At St. Mark’s High School we adopt a co-ordinated approach to the development of numeracy skills across the curriculum by reflecting the school’s provision in line with the characteristics of effectiveness as set out in ‘Every School A Good School.’

Child-centred provision

Effective interventions and support are in place to meet the additional education needs of pupils. CAT scores and Progress in Maths results are used to identify pupils with difficulties in numeracy. Additional support is provided to these students through the use of classroom assistants, differentiated resources and a more favourable teacher student ratio in the classroom.

High Quality Learning and Teaching

An emphasis on numeracy exists across the curriculum. Teaching strategies employed across the curriculum promote the understanding of a technique as well as its application and not just the mechanical process involved. There is uniformity of approach to mathematical content across all subject areas.

Effective Leadership

The resources at the disposal of the school are managed properly and effectively, with appropriate arrangements in place for financial management; attendance management; and working relationships.

Numeracy co-ordinator – Mrs Fiona McGeown

The numeracy co-ordinator provides professional leadership and management, to secure high quality teaching, effective use of resources and improved standards of teaching and learning. An action plan has been developed within the framework of whole school development outlining targets and addressing action to be taken to meet these targets. The numeracy co-ordinator liaises with other departments to encourage the promotion of numeracy across KS3 and KS4 and a coherent approach to the teaching of numeracy across the curriculum. She is aware of the testing associated with numeracy and liaises with the Head of Mathematics and the SENCO in order to put in place appropriate teaching strategies for pupils of all abilities. Appropriate resources are identified and used effectively and efficiently.

The use of ICT to support and develop numeracy is promoted and used to enhance pupils’ learning experiences and provide a wide range of resources to develop numeracy. ICT is also used to raise awareness of financial capability and promote informed financial decisions. At present the numeracy co-ordinator is making cross-curricular links with other departments, assisting them in the planning and preparation for the assessment of Using Mathematics across Key Stage 3 ensuring the development of pupil skills.

A school connected to its local community

The school works closely with other relevant statutory and voluntary agencies whose work impacts on education, especially Health, Social Services, the Public Library Service and, where appropriate, local Neighbourhood Renewal groups. Numeracy is promoted as an essential life skill in St. Marks and numerous opportunities are offered for students to become involved in raising the awareness of numeracy and to use their mounting numeracy skills. Some outside agencies that have formed links with the school include:

Credit Union – Partnership with Schools Programme

An excellent link has been formed between the WBR Credit Union Youth Committee and St. Mark’s High School. Year 10 students are addressed by staff members of the Credit Union to promote the importance of saving for the future and being financially aware.

Ulster Bank – MoneySense

Ulster Bank developed an online teaching resource – MoneySense for Schools, full of resources to make finance fun for students. The videos, interactive activities and lesson plans about banking, budgeting, planning for the future and running a small business are an excellent resource used by the school to form cross-curricular links.

CIC – Children in Crosfire

Year 10 students participate in the CIC maths inter-schools challenge. This annual Challenge event is designed to bring schools together, using the domain of mathematics, to provide a platform for pupils to both collaborate and compete, giving them a highly enjoyable experience that is both academically and pastorally rewarding. Established in 1996 Children in Crossfire have supported projects helping some of the most vulnerable children on the planet that suffer from the injustice of poverty. Today they work to change the lives of children in Tanzania and Ethiopia. They meet their immediate needs. They improve their living conditions. They build essential services to support their well-being and education. They help them to reach their full potential. They are a registered charity in NI, RoI and USA. St. Mark’s students won this challenge in 2012.

UK Junior Mathematical Challenge

Year 9 students participate in the Individual UK Junior Mathematical Challenge. This challenge offers students an opportunity to explore problem solving in maths in a competitive manner. Gold, Silver and Bronze Certificates are available to prize winners.

Maths Week 2016

Year 8 students participate in Maths Week on an annual basis. Maths Week Ireland is an all-Ireland celebration of Maths and is a partnership of over 50 groups – universities, institutes of technology, colleges, museums, libraries, visitor centers, professional bodies – any group that sees the importance of maths and the importance of promoting maths.

Extended Schools Programme has also been made available to students this year. KS3 students have an opportunity to become actively involved in numeracy and understand how if can be present in real life instances. The extended schools programme includes activities such as IZAK 9, the ICT program Numeracy Workout and Cookery to develop weighing and measuring skills.