Head of the Mathematics Department (HOD) at Aabuthnott Gallimore High School in St Ann, Daphne Hall-Brown is determined to improve the school’s average in mathematics for the next academic year.
The subject, Hall-Brown said is posing a challenge to students at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level.
As a result, she said the school has sought to implement a number of strategies to improve its average because of disappointing 2016 CSEC results.
“Going forward we will intensify our classes,” the HOD said, adding that classes will be offered to students daily at 7:00 am before they move into the day’s regular programme.
She noted that the school also intends to fully utilise the expertise of a mathematics coach who will be joining the institution shortly.
Hall-Brown added that the school will continue with its mathematics marathons, which are held each semester, and the mathematics camp, which is held over the Easter holidays.
The HOD strongly believes that the reason children perform poorly in mathematics is because of the negative perceptions they have of the subject.
“They grow up hearing negative talks about math,” she said.
“Growing up, I lived math; I could relate to it. Going to the shop was about measurements,” she said, adding that her parents were instrumental in the way she dealt with the subject.
“If parents are speaking negatively about math, then it trickles down to the children and I believe that if we get them (the children) to have math as a life experience, then we can get them to master it,” she added.
This is why Hall-Brown wants a programme that was undertaken with grade seven students to spread across the school.
The students were last year introduced to a “learning Mathematics across the disciplines” programme.
“Students were allowed to see math at work in other areas,” she explained.
She said students were taken to clothing and textile, electrical and woodwork classes to see how Mathematics was used in those areas.
“It helped them; the average of the cohort increased by over 10 per cent,” she said.
Hall-Brown said her department will be looking to make that initiative widespread.
“It is all about teamwork in the Math Department; we don’t operate in isolation,” she said.
Hall-Brown said while one teacher teaches students, other students will help out in the preparation of these students.