The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) has been awarded over €140,000 to lead a project which focuses on teaching problem-solving in technology rich environments, it was announced on Tuesday 9 January 2018.
The money comes from the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and involves Kilcooley Primary School and Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College.
CSSC, the lead partner, will collaborate with organisations in Finland, Denmark, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. The project will run over two years and conclude with an international conference.
CSSC Chief Executive Barry Mulholland said,
“I am delighted that CSSC was successful in securing such a significant resource that will enhance pupil performance in maths problem solving.
“Maths is such a fundamental part of everyday life and proficiency in maths is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults, influencing their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future life chances.
“By building the capacity and confidence of teachers to teach maths using technology, I am confident that pupils will benefit.
“One of the most exciting aspects of this project is the international dimension. Partners were chosen from countries with good maths outcomes and we will be able to learn from their expertise and share best practice.
“This project is being coordinated by CSSC school support officer Jill Brown. Her wealth of experience in delivering European projects is clearly bringing benefit to controlled schools.”
The project was formally launched by Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Education. He said:
“In this digital age it is vital that we embrace the benefits that technology can bring to teaching and learning. My Department’s primary objective is to ensure that all children and young people receive the best possible start in life. One way in which we seek to achieve this is through improving the learning environment and developing the education workforce.
“This project will be an excellent example of collaborative working and will demonstrate what can be achieved when learning communities are formed with the common goal of improving outcomes for our pupils.”
Two local controlled schools in the Bangor area are partnering CSSC in the project.
Pauline Brown, Principal of Kilcooley Primary School said,
“Pupils are very excited to be taking part in this project. IPad technology has been developed throughout the school and we are looking forward to seeing how we can inspire the children to be ever more creative in using technology.”
Matthew Pitts, Principal of Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College said,
“We have a large mathematics department with teachers who are keen to embed new evidence-based approaches into their daily practice. This Erasmus+ project is an excellent way for teachers to learn new approaches to technology, particularly from international partners.”
Pupils from Kilcooley Primary School with (left to right), Beverley Wall, Director, Governance Directorate, Department of Education; CSSC Chief Executive Barry Mulholland; Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary, Department of Education; Jill Brown, School Support Officer, Controlled Schools’ Support Council and Erasmus+ project lead; and, Jonny Hall, P6 teacher, Kilcooley Primary School