Feedback from schools

The initial trial of GRIN was conducted by Prof. Peter Sullivan and Dr. Sue Gunningham in 2010 with primary and secondary schools in the Wyndham region of Melbourne. GRIN is currently being delivered in primary and secondary schools across Victoria, with extraordinary feedback from numeracy leaders,  school  principals  and  students, relating to:

Improved numeracy learning

Quantitative data highlights improved results in mathematics for students who have participated in the GRIN program:

School Group Number of students Mean Gain in On Demand Testing
School 1 Tutored 24 .45
Not Tutored 144 -0.03
School 2 Tutored 21 .48
Not Tutored 90 .29
School 3 Tutored 10 .21
Not Tutored 99 .1
School 4 Tutored 7 .77
Not Tutored 51 -0.1
School 5 Tutored 27 .73
Not Tutored 86 .26

Increased confidence

A consistent message from teachers is that they find that students gain in confidence when they come back to the classroom:

One child said to me that they no longer felt in a fog and that they really looked forward to maths. - Joanne O'Malley, Assistant Principal, St Kilda Primary School

They feel more confident about the topic we're learning about because they've already had a bit of work with [the tutor], so I think that helps them a lot. It's sort of a confidence thing where they can participate and they're willing to participate in discussions. - Teacher from Wyndham Network,  Victoria

Before, if I was questioning them they would never put their hand up whereas their hands are up straight away trying to tell me what they've been learning with [the tutor]. - Teacher from Wyndham Network, Victoria

Transformation

Building on the development of student's confidence, the intervention has transformed the experience of some students when they return to their class:

There has been a massive change in the students, mainly in their self-esteem - they are more likely to engage in class, they want to put their hand up and contribute. Before they would have withdrawn and avoided eye contact, not wanting to participate in classroom discussions. - Danielle James,  The  Grange  School

The willingness to have a go and actually talk in class now – which is what we didn't have before. It used be to "I don't understand", whereas now, they want to work, they want to share with the other and they want to talk in front of class. - Teacher from Wyndham Network, Victoria

Impact on class teaching

The program has a positive impact on classroom teaching:

I've been able to keep the lessons flowing rather than having to stop and start. This way it's been easier to go through all the topics. - Teacher from Wyndham Network, Victoria

This program required a close connection between the classroom teachers and the teachers involved in running the program. The positive impact of this alone was amazing. The conversations around the children's thinking and the deepening of teachers' understanding around maths has had a long term effect on all the children in the grade. - Joanne  O'Malley,  Assistant  Principal,  St Kilda Primary School

Impact on the students

Feedback from students

I enjoyed playing games and timetables - it made me feel smart. - Student from Seaford North Primary School

It helps me in class, make me achieve more. Awesome fun. - Student from Mordialloc Beach Primary

I like learning the methods before class, feeling more confident. - Student from Parkdale Secondary College

I am able to answer questions more often in my maths class. - Student from Somerville Secondary School

"I liked that we could learn new things and I thought it helped me a lot." "Yes it is helping me and you can tell by my results improving."  "Being able to answer questions more often in my maths class." - Other students

Comments from schools

We are now in our third semester of GRIN at Lilydale Heights College, so my team (2 tutors & myself) are well settled in the program and very grateful for it. We started with sessions for just years 9 & 10 in Sem 2 of 2011 and saw some very pleasing progress made by some of the GRIN kids that year. Seeing that, the principal wanted us to expand to include year 8s as well, so in 2012 we've had 62 students in years 8-10 doing the program and it is pretty well embedded in the school's overall program with good positive endorsement from the Maths teachers and staff in general. - David  Kitchen,  Numeracy  Support  Co-Ordinator, Lilydale Heights College

It's a really worthwhile program and it really works - we've got data to prove it. - Lynne Laursen, The Grange School

The GRIN program has made a significant difference in student willingness to have a go at Maths in the classroom. The tutorial sessions gives students access to the mathematical language and skills they will encounter in the classroom. The GRIN program participants generally demonstrated a greater level of growth in their AusVELs  improvement than their non-GRIN peers. GRIN is easy to implement within the school and we have found that the benefits are not just noticeable in the students' maths but in their confidence with their other studies. A great program that gives students a helping hand to demonstrate improved understanding. - Yvonne Dunbar, Pakenham Secondary College