Numeracy Plan

School Self Evaluation Report

Introduction

Focus

A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in St. Mel’s college was undertaken throughout the academic year of 2014-2015.  During the evaluation maths and how the teaching and learning in all other subjects support the acquisition of numeracy skills in 1st years were reviewed.

Report on the findings of the evaluation.

School context.

This is a diocesan boy’s school with 450 students.  Set in the town of Longford.  The school has an excellent tradition of school development.  We provide a Transition Year Programme together with the Junior and Leaving Certificate programme.

Learner Outcomes (Diagnostic Tests)

A cognitive ability test (CAT4) was administered to all first year students and the results of the cohort group were better than the national norms in the following categories

Very low

Below average “upper rage”

Average

A first year maths competency test (PDST) was administered by the numeracy link teacher and maths department in March 2015 which identified Mastery in a range of specific skills with scope for improvement in other skills within the cohort group.

All subject Departments used the PDST tool for analysing results in the Leaving and Junior Certificate exams.

Junior Cert. uptake of Higher Level Maths is 50% compared with 54% nationally.

Leaving Cert. uptake at higher level is 38% better than 27% nationally.

Findings from first year attitudinal survey

  • 81% of students like maths
  • 64% say they will take higher level maths for junior certificate
  • 77% say they use maths in their everyday life
  • 59% said they use maths in other subjects.

Learning Experience

At a staff meeting the evaluation criteria in the SSE guidelines were scanned.

The following themes:

  1. Attainment of curriculum objectives
  2. Engagement in learning
  3. Teaching approaches

through the lens of numeracy were chosen for SSE.

The Numeracy committee designed a student questionnaire on attitudes to numeracy and engagement in learning.  This was administered to a sample of 74 students:

Findings: 

  • 86% learn by listening to the teacher
  • 73% feel that there is more than one way to work out a problem
  • 31% feel they understand maths better and improve their maths skills when they work it out with someone else (peers and or parents/guardians)
  • 11% enjoy playing Free-Rice maths
  • 45% enjoy Big Brain Academy or Nintendo
  • 27% of students estimate answers
  • 65% check their answers for mistakes
  • 49% of cohort group find words in maths difficult to understand.

Teacher Practices

The numeracy Committee designed and administered a Teacher Questionnaire on numeracy to all teachers.   16 response received from 29 teacher sample group.

Findings

  1. There is an awareness of numeracy amongst staff and they see themselves as having a role to play in developing numeracy skills.
  2. 56% of teachers like maths and understand the concept of numeracy
  3. 80% of teachers sometimes provide opportunities for group/pairs work for students when problem solving in their subject areas.
  4. 43% of teachers encourage students to link numeracy with everyday life examples.
  5. 14% of teachers always encourage students to estimate answers
  6. 73% always get their students to check their answers.
  7. However teachers do not believe that there is a whole school approach to numeracy or enough collaboration with maths department (7.1 % teachers agree)

Progress made on previously identified targets identified in the current SIP

Non Applicable for Year one as SIP not in place yet.

Summary of School Self Evaluation findings.

Our school has strengths in the following areas.

  • Students are preforming above national norms in CAT 4 diagnostic tests in the following categories.
  • Very Low
  • Below average
  • Average
  • 81% of students like maths and 64% believe that they will take higher level maths for Junior Cert.

First year cohort group

  • Perform exceptionally well in maths competency test in following areas
  • Computations
  • Operations
  • Decimals
  • Integers
  • Patterns and Sequences
  • Graph/Data Interpretation
  • Measure
  • 86% learn by listening to the teacher
  • There is an awareness of numeracy amongst the staff and the see themselves as having a role to play in developing numeracy skills.
  • Our school has fewer students taking foundation level maths at Junior Cert than the national norms (4% compared to 6% nationally)  In maths at Junior Cert level students receiving grades B at higher level and grades A and C at ordinary level are above than the national average.

The following areas are prioritised for improvement:

  • To increase the uptake of higher level maths at junior Certificate level.
  • To improve the students attainment at the top grades in both higher and ordinary level at junior cycle.
  • To ensure that first year students improve their competency in a range of mathematical concepts and operations identified by the maths competency test such as :
  • Problem solving
  • Understanding mathematical language
  • Fractions
  • Geometry and angles
  • Probability
  • Applied measure
  • Develop common approaches to mathematical operations and language across the curriculum
  • Embed a culture of estimate, calculate, and check across the curriculum.
  • Create a numeracy rich environment.

 

 

School Improvement Plan

St. Mel’s College.

Numeracy

  • All subject departments have analysed Junior Certificate and leaving Certificate results using the PDST tool and they are recorded in their respective subject department plans.
  • The CAT test and first Year Maths competency test were administered to all first year students and the results were collated

 

Summary

Main Strengths

Areas for Improvemnt

  • 81% students like maths
  • 64% said that they will take higher level maths for junior Certificate.
  • 77% said that they use maths in their everyday life
  • There is an awareness of numeracy amongst staff and they see themselves as playing a role in developing a role in developing numeracy skills.
  • Teachers are aware that problem solving is part of their subject and use problem solving strategy (ICT Puzzles).
  • Developing common approaches to mathematical operations and language across the curriculum.
  • Creating a numeracy rich environment ensuring first year students improve their competency in a range of mathematical concepts and operations identified by maths competency test such as
  • Problems solving
  • Mathematical language
  • Geometry and angles
  • Probability
  • Applied measure

Improvement Target 1

To increase the number of students taking Junior Certificate Higher level maths from  50% to 54% by May 2018  (next 3 years)

Required Actions

  • Mixed ability classes in maths to be maintained until end of first year.
  • In second year provide the following
    • Top honours group
    • 2 other honours groups
    • 1 ordinary level group
    • Traffic light system put in place to monitor borderline students
  • To administer 1st year maths competency test in September 2015 establish targets for 2015, cohort and review in May 2016.

Persons Responsible

  • Senior Management
  • Maths department
  • Resource teacher
  • 1st year maths teachers and numeracy link teacher.
  • Administer and corrected using google forms.

Success Criteria

  • Higher number of students opting to stay in higher level maths in second year.
  • Maths competency test to show students formal progression.

Time Frame For actions

  • Analysis of results in September 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Maths competing test administered to each incoming first year group.
  • Pre-test September 2015/16/17
  • Retest May 2016/17/18

Improvement Target 2

  • To increase the students awareness of the use of numeracy in all subjects from 59% to 69% over next 3 years (2016,2017,2018)

Required Actions

  • Staff collaboration to assess numeracy demands in their subjects and integrate numeracy into their lessons.
  • Acknowledge numeracy moment in class.
  • Develop common approach to language of numeracy.
  • Return class tests as mark convert to fraction and percentage.
  • Cultivate practice of estimate, calculate, check.
  • Develop common approach to calculator use.
  • Create a numeracy rich environment.

Persons Responsible

  • All Teachers
  • Numeracy link teachers together with Art and technology /woodwork department.

Success Criteria

  • Numeracy demands of subjects articulated in subject plans.
  • Decrease in Number of students who think the only need maths for maths class.
  • An increase in the number of students who think that all of their teachers like maths.
  • Improvement in the use of vocabulary assessed by observation topic/term tests.
  • Improvement observed by teacher in calculating results in topic tests.

Time Frame

  • Revise Subject plans 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Test at end of each topic each term each year 2016, 2017, 2018
  • At the end of each topic term test.
  • Maths week puzzle board, height board signs with distance, SALT graphs, clocks in each room.