Scoil Bhríde Primary School,
Killane, Edenderry, Co. Offaly.
School Roll No. 20267F
School Self-Evaluation Summary Report – Maths
Report Issue Date: 16th of June, 2014
Full Report is available upon request.
School Self- Evaluation Report Maths
School self-evaluation of teaching and learning is an ongoing process in Scoil Bhríde Primary School. Our focus for self-evaluation during the period February to June 2014 was Maths. This took place in the context of existing interventions in our Maths Strategy targeting language, mental maths and problem solving as well as a more skills based approach to Maths. A particular focus was placed on examining the area of time, under the strand of measures. After analysing results, questionnaires, interviews and feedback from teachers, parents and the children themselves, the topic of time was repeatedly mentioned as challenging.
Scoil Bhríde Primary School is a fully vertical, co-educational school under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. It is a mainstream school with 2 Special Pre-school Classes and 4 Primary School Classes for pupils with Autism.
We took this opportunity to examine the effectiveness of teaching and learning in numeracy in our school. We felt it was important to involve all partners in education which is why we surveyed parents, teachers and children and examined the data carefully in order to devise our self-evaluation report.
The findings from the various surveys and focus groups have been analysed separately and have been collated and reported in our School Self Evaluation Report. Here the key findings are summarised to provide a brief summary:
- Standardised Tests are showing a wide range of strengths as well as some areas for improvement across the area of Maths.
- Analysis of interviews, questionnaires and focus groups allowed us to come to the decision that we will focus on the area of time within the measures strand.
- All teachers consider their pupils to be competent at Maths
- The majority of parents perceive their child likes to do Maths. However, they often need to give help during Maths homework
- 30% of parents state they never need to help their child with his/her Maths homework and 54% felt their child is progressing well in Maths
- The majority of pupils reported they like Maths
- Children mentioned reasons for liking Maths as ‘fun, interesting, challenging, makes you think’.
- 33% of parents stated that difficulty in Maths has arisen in the strand unit of time
- 57% of pupils questioned stated they find the strand unit of time most difficult to understand.
- Teachers are happy with the standard of number formation and the neatness of written Maths work
- Teachers are unsure whether children see the functional significance of time in Maths
- Teachers feel we are lacking substantial and adequate resources for the teaching of time
- There is no standardised way of ruling/ organising Maths copies across the school
- Praise, rewards and motivational incentives are applied by teachers to promote progress
and interest in maths
- Children reported Maths to be more interesting and fun when they work in groups
and are active and they found it easier to comprehend Maths concepts when concrete
materials were used
- Language of Maths is standardised across the school through use of the new
devised Maths language guide available in every classroom
- Teachers feel we need more substantial and readily available Maths resources
for the teaching of time
- The last 2 days of every month is set for revision of Maths topics covered in that month.
Engagement in Learning
- Children enjoy Maths and engage in activities and tasks well
- Not all children are able to generalise and apply concepts outside of the classroom and not all children see the functional nature of Maths in the real world
- Parents could be more involved in their child’s learning of Maths
Learning to learn
- The majority of younger pupils in junior classes understood that Maths was about numbers and counting
- Older children see Maths as making calculations and understanding word problems
- Not many children linked Maths to areas of time
Attainment of Curriculum Objectives
- All Maths ‘time’ curriculum objectives are being targeted by teachers, however, not enough time is spent on the explicit teaching of the actual meaning of time
- There is a very strong emphasis on the teaching of number
- Efforts are being made to make links between Maths and other subjects
- Efforts are being made to integrate Maths informally throughout the school day
Preparation for Teaching
- All teachers prepare termly and fortnightly/weekly plans as appropriate and include Maths objectives
- Resources to support the teaching of time have been identified and are available to assist teachers in the preparation and delivery of lessons in the strand measures
- All staff have agreed to undertake CPD as part of the Numeracy Strategy
- Staff have agreed that a standardised approach to what we are actually teaching at every level in the area of time would benefit students
- Staff feel a larger supply of resources for the teaching of time would be useful
- Staff agreed that the teaching of time needs to be made purely functional and meaningful to the children to ensure generalisation and application in the real world
Management of Pupils
- No issues emerged relating to the management of pupils
- Standardised tests are administered in line with Department of Education Guidelines
- Teachers are using AoL and AfL
- The majority of teachers set written homework, however, this usually involves number computations
- Priority has been placed on the correction of pupils homework and written work
- Parents are consulted with regard to pupils progress
- Pupil records are kept and are easy to access and understand
- In class learning support is available
- Assessment information is analysed and used to inform decision making
Progress made on previously-identified improvement targets
- N/A as this is the first year of the process
Summary of school self-evaluation findings
Our School has strengths in the following areas:
- Very Curriculum focused
- Teachers attempt to make an effort to connect Maths to real life contexts
- Hard working, motivated teachers
- Teachers promoting ‘hands on’ learning
- Concrete materials used where possible and available
- Wide variety of methodologies used
- No writing in Maths books
- Wide variety of Maths text books used and not just one
- The incorporation of ‘A Problem a Day’ into the beginning of each Maths lesson
- The introduction of ‘Revision Days’ into the last 2 days of the month
- Use of Ready Set Maths in Infants classes
- Increased concrete materials since September
- Use of ICT in lessons
- Group work
- Children enjoy Maths
- Collaboration with Learning Support and Special Education Team
- Lessons made fun and interesting
- Teachers promote positive attitudes
- The Maths language guide ensures teachers are using the same language under each strand
The following areas are prioritised for improvement:
- Implement whole school approach to the teaching of time
> incremental approach over the different class levels
> specific language for each class level
> identify strategies and use across the whole school for the teaching of time
>teach the same way to rule copies to ensure that teaching time is not taken
from the organisational factors of ruling copies.
- 5-10 mins at the end of at least one maths time lesson to complete a maths task/ group activity/ brain buster/ challenge/ quiz based on the topic of time they are learning
- More monitoring and feedback to be given in copies
- Strict adherence to specific language per Maths strand for each class level
- In service – CPD for staff – on teaching of time (in particular digital)
- Increase the bank of resources
- Greater use of concrete resources, guided discovery and teacher designed hands on tasks
- Purpose of Maths to be made explicit to children
> Maths trails twice a year
> Maths tasks to be completed at home (e.g. what containers are 250g/ 1Litre/ what time did the news finish)
> Guest speakers for some class levels to explain how their job is very much linked to Maths (e.g. engineer, accountant, shop keeper)
> Maths projects (e.g. measuring a house to find the area for carpets)
> Maths week to include a trip to a location where the children will use their Maths skills (e.g. Tesco)
The following legislative and regulatory requirements were addressed.
- Teaching time allocated to Numeracy – teachers reported different time allocations to numeracy during our Teacher survey. A memo was delivered to each member of our teaching staff reminding them of timetable adjustments made in line with the National Numeracy Strategy. All staff were advised to ensure their timetables reflect the whole school approach to the timetabling of numeracy. The timing allocated and implemented for numeracy will need to be addressed in line with Circular (0056/2011).