School Improvement Plan, Numeracy 2014-16

School Improvement Plan, 2014-2016

Numeracy

Aim of Plan: To provide every pupil in our school, consistent with their stage of development, with the knowledge and skills in Mathematics, which they will be able to apply in everyday life.

Baseline Data:

  • Quantitative data on pupils’ attainments in Mathematics has been gathered for many years, and it is analysed on a yearly basis. Pupils’ performance in the Drumcondra Tests is tracked from 1st Class
Drumcondra Maths Results 6th 5th 4th 3rd 
  51-99 percentile 51-99 percentile 51-99 percentile 51-99 percentile
2012 54% 42% 53% 70%
2013 68% 64% 54% 76%
2014 67% 59% 76% 74%
2015 65% 76% 72% 76%

The four years which are displayed above are used to illustrate the impact which a team teaching initiative had from 2013 onwards.

Drumcondra Mathematics Results, 2014

Percentile Range 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Total %
91-99 11 6 12 16 13 12 70 24.9%
81-90 8 7 9 6 6 9 45 16%
71-80 8 7 7 9 4 5 40 14.2%
61-70 6 2 1 6 3 6 24 8.5%
51-60 2 3 6 2 1 2 16 5.7%
41-50 3 2 1 2 4 4 16 5.7%
31-40 2 7 3 3 1 3 19 6.8%
21-30 2 1 2 4 6 3 18 6.4%
11-20 1 2 3 2 3 4 15 5.3%
1-10 4 2 3 1 5 3 18 6.4%
Totals 47 39 47 51 46 51 281

 

When the results for the Drumcondra Maths Tests of 2014 are evaluated, it is noticeable that practically 25% of our pupils are in the 91st– 99th percentile range.    

 

Content Analysis

The Drumcondra results for 2014 were the subject of a detailed content analysis, and the following information was gleaned.

6th Classes

Strengths

  • Addition, 3D shapes, Number Theory, Rules and Properties

Areas requiring development

  • Variables, Division, Representation and Interpretation

5th Classes

Strengths

  • 3d Shapes, place value and money

Areas requiring development

  • Capacity, rules and properties, decimals and percentages

4th Classes

Strengths

  • Subtraction, number sentences, 3D shapes, area


 

Areas requiring development

  • Capacity, Decimals

3rd Classes

Strengths

  • Decimals, place value

Areas requiring development

  • Length, lines and angles, multiplication

2nd Classes

Strengths

  • Number patterns and ordering

Areas requiring development

  • Money, capacity, time, lines and angles

1st Classes

Strengths

  • Numeration, money

Areas requiring development

  • Weight, capacity, addition and subtraction

A review of teaching and learning in Mathematics was initiated at a Staff Meeting in March 2014, and this was followed up with a questionnaire which was distributed to every teacher on the staff. Focus meetings were organised by the Link Teacher for Mathematics, and the information from the questionnaires was tabulated on a cohort by cohort basis. A detailed analysis was then undertaken to ascertain strengths and areas requiring development.

Strengths

Our school has strengths in the following areas with regard to Numeracy

  • Teachers’ planning is based on the Mathematics curriculum and on the school Mathematics plan
  • There is not an over-reliance on textbooks for the teaching of Mathematics
  • There is significant co-operation among the class teachers and resource teachers with regard to the teaching of Mathematics
  • The pupils’ attainments in Mathematics compare very favourably with national norms
  • Team-teaching has been very successful in supporting a differentiated approach to teaching and learning
  • Adequate time is allocated to the teaching of each strand of the Mathematics curriculum
  • Talk and discussion are integral aspects of the Mathematics programme
  • Specific time is allocated to Mental Mathematics
  • There is a reasonable supply of resources for the teaching of Mathematics
  • ICT is used effectively to support teaching and learning
  • Assessment policy is very effective
  • The results of assessment are used to inform planning and teaching

