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Schools Excellence Fund Project

As part of our participation in the Schools Excellence Fund Project, our Sixth Class pupils visited Ardscoil Rath Iomgháin on Tuesday 15th October to engage in a Maths Quiz with the First Year students there and the Sixth Class pupils of Rathangan B.N.S.

The girls had a wonderful morning – the perfect way to celebrate Maths Week. See photos below:

The three schools in Rathangan have been taking part in the Schools Excellence Fund Project for the last 2 years. The Schools Excellence Fund-DEIS (SEF-DEIS) is an innovation of the Department of Education and Skills which aims to support schools to address the gap in attainment between our most and least educationally disadvantaged children. This three year initiative will support schools to explore innovative proposals and approaches which are context-specific and aimed at improving learner outcomes. 

In order to achieve these improved outcomes, schools in the SEF-DEIS will be challenged to promote innovation by adopting new evidence-informed approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in classrooms and in learning settings in order to improve outcomes for learners.

Never before have schools been funded to work together on innovative solutions and given the freedom to experiment with new projects to see what works and what doesn’t. The benefit of this approach is that it gives school leaders and teachers the support to collaborate on ideas based on their local experience and unique perspective. Successful approaches can then be shared across the school sectors.

Arscoil Rath Iomghain, St Patrick’s B.N.S. and Bunscoil Bhríde have been been collaborating to develop a programme to improve the competence of pupils in Maths and ease the transition from primary to post-primary school. The programme has been and is currently  being delivered to students in 5th and 6th classes in the primary schools, and 1st years in the post primary school.

We are seeking to break down barriers between the primary and post-primary schools by establishing shared teaching approaches and methodologies in Maths. The teachers and Principals from the three schools have been meeting regularly to collaborate and agree on shared terminology and practice.

We have already surveyed pupils’ attitudes to Maths and used this data to inform our plans for the project going forward. Funding received through the project has been used to purchase chromebooks for each of the three schools to support the project and we are now in the process of purchasing a Maths teaching resource called iZak 9 cubes for each of the schools. Our teachers have had the opportunity to observe classes in all three school settings. We have been very excited to have been given the opportunity to work with the other two schools in the town at such a deep level.

Some plans for the year ahead:

More details available during the year