The aim of Project14 was foremost to assess the success of the previous year's PilotProject, address on-going needs and begin discussions on the future of the project. We also provided our then 5 partner schools each with a box of maths resources, and ran a series of curriculum workshops to discuss teaching and learning in different areas of maths.
TALK MATHS - WAS IT WORKING?
We found pupils, teachers and headteachers were still extremely enthusiastic for the Talk Maths project. Word of its popularity had spread considerably across the district, meaning we had a large waiting list of schools now wishing to join us. Almost all teachers involved in the PilotProject had successfully established the Talk Maths philosophy with their new classes. In particular, teachers Akoth Proscovia and Boogere Margaret from Okwira PS had been working hard to communicate to pupils that mistakes were not something to be feared and had introduced a positive learning enviroment.
Above: (July 2014) Teachers of Project14 with coordinator Francesca Knapman.
Many teachers had adapted the methodology of Talk Maths into their everyday teaching practice, and were teaching excellent lessons as a result. This lead us to pursue our next target: achieving a whole school, cross-curricular approach to Talk Maths. Rugot PS was leading the way in this movement to a whole school philosophy, by sharing good practice with all teachers in the school, who were then successfully using these ideas in their own areas of study. Murkiswa PS had also other taken the iniative of training their P7 mathematics teacher in Talk Maths strategies. Our findings suggested that our profesional training, together with the enthusiastism and hard work of our Ugandan teachers, had the genuine capacity to create sustainable impact. It also suggested that Ugandan teachers could in future take on the role of Talk Maths Instructor with the right support.
With the project still in its infancy, evaluating the full academic impact remained a task for the future. However, headteachers reported that PLE results post-PilotProject were an improvement on the previous years, and many school coordinators reported an improvement in in-class test scores. What was most evident was that the biggest impact on pupils had been on their motivation and confidence in maths, with the largest change being with girls. Pupils felt more able to ask questions, challenge ideas and express their own views in school, encouraging them to think more critically and creatively. Our Talk Maths Champions programme remained extremely popular with pupils and teachers and was being used to award pupils for particating in lessons, taking risks, helping others, sharing ideas and taking responsibility for their learning, not just academic success.
RESOURCES & WORKSHOPS
Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to support our 5 partner schools each with a box of maths resources. Compasses and angle measurers were especially popular among P7 candidates, many of whom were taking mock exams without the correct equiptment. Workshops were designed to ensure teachers knew how resources such as the base10, cuisenaire, numicon and pattern blocks could be used to support learning. Rugot's P7 pupils subsequently used the resources to create nets and model 3D cubes, which were then displayed from the ceiling of their classroom.
4 curriculum workshops on shape, place value, multiplication and division were also organised and well attended by the pilot school teachers and even some pupils. During these workshops emphasis was given to the learning journey and progression of calculation in these areas of maths and how the new resources could be used to support it.
Right: (July 2014) Maths resources go out to Uganda.
To read more on Project14, download the full official evalution below:
FACTS AND FIGURES
Where: Tororo District, Uganda
When: July 2014
How many schools? 5 (Morkiswa, Pomede, Okwira, Rugot and Kisoko Boys)
How many teachers? approx. 15
How many pupils? approx. 2000
Duration of project: 2 weeks