Areas identified for Improvement and Development

  • Draw up an agreed list of mathematical language and terms
  • Place a greater emphasis on pupils being able to discuss the manner in which they arrived at answers
  • Increase the amount of concrete materials and other resources which are available for Mathematics
  • Provide an inventory of the resources which are available for the teaching of Mathematics
  • Increase emphasis on application of Mathematics to everyday life
  • Provide an agreed strategy for problem-solving
  • Make greater use of the school environment in the teaching of Mathematics
  • Make increased use of ICT
  • Provide more opportunities for children of exceptional ability in Mathematics
  • Prepare information for parents with regard to methodologies in Mathematics

Targets

  • To improve the scores on the practical elements of the Drumcondra Mathematics tests by at least 5% in 2015 and to maintain this improvement for the following two years
  • To develop a whole-school approach to problem-solving
  • To develop a whole-school approach to the use of Mathematical language
  • To provide information for parents with regard to methodologies used in the teaching of Mathematics


 

Action Plan, 2014-16

Actions Person(s) Responsible Resources Time-frame Review
·         Draw up an agreed list of Mathematical language and terms. Posters to be placed in each classroom All teachers ·          Teacher discussion·          Maths books which are being used in school

·          PDST website

·         NCCA website

·         Curriculum Handbooks

1st Term of 2014-15 school year P
·         Increase emphasis on application of Mathematics to everyday life All teachers ·          Teacher discussion·          Maths books which are being used in school

·          PDST website

·          NCCA website

·          Curriculum Handbooks

2014-15 P
·         Provide an agreed strategy for problem-solving All teachers ·          PDST material·          Teacher discussion

·          Posters to be prepared

·          Problem-solving material from Prim-Ed

1st term of 2014-15 school year P
·         Place a greater emphasis on pupils being able to discuss the manner in which they arrived at answers All teachers   2014-15 P
·         Make greater use of the school environment in the teaching of Mathematics All teachers ·          Teacher discussion·          Maths books which are being used in school

·          PDST website

·         NCCA website

·          Curriculum Handbooks

2014-15 P
·         Design Mathematical trails Co-ordinated by Link Teacher for Mathematics ·          Teacher discussion·          Maths books which are being used in school

·          PDST website

·         NCCA website

·          Curriculum Handbooks

2nd term of 2014-15 P
·         Make increased use of ICT All teachers ·          Feasibility study with regard to Mathletics 2nd term of 2014-15 P
·         Prepare information booklet for parents with regard to methodologies in Mathematics Principal ·          PDST website·          NCCA website 2014-15 P
·         Provide information for parents with regard to advice which is available from NCCA and PDST Principal ·          PDST website·          NCCA website 2014-15 P
·         Increase the amount of concrete materials and other resources which are available for Mathematics All teachers, but  co-ordinated by Principal ·          Numicon 1st term of 2014-15 P
·         Provide an inventory of the resources which are available for the teaching of Mathematics Link Teacher for Mathematics 1st term of 2014-15 P
·         Give more opportunities for children to learn from each other All teachers ·          Maths for Fun 2014-15 P
·         Provide more opportunities for children of exceptional ability in Mathematics All teachers ·          Brain Snack·          Mathletics

 

2014-15 P
·         Increase the opportunities for children to display their Mathematical work in classrooms, on corridors and on website All teachers ·          Posters 2014-15 P
·         Undertake content analysis of the results in Drumcondra Tests Principal and Deputy Principal   3rd term of 2014-15 P
·         Re-visit advice on methods of teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction of fractions and time All teachers ·          Teacher discussion·          PDST website

·         NCCA website

·          Curriculum Handbooks

·          Evaluate new series of Maths Books with a view to changing series in 2016-17

2015-16
·         Devise an agreed approach for the teaching of number facts All teachers ·          Teacher discussion·          Maths books which are being used in school

