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Major maths improvement for Island primary schools

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Island primary schoolchildren taking part in a special targeted initiative have achieved a massive 15 per cent improvement in their Key Stage Two maths performance, provisional figures show.

About half of the Island’s primary schools were involved in the project over a four-term period – and now it is planned the scheme will be rolled out to the remaining primary schools.

The Isle of Wight Council, in partnership with Hampshire County Council, devised the project in 2017 and won funding of £155,000 from the Department for Education (DfE).

The project focused on devising and reviewing teaching strategies, supported by external experts, to help pupils boost their understanding of maths. It started in summer 2018 and was monitored by the council and the DfE.

Cabinet member for education, skills and children’s services, Councillor Paul Brading, said: “This is a magnificent achievement and credit should go to all the children involved, their teachers and those who masterminded this project.”

The provisional 15 per cent improvement in maths goes towards the children’s overall ‘age related expectations’ (ARE) grading for reading, writing and maths.

The maths improvement has meant an uplift of nine per cent in the proportion of pupils achieving ARE in the schools involved in the project.

Councillor Brading said: “Even though initially this project has been trialled in half the primary schools, such has its success been, that it has boosted the ARE figure for maths across all our primary schools by eight per cent, and the combined figure for reading, writing and maths by five per cent.

“These improvements are testament to the drive and tenacity of leaders in these schools, the commitment of the teachers and the engagement of the pupils.

“These figures for maths bring us broadly in line with the national average, and it is vital now to secure these improvements for future years.

“We are currently looking to expand the work to all our primary schools and draw upon the expertise from those schools which have already taken part.”

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