Category: Numeracy

How to put the ass into assessments

How to put the ass into assessments

One effect of the pandemic not yet wholly appreciated is the way it has exposed the weakness in assessing children’s progress at primary school level. A dramatic shake-up of the SATs system around four years ago has left educators and parents unaware of exactly how children in this age range are faring. Before the changes,…

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Charting the pandemic

Charting the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of data and how it is represented. The teaching of this occurs in several subject areas including maths, the sciences and geography. Equally important, is to teach children to understand that data can be represented to support specific arguments or opinions. These are four of…

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Progressive can be regressive

Progressive can be regressive

There have been many changes in the educational system since the late 1950s and early 60s, including a big move to a more progressive approach. This threw aside most of the traditional teaching methods in literacy and numeracy. Literacy focused less on grammar, syntax and good spelling – the structural elements of language – in…

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Changing the age children start school will not solve Scotland’s education crisis

Changing the age children start school will not solve Scotland’s education crisis

Last week I highlighted my fears that Scotland’s progressive curriculum was leaving its education system in crisis. Now a Scottish education think-tank, Upstart Scotland, is calling for the country to follow the lead of some Scandinavian countries and raise the age children start school to seven. In my view, they’re focusing on the wrong issue.…

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About time we tested times table knowledge

About time we tested times table knowledge

From next year it will be compulsory for every Year 4 student to sit a quick five–minute times table test. It’s already been piloted in some schools and already there are critics crawling out of the woodwork. Some are bemoaning that children are being taught to the test and others have complained it’s making the…

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