·          PDST website

·         NCCA website

·          Curriculum Handbooks

2015-16
·         Evaluate the Mathematics series which are being published by Irish companies All teachers 2015-16
·         Increase the number of practical Mathematics weeks All teachers 2015-16
·         Include module on money as one of the practical Maths weeks All teachers 2015-16
·         Undertake content analysis of the results of the Drumcondra Tests Principal and Deputy Principal 3rd Term, 2015-16
·         Circulate questionnaires to pupils to ascertain attitudes to Mathematics Link teacher and pupils 2015-16
·         Circulate questionnaires to teachers to ascertain effectiveness of practical Mathematics initiatives All Teachers 2015-16
·         Circulate questionnaires to parents to attitudes to teaching and learning in Mathematics in the school Parents 2015-16

 Monitoring and Review

  • Teachers’ observations will be noted and discussed at staff meetings and at meetings of focus groups
  • Specific time will be allocated at staff meeting and meetings of focus groups so that progress on Numeracy initiatives may be reviewed
  • Professional Reflection and Teaching Approaches sections of Cuntaisi Mhiosula will be used as a means of monitoring effectiveness of initiatives
  • Volunteers will be sought to engage in continuing professional development programmes
  • Pupils’ feedback will be sought by means of questionnaires
  • Parental feedback will be sought by means of questionnaires and parent/teacher meetings
  • Drumcondra Test Results will be analysed in June 2015 and used to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiatives undertaken in 2014-15
  • Drumcondra Test Results will be analysed in June 2016 and used to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiatives undertaken in 2015-16

Evaluation

  • Using baseline data from 2014, teachers’ observations at the end of 2016 will be compared and contrasted
  • The results of the Drumcondra tests will be tracked over the three year duration of the Numeracy Strategy
  • Parental feedback will be collated and analysed
  • Pupil questionnaires will be collated and analysed

Report on School Self-Evaluation Programme in Numeracy, 2014-15

This report sets out to provide details of the initiatives which were undertaken and the results which were achieved during the first year of the School Self-Evaluation Programme in Numeracy. The aim of the programme was “to provide every pupil in our school, consistent with their stage of development, with the knowledge and skills in Mathematics, which they will be able to apply in everyday life”.

Activities which were undertaken during 2014-15 with specific reference to Mathematics in the school.

  • Six teachers completed the Numicon course
  • The Link Teacher attended 3 in-service days and circulated the information relating to the courses which she attended
  • The teaching of Mathematics was discussed at each staff meeting
  • A staff meeting on 12 January 2015 was dedicated specifically to a review of the extent to which the objectives of the programme had been attained at that point
  • There were five practical Mathematics weeks during the course of the school year
  • An agreed list of Mathematical language and terms was drawn up.
  • There was an increased emphasis on application of Mathematics to everyday life
  • A strategy for problem-solving was agreed – RUDE
  • A greater emphasis was placed on pupils being able to discuss the manner in which they arrived at answers
  • Greater use was made of the school environment in the teaching of Mathematics
  • Mathematical trails were designed for each cohort
  • Increased use was made of ICT – Mathletics program purchased and used by 297 pupils
  • An information booklet for parents with regard to methodologies in Mathematics was drafted and uploaded to school website
  • Information for parents with regard to advice on helping children with Mathematics which is available from NCCA and PDST was uploaded to the school website
  • The amount of concrete materials and other resources which are available for Mathematics was increased
  • A new storage area for Mathematical resources was provided
  • An inventory of the resources which are available for the teaching of Mathematics was prepared
  • Children were given more opportunities to learn from each other
  • More opportunities for children of exceptional ability in Mathematics were provided – some pupils were accepted by the Centre for Talented Youth in DCU
  • Opportunities for children to display their Mathematical work in classrooms, on corridors and on website were increased
  • The Link Teacher co-ordinated an evaluation of a number of new Mathematics series
  • A content analysis of the results in Drumcondra Tests was undertaken in June

Drumcondra Mathematics Results, 2015          Drumcondra Mathematics Results, 2014

