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Number of Pupils FSM EFL Last Ofsted Region
475 Pupils 19.5% FSM 8% EFL 'Outstanding' North West

St Richard’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Manchester is a voluntary aided school that has consistently ranked in the top 4% of the schools in the country for KS2 Maths results. They’ve achieved this by innovating and investing in their maths education, and by making maths more than a lesson that happens once a day.


“We do arithmetic once, twice, three times a day.”

Breaks from traditional classroom learning, such a wet play and golden time, were key opportunities for St Richard’s to integrate more maths into the day-to-day routine. The challenge, however, for co-head and Maths Specialist John Keyworth and classroom teacher Andrea Toal, was finding a way for the students to not always necessarily be aware that they were spending extra time on maths.

To achieve this, Maths Specialist John went in search of hands-on, practical, discussion promoting maths resources for KS2. Initially, he set out to create his own packs to share with Key Stage 2, but the Propeller Cracking Concepts kits had already done it for him.

“I came across these Cracking Concepts trays which were fantastic because they basically contained maths in a box!”

John and Andrea came across our Spintelligence and Cracking Concepts kits and rolled them out throughout the school at Key Stage 2 and haven’t looked back.

“The games from Propeller have been a highly engaging, enjoyable, interesting experience that you’ll really enjoy.”

Winning elements for St Richard’s were how compact the kits have been – they come in boxes that are easily stored, but every box contains an array of mathematics that caters for all abilities and all styles of learning.

St Richard’s have a pupil premium of very close to 50%, but those pupils perform just as well as their non-pupil premium students, so the standards and expectations of all pupils are high, so having resources that cater to all has been beneficial.

As they initially set out, the packs have engaged the students in maths in a way that’s not always considered by them to be learning. Classroom teacher Andrea has said that her class sees the resources as a ‘fun activity’ that has promoted quickfire and mental arithmetic but has also helped maths learning and revision become fun and non-threatening.

“We get fantastic results here,” says co-head John, “but as I say, it’s good to have a dimension that adds something in a creative way.”

Well over a year on since we first met St Richard’s, we’ve seen that the students now create their own Spinner games that build on what they’re doing with the Propeller kits.

Want to try your own sets?