SAMSON - Based on a wealth of experience
I have been teaching in Primary Schools for over 25 years and almost 20 in a large school in Dumfries and Galloway with around 390 pupils.
I have taught in Primary 7 for over ten years but in my role as Depute Head, I have also been able to work alongside teachers across the school.
SAMSON was a response to the apparent fall in numeracy standards as outlined by the results from the Scottish Survey of Numeracy.
It was first trialled in Primary 7 and then Primary 6. In the last two years it has been developed and tried out in Primary 4 and 5. The programme is now complete from P1 to P7.
The aim with SAMSON was to create a structured and systematic programme for maths that could work in any school and that any teacher could deliver with minimal preparation for maximum impact on learning.
The key to its success is not so much what is taught but how you teach it. There are no gimmicks and things are kept simple so as not to confuse children. SAMSON provides the opportunity for all teachers to develop an interactive teaching style that is backed up by questioning and discussion with the children. It also gives all children the opportunity to succeed and will be a valuable resource in trying to raise attainment while closing the gap between the higher and lower achievers within any class, school or cluster. The results prove that it works and because of this I felt it was time to make it available to all schools.
I hope you enjoy using SAMSON and that it will help you and your pupils develop the same levels of improvement and motivation in numeracy as I have noted in my experience.
Managing Director, Strong Maths
Make a change with Samson
SAMSON goes against which hasn’t worked in the past: it focuses on science of learning techniques with depth rather than coverage, interactive learning rather than active learning involving explicit teacher instruction, the best and most efficient ways rather than multiple methods, children demonstrating understanding and explaining thinking and plays the long game with emphasis on practice over differentiation.
SAMSON offers the chance to do things differently, to do things a bit smarter and a bit better. Real change means a change of emphasis and mind set. SAMSON is like the ‘Jolly Phonics’ of maths – but this time not just for P1 - specific skills are broken down until they are mastered - all the way to P7.
SAMSON decides what is important – the key mental techniques and strategies across the four processes which will underpin children’s work in all areas of maths. It lays the mental foundations worth learning and all parts of the resource come together in a powerful way.
We all want children to love maths and be good at it. We want them to be creative thinkers and problem solvers: children do like solving problems… but they like solving problems that they have the knowledge to handle. To think and solve these problems – they need to know - that means stores of mathematical knowledge built into long term memory. The cognitive science techniques and SAMSON approach will underpin all critical thinking.
It is almost impossible to get a full school of happy delighted children that love maths - but – we can make them brilliant at it and very numerate – ALL of them. Then long term motivation really kicks in – success breeds success and they want to do more. It does mean an emphasis on more practice, less differentiation: poorer children just need more teaching, more time, more practice. It means thinking long term – not short term: give ALL children the same chance and play the long game: it can take years of practice not just weeks or months.
SAMSON provides depth and fun and (inter) active learning. Finally teachers have a fun to teach and easy to deliver planned out resource at their fingertips which is guaranteed to have a huge impact on all children. And - unlike other resources, it is evidence based. It works!