CASE STUDY - Cairo English School
About the school
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Cairo English School has a reputation for high educational standards and strong discipline - there is always a waiting list.
The school has over 1,500 students from 30 different countries, from Early Years to Post-16 students. The school follows the English National Curriculum and students take the same assessments and external examinations: IGCSE, IBDP and A Level. It is also an International Baccalaureate World School so students follow the IB Learner Profile which has worldwide currency.
It has exceptionally good amenities including specialist facilities for ICT, Science, Art, Drama, Music, Design and Technology, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a sports hall, a weights room, all weather running track, and a floodlit soccer pitch, as well as three libraries and two canteens.
Cairo English School supports learning in and out of school via a resource portal and Showbie on iPads. It can be accessed by parents, students and teachers and means that they can keep track of assignments and other important information.
The issues faced
Nathan Still is the Technology Integration Specialist at Cairo English School. It is part of his job to train staff so they are confident about using technology in the classroom and can play an active role in educational technology initiatives.
Mathletics was already in use when Nathan started at the school two years ago but his goal was to make sure staff used it to improve differentiation.
He focused on three specific objectives:
• To help staff to support students who needed extra help with mathematics in class, at home and in learning support
• To use Mathletics to push the high attaining students who were able to work independently and who needed to be challenged
• To support parents, especially those who were not proficient in English, who wanted engaging resources for home use.
'Differentiating teaching and learning in the classroom is a priority for this school,' said Nathan. 'It is especially important in an environment with language learning challenges. However, we knew that there was no magic bullet which would meet everyone's needs and it was a cause of anxiety for some of our staff.'
The school was also receiving requests from parents who were looking for good educational resources to enhance mathematical skills. Some found that their children were so enthusiastic that they needed to get onto the next level of Mathletics at home and it was important that the parents felt involved and empowered.
The school wanted a high quality resource which would be easy for teachers to use and make them more confident of their ability to provide effective differentiation to assist pupils at all levels.
3P Learning resources had been used by the school for a long time, especially in the Early Years and Primary departments. Nathan Still was impressed by the excellent customer service offered by 3P Learning so he was happy to recommend Mathletics to teachers.
‘The competitive element is very strong in Mathletics,’ said Nathan. ‘Students can track their personal progress and, when ready, compete against their peers in school, nationally and on a global scale. We have found that competition has been a great motivator.
‘Mathletics engages all the pupils, especially the boys. When you see groups competing with each other in the classroom, there is a frenzy of learning - it's amazing how much they learn.'
The school uses Mathletics in computer rooms, classrooms, on mobile 'computers on wheels', on tablets and for pupils to use at home. The resource portal keeps a log showing how often different resources are used and Mathletics and other 3P Learning products are the most popular.
Nathan works with the teachers, sometimes one-to-one, assessing different teaching strategies and making sure they can use the resources confidently. It is effective way of providing training: 'Once they have seen Mathletics, it is amazing how teachers latch onto differentiation. It is a great relief to them to know that they can meet their pupils' needs,' said Nathan.
Snapshot of Cairo English School
• Over 1500 students from 30 different countries
• Caters for pupils from Early Years to Post-16 students
• Students take A-levels and the International Baccalaureate
• The key target was to use Mathletics to improve differentiation
• Teachers feel appreciated: 'We show teachers we are willing to invest in high quality resources to help them'
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