As a key focus of learning for our students, numeracy at ASESC has undergone significant changes over the past five years to ensure our teaching:
- Creates set pathways for students to ensure they have the skills required to move into working life;
- Provides opportunities for students to learn mathematical concepts and develop skills to problem solve independently;
- Ensures that each student can scaffold his / her existing knowledge and apply that to other mathematical concepts in a structured manner in order to maximise student success.
The strands of number, measurement, fractions and decimals and money are the focus of the student mathematics programs and their individual education program (IEP) goals for numeracy. In addition, some students complete the ASDAN modules of Developing Numeracy Skills (Introduction and Progression). As a key learning focus, Mathematics is timetabled early in the school day with students completing and receiving explicit instruction for up to five lessons per week. In addition, students are able to practise and apply skills learnt through cooking and various enterprise opportunities such as our ‘Cash for Containers’, budgeting and coffee programs.
ASESC has developed a whole school numeracy approach, using the YuMi Deadly Mathematics strategy, developed by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and implemented at ASESC in 2017. It is an approach to Mathematics and aims for the highest level of mathematics understanding through kinaesthetic (movement) activities which engage students. It is part of best practise Mathematics teaching which allows teachers and educators to teach concepts and skills, encourages independent problem solving, focuses on the ‘big ideas’ of Mathematics (e.g. place value) and identifies misconceptions and confusion. It connects mathematical topics (e.g. fractions, decimals and percentages) through engaging activities, and encourages co-operative learning and problem solving.
The school’s approach is headed by the leadership team and a numeracy co-ordinator to oversee the implementation of a consistent school-wide approach to the teaching of Mathematics by assisting with assessment of strategies implemented, and providing continued coaching of staff in order to provide best practice teaching for our students. The co-ordinator is assisted by a dynamic Mathematics Committee consisting of senior staff, teachers and education assistants who are committed to our numeracy goals. This whole school approach has led to numerous developments which aid student learning including:
- The introduction of a school wide hands-on diagnostic assessment annually undertaken by all students to identify students’ knowledge, skills, confusions and misconceptions in the school’s chosen mathematical strands of number, measurement, fractions and decimals and money;
- The development of an Excel spreadsheet so that data from the diagnostic assessments can allow student progress to be tracked effectively;
- The production of a Mathematical ‘language booklet’ for key number and fraction concepts to ensure all teachers and education assistants use consistent and best practice mathematical language throughout the school;
- Professional learning days for all staff to learn how to select and use resources effectively to teach YuMi strategies;
- Coaching of staff where required to assist with best practice teaching.