School Self-Evaluation 2015 – Numeracy

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