The Situation  

Over the last three years, Cognition Education has established a meaningful partnership with Mangōnui School, offering valuable expertise in Mathematics PLD. Mangōnui School, catering to students from Years 1 to 6, is an integral part of both the Te Hiku and Manaiakalani digital clusters. The school’s vision is centred around cultivating “Leaders of tomorrow, Nga Rangatira āpōpō,” reflecting its commitment to nurturing future leaders. 


The Challenge  

The educational challenge faced by Mangōnui School was focused on developing school-wide consistency in the way students learnt mathematics. The primary objectives of this initiative were to establish a collective understanding of an effective mathematics programme in the classroom, enhance classroom practices, and raise student achievement in mathematics. 

Cognition aimed to implement uniform assessment methods to comprehensively evaluate ākonga on all aspects of mathematics. Cognition also supported kaiako to develop a collaborative approach to planning which helped to build Kaiako confidence and strengthen their understanding of the mathematics they were teaching.   

However, the implementation of these changes took time and the facilitator modelled effective practices and used co-teaching alongside kaiako to support them to implement change. As well, unplanned staffing shifts in 2022 and 2023 posed challenges, in particular providing targeted support for provisionally registered teachers. It was critical to be adaptable and respond to unforeseen changes in personnel and this required quick adjustments in strategies and resources allocation. 

The Approach  

The school’s approach to overcoming these challenges was guided by a dedicated Cognition facilitator, pivotal in tailoring professional development to meet the specific needs of kaiako and tamarikiAppropriate resources and tools were provided strategically to support teaching, learning, and assessment in mathematics. This collaborative effort not only addressed the inconsistencies in mathematics programmes but also fostered a more inclusive and comprehensive approach to mathematics education. Also key to the success of the professional learning and development was the role of the school’s mathematics leader who worked collaboratively with the Cognition facilitator. She provided ongoing guidance and support to kaiako throughout the PLD journey.   

The Outcomes  

The impact of the programme has been profound. Achieving consistency in mathematical pedagogy has resulted in improved student achievement and a reduction in disparities related to gender and ethnicity. Kaiako collaborated effectively in planning mathematics lessons and closely monitored student achievement. Ākonga displayed positive attitudes towards mathematics and learned effectively in flexible groupings as well as being able to articulate what they are learning about in mathematics. The implementation of the Learning Progression Framework played a crucial role in enabling informed judgments and effective planning. 

By the end of 2022, there were 91% of all students achieving at or above and 9% of students who are causing concern, though disparities were identified. The deliberate efforts in 2023 yielded remarkable results, with 95% of ākonga achieving at or above curriculum level expectations. There was a significant reduction in disparities resulting in increased achievement among Māori and female students. 

Highlights of the professional development included the engagement of students, inclusivity of mathematics, the ability to provide rich opportunities for student understanding, and the success of collaboration across the entire school. Looking ahead, the next steps involve the continued use of the PaCT tool for assessment consistency, employing video reflection for teacher practice development, understanding Te Matāiaho, and sustaining the growth achieved. 

As Mangōnui School charts its course forward, the commitment to ongoing improvement and collaboration remains at the forefront of its educational journey.