Students are Sparx Maths MillionairesJanet
Last academic year, Malton School students started using a new system called ‘Sparx Maths’ to help them with both Maths homework as well as their wider Maths studies. Each time students were set and completed Maths homework they gained Sparx points – and by doing extension work and optional, additional work, they could gain further points. Over the course of the first year of Sparx Maths being introduced, students in Years 7-11 amassed over 1,000,000 Sparx Maths points, with some notable individual successes.
Three students in particular, each with a different take on Sparx Maths scored notable successes. Katie, set herself an initial goal for the year, but when she reached this, set herself the target of doubling her score (spurred on by some friendly competition with her brother). Katie struggles with dyscalculia so finds simple Maths questions harder to answer, but by using Sparx Maths she has improved her own abilities and grown massively in confidence as she has proven to herself just how much she can achieve. Her message to any student, no matter their Maths ability is that ‘you can do it’.
Leah, also feels her Maths ability has grown over the course of the year, as has her love of Maths. Leah has not only been completing her set homework but has also undertaken independent learning to help her with Maths. And the more she’s done, the more she’s wanted to do.
Beatie’s experience has been similar to Leah’s and by focusing on her Maths through the use of Sparx Maths she has moved up in class. At the start of Year 7 Beatie found that she was finding the Maths almost too easy, so set herself some additional challenges outside of class, which she also managed to complete. As her confidence and ability also soared, so did her marks. And the better she did, the more she was encouraged to keep going. And her hard work was rewarded by being moved up in class.
Staff in school have also recognized students’ achievements over the year with termly rewards for the classes with the most XP points (not surprisingly all our featured students found themselves in classes with juice and biscuit rewards at the end of each term) but there have also been individual awards given out at Rewards Assemblies each term.
One of the key benchmarks for any system like this is the benefit to students sitting external examinations in Years 11 and 13. This year’s Maths GCSE results were particularly encouraging in that respect. There were a number of students who had used Sparx Maths to support their learning and revision and as a result gained the highest grade possible in either the Lower or Higher Tier papers. One student in particular, as a result of the amount of independent learning done on Sparx Maths and ensuing improvement in their ability, was entered for the Higher Tier papers and achieved a 6 this August.
With such a positive response to Sparx Maths, the Maths Faculty is looking forward to all that our students will achieve next year as they build on the work put in over the last year. Mr Muir, Head of Maths, said, “We are really encouraged to see such a strong set of GCSE results this year with improved outcomes for students who are using Sparx Maths regularly. I would encourage all students, especially those new to school, to really engage with Sparx Maths. Not only is the homework bespoke to the individual student and so accessible even for those who don’t find Maths particularly easy, it can really help with problem-solving questions, which students can find one of the hardest aspects of Maths. I am really looking forward to celebrating successes this year both in class and through our Rewards Assemblies.”