Percentile Range 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Total %
91-99 14 10 13 11 14 12 74 27%
81-90 11 7 7 10 10 4 49 18%
71-80 6 5 2 4 3 3 23 8%
61-70 4 5 4 5 6 5 29 10%
51-60 5 6 2 3 4 4 24 9%
41-50 2 2 2 2 2 3 13 5%
31-40 3 2 1 3 4 2 15 5%
21-30 4 2 3 5 3 2 19 7%
11-20 2 2 0 2 2 0 8 3%
1-10 4 6 3 1 1 8 23 8%
Totals 55 47 37 46 49 43 277
Percentile Range 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Total %
91-99 11 6 12 16 13 12 70 24.9%
81-90 8 7 9 6 6 9 45 16%
71-80 8 7 7 9 4 5 40 14.2%
61-70 6 2 1 6 3 6 24 8.5%
51-60 2 3 6 2 1 2 16 5.7%
41-50 3 2 1 2 4 4 16 5.7%
31-40 2 7 3 3 1 3 19 6.8%
21-30 2 1 2 4 6 3 18 6.4%
11-20 1 2 3 2 3 4 15 5.3%
1-10 4 2 3 1 5 3 18 6.4%
Totals 47 39 47 51 46 51 281

 In 2014, there were 69% of the pupils between the 51st and the 99th percentile. In 2015, there were 72% of the pupils between the 51st and the 99th percentile.  For the past number of years, there has been a team teaching initiative for pupils in 3rd to 6th Class inclusive, and an examination of the figures for these pupils shows its continuing effectiveness.

 

Drumcondra Maths Results 6th 5th 4th 3rd 
  51-99 percentile 51-99 percentile 51-99 percentile 51-99 percentile
2015 65% 76% 72% 76%

 Comments in Whole School Evaluation Report[1] re Mathematics in the school

  • The quality of teaching and learning in Mathematics is very good
  • Teachers make very effective and creative use of resources
  • Pupils are provided with varied opportunities to engage in hands on activities
  • There is very good provision for connecting mathematical content to the life experience of the pupils
  • It is recommended that ability grouping be used judiciously and reviewed regularly

In the light of the above comment with regard to ability grouping, this issue was discussed at the meeting with the Inspectors, and it was also addressed at a subsequent staff meeting. It was agreed to undertake a blend of ability grouping and mixed-ability teaching. Practical Mathematics lessons were organised with mixed ability grouping for pupils in 3rd to 6th Classes inclusive. There is already mixed ability grouping in Junior Infants to 2nd Class. Five weeks interspersed throughout the school year were allocated to these activities, and the topics undertaken were Length, Weight, Capacity, Fractions, Decimals, Percentages, Data and Representation.

Content Analysis of Results of Drumcondra Tests, 2015

6th Classes

Strengths

  • Addition
  • Place Value
  • 3D shapes 

Areas to be addressed in 2015

  • Money
  • Time
  • Variables
  • 2 –D shapes
  • Representation and Data

With specific reference to the initiatives which were undertaken with practical Mathematical activities, the overall performance by each class can be compared with their results in the targeted areas from the previous year.

 

  Sixth Fifth Difference Sixth Sixth Difference
  2015 2014   2015 2014  
Capacity 57% 49% 8% 57% 65% -8%
Length 66% 62% 4% 66% 60% 6%
Weight 66% 60% 6% 66% 64% 2%
Data and Representation 48% 61% -12% 48% 47% 1%
Area 60% 62% 2% 66% 64% 2%

In view of the fact that comparisons are being made on the basis of two different sets of test items which do not necessarily have the same indices of difficulty, and also between two different cohorts, the following conclusions are being advanced very tentatively:

  • Results in items on capacity, length, weight and area have improved
  • There was a dis-improvement in the items on data and representation over the two years
  • There was a slight improvement in the items on data and representation when the two Sixth Classes are compared between 2014 and 2015

