Count­ing on progress

Nu­mer­acy project

Rutherglen Reformer - - Joint Effort - Edel Ke­nealy

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

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