The Queenstown Education Foundation’s first-ever grade 7 maths Common Assessment Paper was written last week by pupils of seven primary schools in Komani and surrounds, affiliated to the foundation.
Although Common Assessment Papers already exist (for example IEB’s Core Competencies exam and the Conquesta Exams), the QEF gr 7 Common Assessment is unique in that it is the result of a development process that fostered inter-school dialogue and cross-learnings between gr 7 and gr 8 maths teachers teaching at various schools in the same town. The same process will ensure that the Common Assessment task team can analyse its results together and devise ways to assist each other strengthen areas that are weak.
During its formation, the subject of the teachers’ discussions was centred around the guiding question: How do we create exceptional confidence around matric maths?
The process started in June this year, included 20 maths teachers in a Community of Practice and discussed what maths textbooks, topics, skills, competencies and attitudes would empower pupils to most confidently enter gr 8 maths and go on to succeed in matric maths.
The QEF paper covers the total year’s syllabus and each gr 7 teacher chose for themselves whether to use it alone, or in conjunction with their own year-end paper. Each school remains autonomous in this. Much of the gr 8 intake of QEF-affiliated high schools comes from local QEF-affiliated primary schools. The paper is, however, not intended as a tool to assess promotion to gr 8.
The scripts are now in the process of being marked and moderated by gr 7 teachers Mathews Koshy (Queen’s College Boys’ Primary School), Roche de Villiers (Laerskool Hangklip Primary), Karen Coetzer (Balmoral Girls’ Primary School), Cheroldine Morrison (QGAP), Ryan Nel (Southbourne Primary), Sandra Prinsloo (Stepping Stone Primary) and Patrick Aadejei (Whit GAP).
QEF stakeholder relations manager, Jacqueline Wijtenburg, thanked all the task team members for “contributing their perspective and time to lift the project off the ground in order to move a step closer to realising QEF’s vision of transforming Queenstown into a centre of universally-recognised educational excellence”.
Wijtenburg thanked Mathews Koshy for volunteering to set this year’s first paper. “The team deliberated on his marking memo with him.”
Roche De Villiers translated the paper into Afrikaans while Charwin Knoetze assisted in typesetting both papers. Besides the gr 7 teachers, the task team also included “Maths boff teachers” such as Les Vincent, Colin Hartley, Grant Knoetze, Shelly Goldschmidt, Angelique van Wyk, Chanelle Bredenkamp, Nicholas Zata, Surprise Mdlala; Arno Swart, John Duncan, Megan Jackson and Wandisile Maseko, from various affiliated schools.