2016 mathematics became whole school focus because results showed a gap between English and maths achievement. The first IR rounds supported this decision. Data indicated that there is a mismatch between the confidence of our students and their mathematical skill. Our kids love maths and think they are good at it, but NAPLAN results indicate a majority of our students in years 3 and 5 are not ‘Proficient’ in numeracy (they are not in the top 2 NAPLAN bands).
In 2017, TEN training K-2 was implemented to improve teacher understanding of the continuum of learning in mathematics and highlight the importance of establishing strong foundational skills in numeracy. Positive feedback from the teachers has seen a modified form TEN training being implemented with 3-6 teachers in 2018.
As a result of 2017 IR findings and recommendation the whole staff created a vision for mathematics at OGPS. We held a twilight session and asked our staff where to next? This process indicated that many of our teachers had the strong belief that students need the "basic skills" before they are able to/or given the opportunity to attempt working mathematical tasks. Therefore we changed the focus of our PL to collaboratively in stage teams design and implement tasks where students had to use mathematical reasoning. Teams shared their tasks and what they'd learnt from them at a whole school staff meeting. The purpose behind this was to show that our students ‘can do it’ if given the opportunity. As a result each stage now has a working mathematically focus.
In 2018 OGPS has been working with Anita Chin to strengthen staff understanding of the mathematics syllabus and the language of maths K-6. We want to understand how students progress from K to Year 6 -not just within a stage. This will lead to the development of a refined whole school scope and sequence.
Some questions that we are still considering are:
How do we get a balance between teaching the skills and providing opportunities for students to apply their skills in open ended problem solving situations?
How do we successfully incorporate working mathematically into the TEN framework?