Primary teacher Pauline Macleod is the Western Isles’ Numeracy Hub Champion, in a new initiative to raise attainment in numeracy.

Pauline, who teaches upper primary classes in Sir E Scott, is one of a number of Numeracy Hub Champions across Scotland tasked with finding two ways to raise attainment in specific aspects of numeracy.

Key areas of focus will be to raise teachers’ awareness of the national SSLN (Scottish Survey of Literacy & Numeracy) data, to improve children’s mental agility and to improve teachers’ planning for next steps in learning.

As Champion, Pauline will support teachers to use the Professional Learning Resources, developed by SSLN to address areas of weakness identified by the national survey.

A new online hub has been created for staff in the islands, to access all the key resources.

Mental agility will be developed through Number Talks, a powerful tool for helping learners to understand and be more fluent in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

In the longer term, teachers will be trained in the use of SEAL (Stages of Early Arithmetical Learning) to ensure children understand number and counting strategies.

The Scottish Government has provided an additional £1 million to fund Numeracy Hubs in each authority, following the most recent SSLN numeracy survey which indicates that the number of primary school pupils doing well in maths has decreased. The most notable areas of difficulty are fractions, decimals and percentages and measurement.

Western Isles teachers have received training in those specific areas during in-service days over the last two years, with many now using strategies which improve learning.

Pauline already feels the training she has received has made an impact on her own classes and is excited about the challenge ahead: “I was delighted to have been asked to represent the Western Isles as the Numeracy Hub Champion and take on the challenge to enhance pupils’ learning in classrooms and raise attainment in mathematics and numeracy. I can’t wait to share the good practice that I have learnt with other teachers in the Western Isles and hopefully make a difference!”