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House: consultants deliver maths boost

A new maths programme will be introduced to raise standards across the island after a successful implementation at a primary school.

Harrington Sound Primary School hired British firm Primal Academic Innovations to bring in a maths intervention programme last year after financial support was provided by the Bank of Bermuda Foundation.

Education minister Diallo Rabain told the House of Assembly yesterday that the school's Cambridge Checkpoints attainment climbed from a rating of 1.9 in 2017-18 to 2.7 in 2018-19, while its scores in the Department of Education's common summative assessments also improved.

The minister, who has previously expressed concern at poor maths performance across the island, said PAI has now been contracted to implement a maths intervention programme for all public primary schools.

He said: “Primal Academic Innovations is a team of school improvement professionals who have a strong track record of transforming schools that have underachievement in mathematics, to becoming centres of mathematics excellence.

“The PAI team has been responsible for transforming 31 primary schools in the North of England and the Midlands, from achieving low standards to exceeding the national average in all cases.

“The majority of these schools are now ranked in the top 5 per cent of schools in the UK in regards to improved quality of teaching mathematics through training, resources, support and leadership development, which will ensure all schools are sufficiently equipped to support students to improve in mathematics.”

Cambridge Checkpoint overall results for maths in 2018-19 were rated as 1.9 out of 6 — classified as “poor”, and the worst score in eight years.

PAI's Mathematics Intervention Programme encourages pupils to focus on conceptual understanding, instead of procedural understanding, and to engage more in talking, thinking and reflecting.

Pupils are taught to build independent skills and develop problem-solving abilities, and given more ownership for their learning.

Mr Rabain said all primary schoolteachers have been receiving training on the programme since January.

He said: “It only takes one generation to transform our public school system, and together. Students, teachers, parents, principals and the community: we will all make this happen.”

Mr Rabain said it is expected the Mathematics Intervention Programme will see “our schools become international centres in the teaching of mathematics”.

To read Diallo Rabain's ministerial statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”

Education minister Diallo Rabain (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published March 13, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 13, 2020 at 8:59 am)

House: consultants deliver maths boost

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