General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Magical Maths



Pupils across the north of Ireland have learned the mathematical secrets behind magic at Maths Week Ireland, 2010.

Maths Week Ireland, which runs events across the island of Ireland from 9–16 October 2010, aims to promote awareness, appreciation and understanding of mathematics to all in a fun and interactive way.

Speaking about the events, Caitríona Ruane said: "This is the 5th year Maths Week Ireland has been running and it is getting more and more popular. The programme tries to engage young people through interesting and fun themes such as the use of maths in magic, maths in space, the use of maths in The Simpsons and understanding the Hubble Space Telescope.

"My Department and I are committed to raising standards and interest in both literacy and numeracy in the north of Ireland. Through the revised curriculum, we have placed a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with the intention of helping our young people to develop the skills they need to succeed in life and at work.

"Alongside this, my Department has been engaged in delivering on a number of the recommendations made in last year’s STEM review report.

"So far, excellent progress has been made in raising achievement levels in literacy and numeracy. We have seen a reduction in the numbers of pupils leaving school without five good GCSEs including in English and Maths, dropping from over 12,000 (47.4%) in 2005/06 to 9,500 (41.6%) 2008/09. However, there is still much room for improvement.

"I will shortly launch the revised Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, which will build on the strengths in our education system, highlight areas for improvement and provide a pathway to helping young people achieve their potential in this vital area. This will help us to raise standards and tackle underachievement further."


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