Ukhanyo Primary School has recently received the results of the 2017 national systemic tests. Scott Smith, project leader at Masicorp’s Maths Lab at the school, explains the results and puts the very encouraging progress made into perspective for us.
Masicorp’s Maths Lab started operating in mid-year 2015 with 4th graders. In the 2017 school year, the program was expanded to include the 3rd grade teachers and their students. Third grade is an especially important year for all schools because that is when the national systemic tests are conducted for the first time.
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) conducts systemic tests during October to assess the knowledge and skills of learners in language and mathematics in Grades 3, 6 and 9. The test results inform the WCED and schools across the province of the learner’s performance in language and mathematics, key subject areas that provide the foundation for future learning.
Since October 2017 Ukhanyo has been buzzing with anticipation of the test results. The six third grade teachers, each with 40+ learners in their class, seemed quite excited about the progress that they observed among their learners with Maths as they embraced the Maths Lab teaching model.
On the last week of January the wait was over and results arrived. Everyone was celebrating and many heads turned to see what all the excitement was about.
The graph below shows Ukhanyo’s progress over the last four years of the 3rd grade teaching team. It also compares Ukhanyo with all the schools in the Province that participated in the Systemic Testing Program. More specifically it compares Ukhanyo with the other schools in the province in the same school category or Quintile (i.e., Western Cape schools from a similar socio-economic background).
For the Maths Lab team the most encouraging aspect of the statistics is the 26% improvement from 2016 to 2017, which suggests the Maths Lab made a very big impact.
The 6th grade results were also of interest because this was the first group that spent a full year in the Maths Lab in 2015 as 4th graders. Below are the results for that group. Again the statistic that was of most interest to the Maths Lab Team was the improvement from 2016 to 2017. While the 18.5% increase was due to many factors it highlights the long lasting positive effects that a year in the Maths Lab had on a group of Ukhanyo learners.