What is Taking Off With Numeracy?

Taking Off With Numeracy (TOWN)

Taking Off With Numeracy (TOWN) is a whole-class intervention initiative which focuses on improving numeracy skills of students in the upper primary years identified as not performing at expected stage level. The initiative provides ongoing professional learning over the school year to assist teachers to assess each student’s current numeracy understanding and to monitor student progress against a research-based framework. Beyond this, the program aims to provide explicit guidance in designing whole class teaching programs to further develop each student’s numeracy understanding. Emphasis is given to the teaching sequence related to developing Place Value, as it underpins the four operations and decimals, as well as important concepts in measurement. Focus is also given to the teaching of Multiplication and Division concepts.

Outline of TOWN

  • Taking Off With Numeracy uses a phased implementation model.
  • School teams will identify some or all of Stage 2 and Stage 3 teachers to participate, one of whom will be team leader and will coordinate the initiative within the school and facilitate local discussion.
  • The school TOWN team will participate in an introductory professional learning led by a TOWN Lead Trainer.
  • It is anticipated that each teacher may require approximately one day's release to go assess students as part of phase one.
  • Phase 2 professional learning sessions will be scheduled after school hours. There are six sessions each of two hours duration. All team members are expected to attend each session and complete between-module tasks.
  • Schools will develop an implementation action plan for Phase 1, Phase 2 and for sustaining the program initiative.

TOWN Phase 1

TOWN Phase 1 provides site-based professional learning for participating teachers, coordinated by a school team leader and led by a TOWN Lead Trainer. Resources, including assessment materials (at a cost to the school) are provided to assist schools in conducting self-paced professional learning sessions. The focus for Phase 1 is on teachers developing a strong understanding of the numeracy continuum and on completing an assessment process in order to determine where each student is having difficulties. The duration of Phase 1 is one term.

TOWN Phase 2

Participating schools are supported to implement TOWN Phase 2 through the delivery of six professional learning modules face-to-face, via video conference or other ICT modes. Participating teachers will have access to the TOWN website which provides resources, including classroom teaching materials and presentations, to support the professional learning in each module.  

For schools interested in TOWN 2015, please contact your local Educational Services curriculum advisors. Details for your school’s Educational Services contact can be found here https://detwww.det.nsw.edu.au/publicschoolsnsw in the right hand menu.