics at the school she had implemented the structure at.

Wanting to support and help other schools with the teaching of high quality maths lessons, Andrea decided to set up the Brickwork Mathematics website where schools can access assessments to help to identify gaps in learning and activities that quickly provide opportunities to practise and apply the skills identified in the assessments whilst still ensuring that maths is engaging, fun and practical.

What makes Brickwork Mathematics different?

From working in education for over 10 years Andrea understands that Schemes of work can have little flexibility and often do not support the teacher in developing as a professional. Therefore, Andrea wanted to make a website where teachers have the flexibility to select when and how they use the resources provided. Depending on the confidence of the teacher and the needs of the children, different resources such as assessment tasks/tests, tracker grids, practical activity suggestions and worksheets, mastery activities, teacher tips and support guidance and post assessment resources can all be selected easily on the website.

Furthermore, schools often move away from using schemes as the creativity and enjoyment is often taken out of maths by following such vigorous structures and the scheme does not meet all the needs of the school. Therefore, Andrea ensures that her resources and ideas can be easily adapted if a school wishes to make them more suitable to topics that are being covered by the curriculum, class learning styles or the needs of the children and teachers within a school. Brickwork Mathematics offers this in the form of a consultancy session where together the needs of the school are discussed and the resources can be amended accordingly.

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