Old Bawn Community School

Pobalscoil Lios na Coille

Believe and Achieve

SSE

Numeracy Report 2018

Numeracy Self Evaluation Progress Report: May 2018

Baseline data gathered:
All students were asked to complete a numeracy competency test as part of their entrance exam. From this cohort, a random sample of 30 students were selected. The results from these thirty students were used to form baseline data.

Interventions:
o The length of time spent teaching fractions, decimals and percentages in first year was extended.
o As a whole school activity, all teachers were asked to leave the results from all tests in fractional form, students were to do the conversion themselves using only the method outlined in the poster.
o All teachers asked to stop using confusing terminology when addressing numerical problems in class such as cancelling and cross multiplying.
o As a whole school activity, all teachers asked to create a graph relating to their subject in December, and refer to the SALT poster when creating the graph. Additionally, refer to the SALT poster whenever drawing graphs in class.
o A photo-competition run among first years to highlight the everyday need to be numerate.

Results:
o The three areas focused on this year were fractions, graphing and attitudes to numeracy.
o The interventions to address student difficulties were substantial. However, while some progress was made, the desired target of improving by 20% on our baseline figure was not reached.
o The interventions made to improve graphing skills were very successful, and resulted in a 200% increase in the percentage of students able to draw a graph correctly, and accurately apply SALT.
o The interventions to improve attitudes to numeracy had limited success, and we did not reach our target improvement of 15% on baseline data.

Review and reflections:
o By extending the time given to teach fractions, students were only receiving more of the same style of teaching that they had already experienced. A new set of lessons, which respected what was taught in primary school is to be rolled out next September, which will begin with a ‘lesson study’ lesson.
o Although all teachers were asked to leave tests as fractions and to avoid terms such as cancelling, a survey of staff in May indicated that this strategy was inconsistently implemented. This indicated that there is a need for constant reminders to be issued to staff to ensure school wide implementation. This will be addressed more consistently next year by ensuring that staff are reminded at every staff meeting.
o Asking all staff to create an opportunity for students to draw a graph in December did not work as a strategy. Next year, staff will be asked to identify an opportunity as some stage in the year where first year students will be asked to draw a graph.
o A survey of staff indicated that the application of SALT by those teachers who were creating graphs was very much done on a whole school level. This high level of participation by staff for this strategy was reflected in the dramatic improvement of first year graphing skills.
o These areas are of ongoing concern (as indicated by the testing of incoming first years at the school entrance exam), and will be addressed again next year.

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