Last Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

A Constructivist approach to improving numeracy - Hareleeshill Primary School

What is this?

​Cognitive Guided Instruction (CGI) is an approach to teaching mathematics which builds on a child’s own mathematical thinking as the basis for learning.

Who is this for?

​Headteachers, heads of department and class teachers in primary and early secondary.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice?

A career-long professional learning (CLPL) opportunity for staff who identified CGI as a possible approach to raise attainment in numeracy.

Improvement questions

  • Does the school’s strategic approach to improving numeracy enable a range of interventions to support all learners?
  • Is our current pedagogical approach the most effective to ensure excellence?
  • Is the approach to learning and teaching in numeracy consistent across the school?
  • Does the approach to learning and teaching in numeracy encourage independent thinking and depth of understanding?


Powerpoint file: A Constructivist approach to improving numeracy at Hareleeshill

Explore this exemplar

What was done?

Low levels of attainment in numeracy identified, particularly from P4 onwards. Significant commitment to CLPL. Whole school approach to CGI implemented. Approaches to learning and teaching changed. Impact evident in pedagogy, motivation and attainment
See headteacher powerpoint presentation above.


Self-evaluation and use of data in numeracy attainment indicated progress after primary 3 was unsatisfactory and the school decided to adopt a whole school pedagogical approach which would lead to transformational change.

What was the impact?

A whole-school approach to improving learning and attainment in numeracy which impacted positively on children’s confidence. Professional learning across the school changed pedagogy and increased teachers knowledge and understanding. This changed the way children approached their learning in numeracy. Levels of attainment significantly improved.