I attended my last Maximising Achievement Program (MAP) PD for the year a couple of weeks ago. This is a voluntary program the region runs for principal’s who are wanting to improve student outcomes in their schools. Since its inception the focus has been on improving children’s reading, which we have seen some great improvement in here at Cecil Plains. We as a school will continue with our drive on reading next year and as I’ve always said it will always be our number one priority, but the new focus for MAP will be improving children’s numeracy. All the principals involved had a chance to look at their NAPLAN numeracy trends since NAPLAN started in 2008. Our number of children above the national minimum standard (NMS) has continued to improve, but our overall mean score has either flatlined (i.e. no significant improvement) or a small decline overall since 2008. We have fared better than most of the other schools, but we do need to get some bigger improvements.
What can you do to help at home?As this change of focus has only just been made, I have no real idea what strategies MAP will provide for us in improving our numeracy results, but I will keep you informed of how you can help at home. One of the biggest pains for parents when their helping their children with their homework is mathematics. This is mainly because the way the children are taught mathematics now is different from when we went to school. They for example have no idea what we mean by borrow and payback when doing a maths problem as it is not the language used now a days. So my suggestion in the meantime about how you can help your children with their mathematics at home is to bail up their teacher to explain to you how the children need to do their maths problems.