Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Auckland central schools use collaboration to drive change in Pāngarau/Mathematics

During the holidays the Pāngarau/Mathematics Initiative presented at ULEARN 2018. Two of our Across School Leaders and four of our In-School Leaders presented our years
work, they were Sonya, Andy, Belinda, Ainsley, Emily and Clara.

Here are our slides.

Link to presentation

Summary of what we spoke about
Currently, the Auckland Central Community of Schools is made up of 11 schools and 1 ECE. The title of our community is ACCoS, and it still includes schools because we began when all applicants were known as Community of Schools. The initial achievement challenges were endorsed in 2015, and it 2017 we re-evaluated these. Moving forward, we wanted to ensure there was collaboration between schools, but also include goals that would fit in with the strategic plans for each school.

At the end of 2017, Auckland Normal Intermediate, Parnell District School and Newmarket Primary School identified Pāngarau/Mathematics as a focus for professional development in 2018. This was part of all three schools strategic plans and the work of the mathematics initiative began.

The purpose
The purpose of the initiative was to work together to provide Professional Learning for the three schools in Pāngarau/Mathematics. Within the three schools there are 77 teachers and in total there are 1,450 students. We stressed the importance of all school leaders being actively involved as one of the key successes for the initiative. In order to measure the effectiveness of the initiative, the three schools agreed that student attitude data would be used as a comparison indicator to see how successful the initiative was in strengthening teacher pedagogy knowledge and content knowledge when teaching Pāngarau/Mathematics in our schools.

We reached out to the community of schools and invited Primary and Secondary teachers to our across school hui. There were several across school meetings, where the teaching staff from each school got together to share what they were doing in relation to Pāngarau/Mathematics. There were discussions around own experiences with Pāngarau/Mathematics and how this has influenced our teaching, and identified some effective strategies to approach maths teaching.

In addition, we celebrated Maths week as an initiative. We created the inaugural across school A-Math-Zing Race, where students from the three schools came together for a morning of competition fun which included maths puzzles and activities.

Knowing the secondary school expectation for intermediate students transitioning was another area we looked into. Dr Sue Spencer who is the Head of Department for Maths at Epsom Girls Grammar School shared the skills and knowledge students need to know as they enter year 9.

We still have a way to go but the changes we saw in our students, teachers and community regarding the way they spoke about and viewed Pāngarau/Mathematics are encouraging. We aim to keep expanding and working with teachers across year levels within our schools.

What we learnt

Collective teacher efficacy impacts learners and no school is left behind because together we aimed to lift the achievement of every student. Collaborative conversation based on evidence between the three schools has been the key to improved outcomes for our Pāngarau/Mathematics initiative. Collaboration across schools provided opportunities for school leaders, teachers and students to explore new ideas/ways of doing Pāngarau/Mathematics. Including parents and whanau in the discussion is an effective strategy for learning and incorporating external agencies is also important to grow our practice.

Overall we had a great session sharing our journey. We made connections as a Pāngarau/Mathematics team and we made connections with other Kāhui Ako. We collaborated on ideas of what we needed to cover for our session and used the experience to reflect and celebrate on all we have achieved over the year in our Pāngarau/Mathematics Initiative.

We had some lovely positive feedback that helped confirm the importance of sharing what we do and also some suggestions for where to next when sharing.

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