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Our Approach

#681 Maths Screencasts – Northgate High

Charlie Dawson

What did we do?

If you don’t know how to revise maths, you can’t revise maths!
We created a series of screencasts, like the one above, within the classroom explaining how to approach the full range of maths questions encountered in KS3. The screencasts were tailored to the appropriate level for the learners.

“Pupils like it, they can find it and use it.”

Summary of impact

After the first year our Progress 8 Benchmark for Maths was +0.6, after the second year it was +0.5; this gave us clear evidence that the screencast approach worked. Indeed, pupils who received this intervention made 63% more progress than those who did not receive it.
Less measurable, but equally important, there was a clear correlation between involvement in the project and confidence in dealing with Maths.

Steps taken

We created the Ipswich maths website as the store for the screencasts, this allowed the pupils to access screencasts at any time; either in school or at home. The videos were based on the Maths Box skills checks for KS3 and KS4 and during the first year the site received more than 50,000 hits.

Within the school we used sixth-formers to support the learners with accessing the site (the sixth-formers did not teach maths!). The learners spent 10 minutes a week accessing the material with support. They were encouraged to use a black pen when they knew what to do and a red pen when they needed to access the relevant screencast to assist them, changing back to black as soon as they felt confident that they understood what was being asked of them. Our initial trial was with our top set year 10s; half of them taking part in the trial and the other half carrying on as normal. The half who made use of the screencasts did noticeably better than those that continued as normal. When we expanded the project to include pupils from years 8 and 9 across the entire range of prior attainment, we found that the intervention worked across the board.

What would we do differently

There is not much that we would change, the project has been a great success. We wanted our pupils to know that they could make a difference to their outcomes by effective use of targeted resources.
It was very important that we had the right team supporting and under-pinning this work; not just staff but from the sixth-formers too.


Staff time and web-hosting fees.

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

KS3 Vocabulary - Westbourne Academy

Stop and Read - Westbourne Academy

We invested in Accelerated Reader licences for al KS3 students. Staff were trained in the Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) approach and encouraged to share best practice and support each other as necessary.


Northgate High School

Charlie Dawson