 5th Classes

Strengths

 3D shapes

  • Place value
  • Weight
  • Equations

Areas for attention in 2015-16

  • Directed numbers

 

  Fifth Fourth Difference Fifth Fourth Difference
  2015 2014   2015 2014  
Capacity 56% 52% 4% 56% 49% 7%
Length 65% 58% 7% 65% 62% 3%
Weight 76% 64% 12% 76% 60% 16%
Data and Representation 62% 74% -12% 62% 61% 1%
Area 69% 74% -5% 69% 62% 7%

  Comments

  • Improvements are noted in capacity, length and weight
  • Dis-improvement in data and representation and area, but a slight improvement when compared with previous year’s cohort

4th Classes

Strengths

  • 3D shapes
  • Chance
  • Place value
  • Symmetry
  • Subtraction
  • Data and representation

Areas for attention in 2015-16

  • Capacity
  • Decimals (Level of demand of test items in decimals appears to have increased appreciably because there is no other explanation for the significant dis-improvement in this section of the Mathematics course. This is the second year in a row that difficulties have been highlighted with regard to decimals at this class level)
  • Money
  • Number patterns
  • Multiplication

 

  Fourth Third Difference Fourth Fourth Difference
  2015 2014   2015 2014  
Capacity 51% 56% -5% 51% 52% -1%
Length 59% 59% 59% 58% 1%
Weight 60% 64% -4% 60% 64% -4%
Data and Representation 69% 52% 17% 69% 74% -5%
Area 66% 66% 66% 74% -8%

 Comments

  • Scores in length, area and data remain the same or have improved slightly

Third Classes

Strengths

  • Data and Representation
  • Symmetry

Areas for attention in 2015-2016

  • Capacity
  • Lines and Angles
  • Money

 

  Third Second Difference Third Third Difference
  2015 2014   2015 2014  
Capacity 52% 33% 19% 52% 56% -4%
Length 62% 58% 4% 62% 59% -3%
Weight 67% 46% 19% 67% 64% 3%
Data and Representation 54% 55% -1% 54% 52% 2%
Area 63% 84% -21% 63% 65% -2%

 Comments

  • Practical work in Mathematics has borne fruit. Improvements noted in Capacity, Length and Weight.
  • Significant dis-improvement in items on area

Second Classes

Strengths

  • Area
  • Ordering numbers

Areas for attention in 2015-16

  • Capacity
  • Money
  • Sequences
  • Interpreting Data

 

  Second First Difference Second Second Difference
  2015 2014   2015 2014  
Capacity 38% 48% -10% 38% 35% 3%
Length 70% 53% 17% 70% 58% 12%
Weight 51% 53% -2% 51% 46% 5%
Data and Representation 49% 63% -14% 49% 55% -6%
Area 88% 88% 84% 4%

Comments

There is no overall pattern to the results for this cohort. Some of the targeted areas appear to have improved while there appear to have been dis-improvements in other areas.

 

First Class

Strengths

  • Odd and Even
  • Numeration

Areas for attention on 2015-16

  • Time
  • Capacity
  • Calendar
  • Weight
  • Addition
  2015 2014  Difference
Capacity 48% 48% 0%
Data 58% 63% -5%
Length 59% 53% 6%
Weight 50% 53% -3%

Comment

This is the first formal test situation for this cohort. The results in Mathematics show that 73% of the pupils are between the 51st and the 99th percentiles. The results are broadly similar to 2014 when 74% of the pupils in First Class scored between the 51st and the 99th percentiles, but appreciably better than 2013 when only 47% of the pupils in First Class were between the 51st and 99th percentiles. The challenge therefore is to maintain or improve on these results.

Overall recommendations

  • Increase the number of practical Mathematics weeks
  • Organise practical week on data and representation prior to the Drumcondra tests
  • Allocate a practical week to money and time
  • Increase the amount of time given to working on decimals (4th Class)

 [1] Whole School Evaluation Report, 2 October 2014