Numeracy is one of the most important skills taught in Spa N.S. It is fundamental to every person’s ability to succeed in education, to gain fulfilling employment and to lead a satisfying and rewarding life. In Spa N.S. we view numeracy as much more than “arithmetic”. In Spa N.S, we believe numeracy should not be limited just to the ability to use numbers, to add, subtract, multiply and divide. We see numeracy as the ability to use mathematical understanding and skills to solve problems and meet the demands of day-to-day living in complex social settings. To have this ability, a young person needs to be able to think and communicate quantitatively, to make sense of data, to have a spatial awareness, to understand patterns and sequences, and to recognise situations where mathematical reasoning can be applied to solve problems.
From September 2013 to June 2014 the staff chose to focus on Numeracy in Spa N.S. for our school self-evaluation. We completed a self-evaluation report on literacy in May 2014 and devised a school improvement plan that was completed in June 2014.
Spa N.S’s main strengths in Numeracy (identified during S.S.E. process)
- tandardised Test and individual class test results highlight a very high standard of attainment in numeracy already in existence in Spa N.S.
- 85% of students between 1st and 6th classes scored greater than 51% in most recent standardised test.
- Teaching staff are eager and committed to further development of literacy standards in the school.
- Member of In School Management team has agreed to act as the numeracy link teacher
- There is good parental support for the further development of literacy standards in the school.
- Pupil & Parental Survey1) 87% of parents believe that their children liked mathematics.
2) 95% of parents believe that their child was ‘good’ at mathematics.
3) 85% of parents believe that their child could confidently explain the maths concepts they are doing in class to them.
4) 84% of pupils said that understood clearly how numeracy is being taught in class appropriate frequency.
5) 83% of pupils said that they liked mathematics.
6) 83% of students said that they did not need assistance when doing homework assignments in mathematics.
- Sufficient teaching time is allocated at every class for the teaching of mathematics. There is equal emphasis on all strands though some require more time than others.
- Spa N.S. has many organised initiatives to promote numeracy – maths week, maths challenges, maths trails and visits to different events.
- Teachers differentiate their lessons to cater for children with different needs.
- Talk & Discussion give pupils opportunities to explain answers for part of Maths lessons.
- IT is used to support Numeracy.
- Text books are carefully chosen. Commercial products are used with close reference to Curriculum Objectives
- Variety of Assessment tools used throughout the school.
- Results of assessments are used to inform teacher planning.
- Diagnostic and standardised tests administered.
- Strong emphasis on number bonds and tables in lower classes.
- Good efforts are made to relate mathematical concepts taught in lessons to everyday life.
- Mental Maths is encouraged across all strands and is an integral part of every lesson.
Areas for development / improvement. (identified during S.S.E. process)
- Review of yearly mathematics scheme for each class level.
- Review of whole school maths plan.
- Full review of existing resources. List of what is needed at each class level to be compiled and purchased.
- Review and agree on approaches to the teaching of four computational processes.
- Staff to compile a list of essential maths vocabulary for each class level. Each classroom to have a designated maths notice board and maths table to highlight & reinforce essential vocabulary. Class teachers to use the ‘word’, ‘shape’ and ‘number of the week’ approach to stimulate and assist ‘Talk and Discussion’ in mathematics.
- Organise visit from a PDST facilitator to discuss with staff the development of a whole school approach to problem solving.
- Fortnightly Problem Solving Whole School Time (40 mins approx) to explore use of non routine problems & contextualised problems orally, in written form and using concrete materials.
- All classes to make use of the following strategy. RUDE: (Read, Underline, Draw, Estimate) when dealing with problems. Teachers to use opportunities develop and to integrate problem solving skills & skills pertaining to the interpretation of data in all curricular areas
- Teachers to explore strategies to challenge more able students further in mathematics as opposed to asking them to complete more ‘book exercises’.
- Continue to develop the use of I.C.T. resources in facilitating numeracy.
- Creation of numeracy page on the school website with links to sound educational sites which promote and develop numeracy at all levels.
- Host two maths fun days in the school year to promote the ‘fun and challenging’ side to mathematics
Please note that copies of the School Self Evaluation Report in Numeracy 2014 and School Improvement Plan in Numeracy 2014 are available in the school secretary’s office.