Four Masters National School
Improvement Plan for Maths.
June 19th 2013
Summary of main strengths as identified in School Self Evaluation.
• Pupils, parents and staff have very positive attitudes towards teaching and learning in Maths. (81% of pupils said they liked Maths; 86% of parents said they believed their children liked Maths and 100% of teachers said they enjoyed teaching Maths).
• The Maths attainments of our pupils on standardised tests administered over the past three school years are well above the national average and results are improving year on year over the last three years.
• Staff are using modern technologies e.g. interactive white board more and more in their teaching of Maths.
Summary of main areas requiring improvement as identified in School Self Evaluation – June 2013.
• The problem solving skills of the pupils need to be improved.
• School/parent communication regarding teaching and learning in Maths needs to be improved.
• A more unified approach regarding Maths language and methodologies used in teaching of Maths need to be adopted.
• Differentiation for more able pupils needs to happen more effectively.
• 36% of our pupils find Maths problems difficult. In year one we will endeavour to reduce this by 5%; in year two by 10% and in year three by 15%.
• 39% of our parents were either undecided or unhappy about the level of information they are currently receiving from the school regarding their child’s work/progress in Maths. We will endeavour to reduce this percentage by 5% in year one; by 10% in year two and by 15% in year three.
• 36% of staff were not confident that they develop their pupils problem solving skills adequately. We will strive to reduce this percentage by 5% in year one; 10 % in year two and 15% in year three.
• 55% of teachers were unhappy with how they cater for pupils with very good mathematical ability. We will strive to bring this percentage down by at least 5% annually over the next three years.
Actions and Staff Responsible for same.
• All teachers i.e. mainstream and Special Education Needs will spend more time on Maths problems and strategies for solving problems.
• Extra resources e.g. Brainsnack, will be purchased to help in this area – Principal will purchase these.
• Maths classes will involve lots of practical activities e.g. shopping, baking, Maths trails, orienteering etc. – Mainstream and Special Education Needs teachers will be responsible for these initiatives.
• In-service will be sourced and provided for staff in the areas of teaching problem solving and differentiating especially for the very mathematically able pupils, who are not currently being well catered for. Principal will organize this in-service and it will be mandatory for all teaching staff to attend it.
• A “Common Mathematical Language Booklet” will be produced by staff for use in school – all staff will be involved in compilation of same.
• Parents will be given a brief written outline of their child’s programme in Maths at start of school year with some helpful hints on how they may help children at home. All pupils will have a journal which parents and teachers will use to stay in touch with each other regarding child’s progress or lack of same. Mainstream teachers will take responsibility for these initiatives.
• A Notice Board along schools’ main corridor will be used to encourage pupils to persevere with Maths problem solving skills – problems for Infants; First and Second; Third – Sixth will be put on board each Monday and there will be prizes for winners each Friday. Mainstream teaches and the principal will be responsible for this board.
Timeframe for actions:
• Some of these actions have begun already i.e. the Maths Notice Board along main corridor; the giving of extra time in Maths classes to developing problem solving skills; the development of common Maths language and methodologies. The in-service will take place early in the 2013/14 school year. Parents will receive a summary of the programme of work in Maths for their children early in September 13th for the 13/14 school year. Each child will have a journal from September 2013, which will be used for communication between school and home regarding Maths, among other things.
Success Criteria / measurable outcomes:
• When the problem solving section of the standardised tests of 2013 are compared with the same section of the 2014 tests it is hoped that problem solving skills have improved significantly – at least by 5% overall.
• Parents will be surveyed again at end of 2013/14 school year to check is there an increase in the percentage who are happy with home /school communication regarding Maths.
• Teachers will be surveyed again to find out if there is an improvement in their confidence regarding teaching of problem solving and the differentiation they provide for pupils with high ability in Maths.
Review Date: June 2014