Six schools rank ‘poor’ in maths

  • Education Minister: Diallo Rabain (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Education Minister: Diallo Rabain (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Cambridge Bermuda Primary Checkpoint results, averages from 2015 to 2017. Graphic by Zaire Quenette-Lowe

    Cambridge Bermuda Primary Checkpoint results, averages from 2015 to 2017. Graphic by Zaire Quenette-Lowe

A third of public primary schools were ranked as poor in maths based on average pupil scores over three years, it has been revealed.

The detailed Cambridge Checkpoint assessments for 2015 to 2017 were released after a public access to information request from The Royal Gazette to the education ministry. Bermuda’s annual assessment was designed to rate Primary 6 pupils on English, maths and science.

The Cambridge system uses scores from 0, ranked “very poor”, to 6, graded “excellent”.

Scores from 3 to 4 are classified as “Good, about average for Cambridge Primary Checkpoint students”.

Scores between 2 and 3 are deemed “OK, but below average for Cambridge Primary Checkpoint students”.

Scores from 1 to 2 are rated as being “poor”. The Pati request asked for the average pupil score, by school, in the three subject categories.

The average pupil score in each of the three subject areas in each year was added together and divided by three to get the average pupil score over the three-year period.

The exercise found that the average pupil score in maths at six of the island’s 18 primary schools scored below 2 — labelled “poor”.

The lowest-ranking primary schools were Francis Patton, Hamilton Parish, (1.97), the Gilbert Institute, Paget (1.87), Harrington Sound, Smith’s, (1.97), Heron Bay, Southampton (1.93), Paget Primary (1.80) and Victor Scott, Pembroke, (1.57).

Victor Scott was the only school where the average pupil score was below 2 for all three years.

The average pupil score in maths was below 2 twice in the three-year period at Gilbert (2015 and 2016), Harrington Sound, (2015 and 2016), Heron Bay (2016 and 2017) and Paget (2016 and 2017).

Francis Patton had an average pupil score in maths below 2 only in 2015.

An average pupil score for maths was not given for East End Primary for 2016.

The school’s average pupil score for the three-year period — 2.50 — was calculated using the average scores from 2015 and 2017.

Three primary schools had an average pupil maths score of 3 or more over the three-year period — Dalton E Tucker, Southampton (3.20), St David’s (4.27) and St George’s Preparatory (3.50).

The Bermuda national average maths score in 2017 was 2.4 and the international average was 3.8.

The island’s national average for maths was 2.2 in 2016, compared with an international average of 3.9.

The Bermuda national average maths score was 2.4 in 2015, 2.6 in 2014, 2.7 in 2013 and 2.9 in 2012.

The international averages for 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 were 3.8, 3.9, 4.1 and 4.0 for the same years.

The results of the 2018 and 2019 Checkpoint exams have not been released.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education said that results for both years would be released in October.

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

Mr Rabain was asked what the Ministry of Education was doing to bring up maths scores at the schools where they were found to be poor, and whether recommendations made by Cambridge representatives who visited Bermuda in 2018 had been implemented.

Mr Rabain said in February last year that the results of the 2017 assessments showed “a need to continue to focus our attention on improving math scores”.

Cambridge Curriculum assessors conducted a review of maths classrooms and ran teacher training sessions a month later.

Mr Rabain told the House of Assembly afterwards that two Cambridge representatives visited ten schools and observed 500 pupils.

He told MPs: “A primary observation pointed out to the department was the missed opportunity for our students to engage in deeper learning in many of the classrooms.

“Some of the practices that we have been implementing have not been the best practices.

“We recognise this, and now we endeavour to improve the practices to do better.”

The Cambridge assessors recommended several improvements, including an increased pace of learning, increased pupil workload, and more challenging assigned work.

Mr Rabain said that the training was needed.

Mr Rabain said: “We will endeavour to ensure that this type of training is ongoing as we move ahead.

Mr Rabain added: “It is recognised that providing our teachers with constant professional development will help to enhance and build on the standard of teaching and learning in the classroom and ultimately improve the Cambridge score results for our students.”

Mr Rabain said that a “comprehensive delivery plan” would be developed that would “action steps, timelines and accountability measures for the improvement of mathematics across the system”.

He added that the education department would “report out on a monthly basis the progress being made in our mathematics curriculum”.

The Primary Checkpoint was first used in Bermuda in 2012 and the island is the only public school system in the world to use Cambridge to administer these assessments across the education system.

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Published Aug 30, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 30, 2019 at 7:49 am)

Six schools rank ‘poor’ in maths

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