Counting on progress
Pupils at Cathkin High are being tasked with furnishing bedrooms, shopping for groceries and feeding families in an innovative project to improve numeracy.
Pupils in the school’s S1 year group have been put into three specially created numeracy classes as part of the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge.
Accompanied by a £100,000 cash injection, the government scheme challenges schools to invest in projects that will improve numeracy, literacy and health and wellbeing.
The innovative scheme at Cathkin involves pairing up a teacher from another subject with a maths specialist in order to take numeracy out the usual maths classroom setting.
And the shake-up of the traditional lesson, together with learning about everyday tasks, has seen youngsters engage with the project.
They have so far been challenged to cook a meal for a family of four, researching groceries online, using scales in class and designing a menu.
The team with the winning menu in each class rounded off the challenge by cooking for their classmates in the school’s ‘street’ area.
A second challenge focused on measurements and saw pupils researching how to furnish a bedroom.
Using their numeracy skills as a team, they have had to find the correct dimensions for beds, mattresses, wardrobes and carpets before laying out their rooms in their street area with cardboard cut outs.
Stuart Rivans, a history and modern studies teacher who is paired with maths specialist Patricio Mardones, said: “It is just tremendous to see our young people so engaged and motivated with their numeracy.
“They are working very well together, so there are social skills involved as well.
“But the key point is we want to see progress in their numeracy and we have high hopes that this will be apparent soon.”
All three high schools in Rutherglen and Cambuslang were awarded £100,000 this academic year and are set to see further cash injections in the 2017/18 year, as are primary schools operating in areas of high deprivation.
South Lanarkshire Council head of education Stewart Nicolson said: “All schools in the Rutherglen/ Cambuslang area received pupil equity funding that was based on the number of pupils in the school who are in receipt of free school meals.
“All schools have received guidance regarding how this money should be targeted.
“This came in the form of a presentation from Graham Logan of the Scottish Government on February 27 and since then schools have been auditing their own needs and consulting with key stakeholders to identify their attainment gap.
“Money was downloaded to schools at the start of this financial year for use during session 2017-18.
“South Lanarkshire Council requires schools to identify how this money is being spent. Schools will complete this process prior to the start of next session.
“Improvements will be directed towards learning and teaching; leadership and families; and communities.”
Young people engaged and motivated