School P6 maths scores lowest in eight years

The average score by public primary school pupils in maths in 2018-19 was the worst in eight years, it was revealed yesterday.

The latest Cambridge Checkpoint score for Primary 6 children was 1.9 — rated as “poor”.

The previous lowest score recorded by Cambridge Checkpoint experts was 2.2 in academic year 2015-16.

The latest results released by the Government showed that the average P6 scores dropped in maths, English and science from the 2017-18 school year to the last school year.

The annual assessments are designed to rate Primary 6 and middle school year 3 pupils on the three core subjects.

The Cambridge system uses a scoring system from 0, rated “very poor”, to 6, graded “excellent”.

Scores from 3 to 4 are classified as “good”. Scores of between 2 and 3 are rated “OK.”

Scores from 1 to 2 are rated as being “poor”.

Llewellyn Simmons, the Director of Academics at the education ministry, said all pupils were expected to score 3 or better. The results showed that the average P6 pupil grade fell in all three subject areas from 2017-18 to 2018-19. The average pupil score in all three subjects also failed to hit the ministry target of 3 or better in the last school year.

The average P6 score in English dropped to 2.7 in 2018-19 from 3.3 the year before. The average science score fell to 2.3 from 3.4 over the same period.

The average pupil score in maths slipped to 1.9 in 2018-19, ranked as “poor”, from 2.4 in 2017-18. But public middle school pupils showed improvement in all three areas over the same period and beat the ministry target of 3 or better.

The average M3 score in English went up to 3.5 in 2018-19 from 2.7 the previous year.

The average score in science was 4.1 in 2018-19, up from 2.9 the year before. The average pupil score in maths jumped to 3.1 from 2.1 over the same period.

Kalmar Richards, the Commissioner of Education, said that the results “clearly indicate the strengths and areas of improvement for the system”.

She added that a meeting was held last month with “school leaders” to review the results and work on improvements.

Ms Richards said: “Maths is an area that requires dedicated attention and intervention.

“School leaders will address the improvement needs for mathematics in their instructional leadership practices and in their school improvement plans.”

She added that the school improvement plan had been restructured.

Ms Richards explained: “It now requires each school leader to focus specifically on targeting improvements for reading, writing and mathematics.”

Dr Simmons said that teachers were “expected to hold individual tutorial interventions for mathematics”.

He added that they also had to use DreamBox Learning, an online software provider that focuses on maths education, “as an intervention”.

Mr Simmons said: “The Department of Education is in consultation with Adam Unwin-Berrey, the regional curriculum leader for mathematics in the Midlands and Northern England, and his team from the Academies Enterprise Trust to build on the work he has started with primary schools around mathematics.”

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Published Oct 29, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 29, 2019 at 6:29 am)

School P6 maths scores lowest in eight years

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