A series of interviews with learning centres about maths provision.
Here we ask speak with John Floyd, Headmaster of Bruern Abbey School.
In this introductory video, Bruern Headmaster, John Floyd talks to us about Bruern Abbey and it’s mission to help boys with dyscalculia, dyslexia and other additional needs to reach their full potential.
1. Can you give us an overview on how you teach maths to your pupils?
All boys are taught by subject specialist maths teachers. The average class size is ’11 and a half … don’t worry we haven’t chopped any pupil in half recently!’ For years four to six, there are two teachers per class, which is a one to 5/6 ratio. All maths teachers are trained by the BDA on their 3-day Dyscalculia awareness course.
2. Do you carry out your maths assessments in-house or use an outside specialist resource, such as an Educational Psychologist or maths assessor?
We do a lot of assessments, eg, baseline assessments or assessments to find out of a pupil is dyscalculic or not. For example, using the GL Dyscalculia screener. We hope that every boy at Bruern will have an up to date Educational Psychologist’s report. This is very useful to get a standardised score, so we can compare this to pupils of a similar age across the country.
We also utilise in-house assessmsnts and PUMA maths assessments ,as our boys are heading towards 13+ Common Entrance exam.
3. Do you offer any online teaching?
Bruern is now part of a school’s group (bellevue) and there are some Dyscalculic girls in other schools within the group who benefit from one-to-one teaching with one of our SENCOs online on a regular basis. We think that Bruern’s specific teaching will broaden out and we will start to help more pupils in affiliate schools.
4. Do you offer a preview to parents of your maths-teaching plan?
We share teaching plans on request and we don’t set homework for years 4 to 6, as the Bruern days are long and they include prep. The idea is that we want to keep school at school and allow home to be home. Hopefully we are taking the burden from parents of teaching maths and leaving that job to the teachers.
5. How do you see maths teaching at Bruern Abbey School changing in the near future?
I think the use of technology will continue post the Covid pandemic. We think that on-line assessments will continue and expand, as this will produce data that will be useful across classes and year groups. The use of online-technology also saves issues with handwriting, which in a school of dyslexics is somewhat organic.