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Why we did it

During 2008-09 there was an increased awarenss within the school of Aboriginal education. This led to engagement with the Stronger Smarter Institute and Dare to Lead, and a determination to improve strategies and outcomes at OPS.

The school decided to dispense with textbooks altogether because it was difficult to agree on one particular maths textbook to use across K-6. A scope and sequence was prepared based on the syllabus and teachers were asked to focus on that rather than a textbook. Teachers ere provided with a maths budget to buy aids and resources.

At first however, a number of teachers feld lost and lacking direction in maths instruction. There was quite a lot of photocopying and maths worksheets.

There was an identified need to increase engagement of both teachers and students. This included:

  • Increase engagement of both teachers and students in maths and develop high expectations of teachers themselves and high expectations of Indigenous students.
  • Actively foster positive attitudes towards mathematics, and build on Indigenous student’s confidence in them as mathematicians.
  • Build relationships with Indigenous students and their families as a means of engagement.
  • Change our maths pedagogy to one that recognises Indigenous learning styles.

Prior to Make It Count, mathematics teaching at Orange Public School was traditional and heavily textbook-based.

View the video below to hear from the teachers about why they needed to change the way they taught mathematics.