This national evaluation report focuses on the important connections between the design and review of each school’s mathematics curriculum, the use of achievement information by trustees, leaders, teachers and students, and the acceleration of progress of priority learners. The context is the learning area of mathematics and what is happening for students in Years 4 to 8.
ERO was interested in how effectively schools reviewed and designed their mathematics curriculum in response to what they knew about students and their progress and achievement in mathematics. In particular ERO investigated what was happening for students in Years 4 to 8 identified as achieving below or well below the mathematics standards.
As part of the Best Evidence Synthesis (BES) programme, a framework has been developed to help leaders and teachers use change processes that respond to the needs of diverse learners (see Figure 1.) This framework implies that each school’s curriculum is responsive to all students and that some change may be necessary in how the curriculum is designed to ensure that learning tasks, activities and experiences improve outcomes for all students, with a particular emphasis on each school’s priority learners.
A 2010 ERO report Preparing to Give Effect to The New Zealand Curriculum showed that most schools were in a good position to give full effect to The New Zealand Curriculum. This report noted that many schools had:
The next phase of each school’s curriculum review and development process is to make use of information about student achievement and teacher capability to continue to review their curriculum and focus teaching programmes. Trustees, leaders and teachers need to know about:
The findings of this evaluation are reported in three sections:
Each section sets out a context for the findings that includes relevant background information and highlights why this is important.
A discussion of the findings provides a basis to identify next steps for schools and the Ministry of Education.
Appendix 1 shows the characteristics of the schools in the sample; Appendix 2 describes the methodology for the evaluation; and Appendix 3 provides a framework of evaluation questions and indicators schools can use as part of their self review.