Equity can be achieved by ensuring every child has the same opportunity to succeed, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-based attainment gap.
We have been working in this space for many years, with schools in Northern Ireland receiving extra funding based on the % of pupils receiving free school meals vs their pupil performance data. In addition to this, there is also funding available under the mantle of pupil transition from primary to secondary school phases and cross-community shared education.
Schools receiving extra funding is all very well, but it is now this funding is best used to make a real difference to children's lives that provides the greatest challenge.
According to the Rowntree Foundation report on Closing the Attainment GAP in Scotland, children from advantaged backgrounds have a significantly greater chance of reaching Higher Education than the disadvantaged. A major factor here from the same report is that children from disadvantaged backgrounds underperform in mathematics.
The clips below and at the top of the page, taken in Merrylee PS in Glasgow, show glimpses of what an Izak9 training session is like. It is highly interactive, metacognative, relevant and fun. Whilst training is not essential for the use of Izak9, it can act as a kickstarter mechanism within your school, with teachers normally chomping at the bit to be first to use the Izak9 cubes with their class.
Training can be delivered by our Qubizm staff and/or schools can also have teachers participate in our Superuser Programme, which certifies teachers as Izak9 trainers and registers them as being able to deliver training to neighbouring schools. We already have Superusers in Scotland, at Primary and Secondary level and the work they are doing in raising standards in their own schools, is exceptional.
The Izak9 Superuser programme also provides a mechanism for the showcasing of leading practice in the teaching and learning of mathematics via our website's blog section and national training programmes, supported by education authorities and the teaching universities.
The following views were submitted by one of our Izak9 Superusers in Scotland, who in addition to being an exceptional classroom practitioner, has facilitated children's workshops, parents' evenings, open nights and showcased Izak9's use to visiting educational professionals.
“I wish Maths was like this when I was school!” (Parent at Family Session)
“It’s not as easy as it looks, is it?” (Parent at Family Session)
“This is really making me think!” (Parent at Open Evening)
Other views, given after an observed lesson during a Cluster VSE (Validated Self Evaluation)
“It was a positive riot, with everyone engaged in what they were doing!” (Education Officer)
“I had to stay longer than I was meant to, it was so much fun and they were all rising to the challenge – I wanted to wait to see if any of the groups solved it!” (Educational Psychologist)
We have already referred to the attainment gap in the section above. The outcomes of the TIMMS report and the fact that only 13% of girls, as opposed to 39% of boys, choose a STEM based subject at University, motivate our raison d'être.
We have already made a significant start, with primary schools in most regions of Scotland currently using Izak9. Also, one of our High Schools, Firrhill in Edinburgh, has already tested the efficacy of Izak9, with their first-year pupils that have used Izak9 outperforming those that haven't by more than 30%.