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Nehru World School, Ghaziabad is an English medium co-educational school that is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (C.B.S.E.) and Cambridge Assessment International Education.
1. If you had to sum up your school’s view of mathematics as a subject in one sentence, what would it be?
Mathematics teaches logic and analogy and unfolds patterns; it forms the foundation for a student to become a creative thinker and problem solver.
2. How does your school embed numeracy across the curriculum?
3. What is your view of mathematical ability and how is that supported by your school policies?
Mathematical ability is the ability to reason, to manipulate ideas about the understanding of a concept in a variety of ways, to perform mathematical tasks and to effectively solve the given mathematical problems.
In our school we:
4. If I came into a maths lesson at your school, what would I always see? Sometimes see? Never see?
Always see: Maths lessons which are structured in a way that generates curiosity in the learners. Efforts being made to understand any learning gaps by preparing and using coherent lesson plans, which establish links with previous knowledge. Evaluation of conceptual progress through formative assessments (oral questioning, quizzes, Khan Academy, and active learning strategies).
Sometimes see: Khan Academy assignments being taken up in the classes. Student queries being addressed which reflect the different paces at which they learn. Certain classes and lessons starting with practical activities, which lead students to a better conceptual understanding.
Never see: Dull classrooms and passive learning.
5. What are your favourite mathematical tools, objects or manipulatives and why do you like them?
Offline: Working on graphs; hands-on activities using tools like the number line which helps in understanding the concepts of addition and subtraction of integers and whole numbers, especially in the Primary Wing. Tessellation Kit, a learning tool used by the teachers that helps the learners to understand patterns and symmetry, also supports learners in forming mental images. Learners are also able to derive clues from the concepts which help in problem solving and develop critical thinking skills. Other 3D objects including clocks and measuring tapes are also used to aid teaching and learning.
Online: Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalised learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Other online tools like Kahoot, Quizizz, Whiteboard chat, and Wordwall are used for assessment for better understanding of students’ progress in learning and what more needs to be learnt.
These activities engage the students and make the teaching-learning process interesting and meaningful. They also enable students to relate to the real world and make connections
6. How does your school support professional development of teachers in mathematics?
Our school organises different workshops and training for teachers to support their professional development throughout the year. The training sessions are made interactive and are designed to suit the needs of every member who is participating and to support the teaching-learning process in a particular wing:
Cambridge Professional Development Qualification (CPDQ). This provides an international benchmark that transforms professional learning for teachers, by enhancing professional thinking and providing practice to improve the quality of learning. Guided learning sessions are conducted to facilitate individual studies and reflection on experiences. Six teachers have been trained in this domain to apply new approaches and ideas in their practices.
Active learning training. Active learning is integral to the teaching-learning process and training sessions are regularly organised which include sharing best practice, peer observation, mentoring, and collaborative planning. In active learning classrooms, students are often asked to practise skills, solve problems, propose solutions, explore their creativity and express their ideas, making them more immersed in their learning.
Cambridge training. This enables teachers to acquire abilities with, and insights into, the Cambridge approach to teaching and learning. Four teachers successfully completed the subject-related certification prior to commencing teaching the Cambridge Lower Secondary course.
Differential learning. With the concept of “no child should be left behind,” training in differential learning was conducted so that teachers can assist students in their learning journeys at the students’ own paces. The teachers not only provide support as required but also give extension work to those who are able to complete their assigned tasks. This provides differentiating instruction for all the students.
Formative assessment training. Teachers were trained to ask the right questions in the classroom so they can identify any learning gaps. This helps the teachers to design their lessons better, based on the learning assessment, to ensure learning coherence and fluency.
Online tools training. To keep pace with the current climate (the Covid-19 pandemic), our teachers were trained to conduct their classes successfully in an online mode. Regular update sessions are continuing to be conducted to support them further through sharing best practice.
Online webinars. Teachers participated in these webinars to further enhance and polish their skills according to individual, group and team needs, as well as whole-school learning. Cambridge Assessment International Education has provided a number of webinars during the period of the pandemic, including those related to health and wellbeing, and resources for online learning, as well as developing subject-specific expertise. We have also attended webinars by the Google Education Group (GEG), CBSE, Cambridge University Press, and FICCI ARISE.
Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) item designing training. This training was provided by Alpha Plus Consultancy, UK, in collaboration with EEF Education for designing papers which could be used by the CBSE for its assessment purposes.
Praise and motivation. Teachers were trained to use the process-oriented approach of appreciation to motivate each learner to make efforts in the right direction.
7. What is your favourite quote about mathematics?
“The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.” Paul Halmos.
Join the conversation: You can tweet us @CambridgeMaths or comment below.