Deputy Principal and Head of the Junior School Sue Brewin explains what PR1ME is and why it's delivering results.
Over the 2014 year the maths curriculum team in the Junior School conducted in-depth research with a view to introducing a new mathematics programme in 2015. This was due to a number of reasons including a growing groundswell in primary schools looking for a more structured and rigorous programme other than what the Numeracy Project offered and also parent feedback throughout the 2014 year.
PR1ME Mathematics was chosen as the programme to be introduced from years 1 to 6 in 2015. Research suggests that students in the primary years require a logical structure for learning that gives them the ability to do, understand and learn math with confidence. They need repeated practice to embed the learning of processes using consistent approaches and methods as well as gradually building on what they have previously learned. PR1ME does all this.
Made up of multiple standards, PR1ME takes into account the successful practices of top-performing countries such as Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. It is based on an educational approach and instructional design that covers five strands of math across six year levels. These are: Numbers and Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Data Analysis and Algebra.
PR1ME Mathematic treats problem solving not only as a goal of learning math but also as a major tool of doing so. It teaches both aspects of problem solving- the method and the process and is proven to be effective in developing conceptual mastery and procedural fluency.
Crafted to enable our teachers and students to evaluate learning and identify areas of focus if needed, the knowledge of teachers and teaching support for the materials are critical factors in the success of a mathematics classroom environment. Equipping our teachers with a program that is logical, comprehensive and rigorous allows them to spend time focusing on their students and responding to their needs. The programme also presents material that is well suited to practical learning and can easily connect to contexts that students are familiar with in their everyday lives. With PR1ME, as with all good programmes, the teacher explores and works through content with the students and matches the pace and selection of coverage according to the individuals capabilities and needs.
PR1ME has got off to a great start in our Junior School. All classes have a designated hour from 8.30 – 9.30 when they are all involved in mathematics learning – the girls love it and are working enthusiastically, their teachers love it and feedback the teachers and I have received from parents also suggests they are enjoying the transparency the Practice Books gives them and allows them to keep abreast of what their daughters are learning in mathematics.