Numeracy in Spa N.S.
In Spa N.S. we believe numeracy should not be limited just to the ability to use numbers, to add, subtract, multiply and divide. We see numeracy as the ability to use mathematical understanding and skills to solve problems and meet the demands of day-to-day living in complex social settings. We work to help students to think and communicate quantitatively, to make sense of data, to have a spatial awareness, to understand patterns and sequences, and to recognise situations where mathematical reasoning can be applied to solve problems.
School Self Evaluation
Numeracy in Spa N.S. has been reviewed as part of the school self-evaluation process. A self – evaluation report and school improvement plan for numeracy was completed. These are available upon request in the school secretary’s office.
Numeracy Support & Extension
In Spa N.S. our support education teachers are timetabled to work on numeracy in classes. A number of different approaches and methodologies are used to support and extend students depending on their ability. Sometimes staff ‘team teach’ in class to explain and reinforce a mathematical concept. At other times the ‘station teaching’ approach is used. As part of this programme, a class is divided into five groups and each group explores a different maths strand/challenge independently or with the help of a teacher before moving onto the next station. These approaches have proven hugely popular with our classes and children love experiencing teamwork involved in them.
In Spa N.S. Problem solving is a key priority in our Numeracy syllabus. We work to develop each student’s ability to analyse mathematical situations, to plan, monitor and evaluate solutions, to apply strategies and to demonstrate creativity and self-reliance in using mathematics. Students are given regular opportunities to tackle word problems, puzzles, games and to use I.C.T. to solve problems.
Number Bonds & Tables
In Spa N.S., a variety of activities are used to reinforce tables and number bonds to ensure students have a sound understanding of them.
We also highlight to our students the mathematics surrounding them in their environment as well as the mathematics they use in their everyday lives. One of the most successful and popular initiative employed by staff and students in Spa N.S. is the ‘Have you got Maths Eyes?’ project, a national initiative operating since 2011. Every year, students are encouraged to put on their ‘maths eyes’ and take photos of their school and wider community where they see mathematics at play. The pictures are collected and presented in slideshows and students can include problem solving questions based on the information in the photos
Spa N.S. is an active participant in the national ‘Maths week’ every year. The aim of Maths Week Ireland is to promote awareness, appreciation and understanding of maths through a variety of activities and to develop the fun side of mathematics Every October, staff decides with students on a number of different activities and challenges which they will focus on for that year. The school becomes a hub of mathematical activity with students getting to try their hands at a number of different activities, like maths quizzes, maths trails, class computation challenges, inter class problem solving challenges, participation in online challenges, visits to the problem solving centre in the school hall, riddles, puzzles, mental maths speed tests, maths vocabulary quizzes, visits to the local education centre as well as visits from maths experts to the school. Always a busy week but always lots of fun!
I.C.T. & Aistear
We are very fortunate in Spa N.S. to have an excellent I.C.T infrastructure which we can use to enhance and extend the delivery of the mathematics curriculum at every class level. All students will have regular opportunities to explore mathematical concepts using the promethean active panels and the school’s collection of I pads in their own classrooms as well as during their visits to the school I.C.T. resource room. ,
Aistear is a structured play programme where children develop skills and strategies for observing, questioning, investigating, understanding, negotiating, and problem-solving, and come to see themselves as explorers and thinkers. They also learn and make sense of the world around them and develop key Mathematical skills and concepts in doing so. Aistear has been implemented in junior classes in Spa N.S. for several years.