Clustering for Training through Shared Education
St. Francis’ P.S Aghaderg and Ballydown P.S are in rural settings outside Banbridge in Co. Down and have been working together as a CASE Shared Education partnership since January 2017.
This year as we had whole school involvement we looked for a focus and decided on the integration of Numicon into the teaching of maths because of its versatility and it could be extended from P1 to P7.
In these days of cuts and no CPD training how could we afford this training? Shared Education to the rescue! When we mentioned this to our development officer she suggested that we cluster with some other partnerships who also had a numeracy and Numicon focus and split the cost. We got in touch with two other partnerships, which made seven schools in total but training at a third of the cost.
Like everything else in Shared Education before we started we had no idea how to go about it but a few emails, phone calls and months later it was arranged. The training was held in Ballydown P.S. and coincided with their new Principals first day but all went as planned and all teachers left with many ideas of how to use Numicon in their lessons no matter what class they taught. It was definitely one of the best days training we have had and cluster with other schools made it more worthwhile as we shared ideas and queries. We will be using Numicon in our classrooms and shared lesson and we believe it was worth every penny as on our first day back at school using Numicon I heard a child say ‘OH I get it now’, music to any teachers ears.