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Musical maths at Stanford Junior School

Children and percussionist and STOMP performer Ollie Tunmer explored active and fun ways of learning Maths through music. Children banged drums, choreographed movements, wrote raps and songs that helped them to remember facts about triangles, fractions and decimals and angles, and performed to parents at the end of the project.

Who was involved

  • Fifty children and their teachers from Years 4 and 5 at Stanford Junior School, Brighton and Hove
  • Creative practitioner: Ollie Tunmer (Musician, percussionist & STOMP performer)

Enquiry

How can a creative approach be used to impact and inspire individuals making maths more meaningful and motivating?

Objectives

  • To engage a group of passive children in mainstream maths lessons
  • To build children’s confidence to have a go and to encourage them to make more meaningful connections between Maths and the world around them
  • To raise self esteem and encourage children to take more ownership of their learning
  • To inform future classroom practice and curriculum development

Outcomes

At the beginning and end of the project, the children completed a questionnaire which asked them to rate their attitudes towards Maths on a scale of 1 to 10. The score to the question ‘How much do you like maths?’ improved from an average of 3.9 to 6.6. The average score for the question ‘How confident to you feel about maths?’ went from 4.4 to 6.7.

Children are more actively involved in the classroom, and an array of lesson plans and resources have been developed. There have been developments for children in Numeracy, Literacy and collaborative skills. Teachers are more confident and have led music activities independently.

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I’m less scared to write things down now.

Pupil

I still don’t really know what an equilateral triangle is, but I know it has 3 lines of symmetry!

Pupil

Many of the children are simply more willing to engage in the classroom.

Deputy Head

All of the children are more relaxed, less up tight, their attitudes have changed

Deputy Head