Numeracy 2015 – 2018, Report (June 2015)
The focus of the evaluation in school context:
As part of our ongoing work in the school, we conducted a school self evaluation of teaching and learning in Mathematics this year. The school received a very positive Whole School Evaluation Report in January 2013. The quality of teaching, learning and pupil achievement in Mathematics was described as “Commendable”. The focus of the schools self evaluation is to sustain and build on the high levels of teaching and learning outlined in this report.
This document is a summary of our findings.
1.2 School Context:
St. Laurence`s N.S. is a rural, mixed primary school under Catholic Patronage. There are currently 318 pupils, (174 boys and 144 girls) twelve mainstream class teachers, an administrative principal, two resource teachers and two learning support teachers, along with a part time learning support teacher, clustered with Kilmead N.S. We have one S.N.A. who caters for the needs of a resource pupil also. There is a strong parental support for teaching and learning, a factor that is acknowledged as having a positive effect on pupil attainment levels and on pupil’s attitudes to learning and this was noted on our W.S.E. Report. The school administers Sigma – T Standardised tests in Mathematics, from 1st – 6th class yearly.
- The Findings:
As detailed in our 3 year Plan, data was generated on the basis of quantative and qualitative inquiry. Evidence of pupil performance in, and perception of Maths, is based on both standardised test results and pupil/parent questionnaires. We also used teacher observation, reflection and questionnaires.
Summary of main areas requiring improvement as identified by S.S.E.:
- The area of Problem Solving was identified as an area for improvement across all standards.
- Teacher observations and teacher designed tasks and tests highlighted problem solving as an area for development.
- Questionnaires were administered to pupils from 2nd -6th classes, to gauge the children’s opinions on problem solving. This highlighted that while they enjoyed problem solving mostly, they were confused about the process and both pupils and parents expressed a wish for more practice in the area of problem solving and to understand the strategies being used in the school.
- Sigma T results analysed using the PDST analysis tool. Staff discussions / analysis of results followed. It was shown that pupils performed least well in the area of problem solving.
S.S.E.: Staff – Review in 2014 – 2015 identified the following:
Current Practice in Problem Solving
- Children are encouraged to listen to the views of others when solving problems and to accept the reasoning of others in order to solve problems co-operatively. (Constructivist approach)
- Opportunities to develop problem solving in a cross curricular way.
- Concrete work – pictorial work – Abstract
- Progress made in previously identified targets:
N/A, as this is the first year of the process.
- Summary of School Self Evaluation findings.
- Attainment levels in Numeracy are above national norms.
- The quality of teaching, learning and pupils achievements in Mathematics was described as “Commendable” in recent W.S.E. (January 2013)
- Pupils display very positive attitudes towards all aspects of numeracy.
- Mental Maths forms part of every maths Lesson.
- Teaching Approaches: a variety of strategies used to cater for differentiation, both for extension and reinforcement.
- Reporting / Communication with Parents:
- For several years, the school report cards have reflected the requirement of the standard report cards, suggested by the N.C.C.A. The passport Materials are being used in 6th class, for transfer of information to Post Primary Schools.
- Parents have also communicated their satisfaction with seeking clarification from teachers, when and if they feel it necessary.
- “Tips for Maths” sent home at regular intervals, to all class groupings.
o The model of support teaching offered is regularly reviewed in light of changing pupil needs.
4.2 Areas for Improvement:
- The area of problem solving was identified as an area for improvement across all standards.
- To create a culture and practice of Mathematical problem solving in our school.
“A Process, not a Product”
- To develop a whole school approach to problem solving through problem solving strategies, chosen at different class levels – pupils will be encouraged / enabled to discuss and listen to the views of others when solving mathematical problems and understand the reasons behind each step in the process.
- To improve pupil performance by 4 – 5% in problem solving, in percentile class scores.
- To develop problem solving through the implementation of new strategies and methodologies with more emphasis on group work, concrete work and maths games in the teaching of numeracy.
- To support parents in their role as partners in education, in teaching and application of problem solving in Maths.
- To build up a bank of Resources in problem solving areas.
- To work with the P.D.S.T. Team in developing new methodologies which will enrich our teaching of problem solving.
4.3 The Following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be addressed
(See attached appendix)
Presented to the Board of Management:
Date: June 2015
Chairperson of B.O.M.
N.B. School Improvement Plan (2014-2017) for Numeracy for St. Laurence’s N.S. is available to view on our school website www.stlaurences.scoilnet.ie