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Maths - Self-evaluation gets results

A South Ayrshire maths department has impressed inspectors by increasing maths attainment after introducing self-evaluation.

The good practice has been singled out by HMIE at Prestwick Academy, where 44 per cent of S4 pupils achieved five or more awards at Level 5 or better in 2008 - 10 per cent more than the national average and 6 per cent more than comparator schools.

Maths teachers gather a complex mix of data twice a year, drawing on analysis of homework and class work, peer observations and behaviour statistics. They meet with senior managers throughout the year to look at what has gone well and set targets, with analysis of prelims used to identify pupils at risk of underachieving, who may benefit from small study groups.

This has helped staff to reflect on a wide range of practices affecting young people's attainment, pinpointing strengths and areas for improvement.

Pupils' opinions are crucial to the process. After every assessment, they complete an evaluation to identify their strengths and next steps, which is shared with parents. Pupils are encouraged to give their views on learning and teaching, assessment, courses and resources. This helps to identify emerging issues and young people's concerns.

HMIE is highlighting examples of good practice across the curriculum in a special section on its website.

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