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New ambitious targets for Literacy and Numeracy


Posted by Schooldays Newshound on 14/03/2017. New ambitious targets for Literacy and Numeracy Tags: Education And Politics Teachers


The Minister for Education & Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton, TD, today published new, updated ambitious targets for numeracy and literacy in our schools, as part of the drive to achieve the best education service in Europe within a decade.

The Report published today shows that all of the targets set for reading and maths at primary level in the 2011 Literacy and Numeracy Strategy were reached and significant progress has been made towards achievement of the targets at post-primary. These results are confirmed by recent strong results in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) (see below).

While recent trends are encouraging, it is clear that there is still room for improvement, in particular in Maths, and the updated targets set a particular focus on numeracy. For this reason, the new targets set by Minister Bruton are particularly ambitious in the numeracy area. The Action Plan for Education, which has the overall aim of making Ireland the best education and training service in Europe within a decade, outlines a series of ambitious actions to further improve our performance in maths, including: introducing coding and computer science throughout the school curriculum; a comprehensive National Policy Statement on STEM Education in schools; and ambitious new measures to upskill maths teachers.

Minister Bruton has set out that tackling educational disadvantage will be a key priority during his Ministry. For this reason, Minister Bruton has for the first time set specific targets for literacy and numeracy within disadvantaged schools as part of this strategy. Such targets were not included in the original strategy published in 2011. For example, we have set a target to increase the number of pupils in DEIS Band 1 urban primary schools performing at the highest levels in Maths at sixth class by 2020, by 42%. This is underpinned by the publication of the DEIS Plan 2017 by the Minister, which will see €15m extra being invested to tackle educational disadvantage each year.

There will also be an increased emphasis on higher-achieving students and on embedding achievements in literacy, in particular literacy for and through the Irish language, and also on enhancing the digital literacy skills of our learners.

Priority actions included in the plan include:

  • Prioritising the development of maths curricula at primary and post-primary, including the redevelopment of the primary maths curriculum, encompassing the introduction of computational and creative
    thinking skills and coding.

  • The Professional Development Service for Teachers refining its literacy and numeracy supports for teachers.

  • Reviewing the time allocation for maths at primary to ensure that the allocation reflects learners’ requirements.

  • Implementation of new curricula in Irish at both primary and post-primary, which aim to improve Irish as Language 1 in Irish medium schools and Irish as Language 2 in English medium schools.

  • Supporting ECCE practitioners and teachers in Early Start centres with comprehensive implementation of the Aistear curriculum framework, in particular development of early literacy and numeracy skills.

  • Support for the transitions between educational settings, e.g. the move from early years settings to primary schools, by developing reporting templates-for use by ECCE practitioners, schools and parents-based on research and trialling.

  • Carrying out research on creative and innovative ways to support parents in their role as educators.

    - See more here


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