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Controlled schools to benefit from €140,000 maths project

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CSSC Erasmus school principalsThe Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) has been awarded over €140,000 to lead a project which focuses on teaching problem-solving in technology rich environments, it was announced on Tuesday 9 January 2018.  The money comes from the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and involves Kilcooley Primary School and Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College.  

CSSC, the lead partner, will collaborate with organisations in Finland, Denmark, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.  The project will run over two years and conclude with an international conference.


CSSC Chief Executive Barry Mulholland said, “I am delighted that CSSC was successful in securing such a significant resource that will enhance pupil performance in maths problem solving. “Maths is such a fundamental part of everyday life and proficiency in maths is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults, influencing their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future life chances.


 “By building the capacity and confidence of teachers to teach maths using technology, I am confident that pupils will benefit. “One of the most exciting aspects of this project is the international dimension.  Partners were chosen from countries with good maths outcomes and we will be able to learn from their expertise and share best practice. “This project is being coordinated by CSSC school support officer Jill Brown.  Her wealth of experience in delivering European projects is clearly bringing benefit to controlled schools.”


The project was formally launched by Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Education.  He said: “In this digital age it is vital that we embrace the benefits that technology can bring to teaching and learning.  My Department’s primary objective is to ensure that all children and young people receive the best possible start in life.  One way in which we seek to achieve this is through improving the learning environment and developing the education workforce. “This project will be an excellent example of collaborative working and will demonstrate what can be achieved when learning communities are formed with the common goal of improving outcomes for our pupils.” 


 Two local controlled schools in the Bangor area are partnering CSSC in the project. Pauline Brown, Principal of Kilcooley Primary School said,  “Pupils are very excited to be taking part in this project.  IPad technology has been developed throughout the school and we are looking forward to seeing how we can inspire the children to be ever more creative in using technology.”


 Matthew Pitts, Principal of Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College said, “We have a large mathematics department with teachers who are keen to embed new evidence-based approaches into their daily practice.  This Erasmus+ project is an excellent way for teachers to learn new approaches to technology, particularly from international partners.”




Notes to editors


1.      For further information please contact Sara McCracken on 07894 393 012


2.      The controlled education sector is largest education sector in Northern Ireland, comprising 558 schools (48% of all schools; figure as of 1 September 2017 according to CSSC database)


3.      The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) is the advocacy body for controlled schools and became operational on 1st September 2016 as a result of The Education Act (Northern Ireland) 2014


4.      CSSC is grant funded by Department of Education


5.      Erasmus+ is the European Union’s (EU) programme for education, training, youth and sport, with the EU committing £12 billion to the programme between 2014 and 2020. In the UK, the programme is managed by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.


6.      There are seven partners involved in the project, with CSSC taking the lead as coordinator[i]:


·         Kilcooley Primary School in Bangor is a 'Centre of Excellence' in interactive whiteboard skills. IPad technology has been developed throughout the school.


·         Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College has a large mathematics department with teachers who are keen to embed new evidence-based approaches into their daily practice.


·         Trinity College Dublin has an excellent research reputation and has been involved with the new mathematics syllabus (commonly known as Project Maths[ii]) which emphasises using problem-solving approaches.

[i] Jill Brown, School Support Officer at CSSC, is the lead officer. Jill has a wealth of experience in European projects, she is an EPALE UK ambassador, an Erasmus+ assessor and a Transnational Cooperation Activity Expert for the UK National Agency. Jill has previously worked with the partners in several other European projects prior to joining CSSC.

[ii] Project Maths is an exciting, dynamic development in Irish education empowering students to develop essential problem-solving skills.