Hexham schoolgirls sum up Government policy
Published at 07:38, Wednesday, 06 March 2013
WHEN it comes to changes in Government policy … you can count on three youngsters from Hexham Middle School.
For Year 8 pupils Elizabeth Nixon, Amy Hawke and Anisha Bannister have played a key role in persuading ministers to reform the way maths is taught in first and primary school classrooms across the country.
The trio struggled to get their heads around the ‘chunking’ method of division used in all schools, which involves solving division questions by repeated subtraction.
Instead they preferred using traditional long division methods, involving borrowing and carrying over numbers, taught to them by their parents.
They were so adamant that old ways were best, they wrote to Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman, who then in turn sent their letter on to Education Minister Elizabeth Truss.
After first replying saying chunking was not under review, the minister then announced old-style long division was being re-introduced after an absence of more than a decade.
Mrs Truss agreed chunking was ‘clumsy, confusing and time-consuming’.
Now the girls are claiming some credit for the U-turn.
“My dad showed me the way he was taught, and I found it so much easier,” said 12-year-old Elizabeth.
The girls’ campaign had the support of their maths teacher Cath Parker.
“We might never know if the letter from the girls had any effect on this decision,” she said.
“The timing of it all seems quite a coincidence and the initiative they've shown could quite easily have changed the way children are taught all over the country.”
Mr Opperman was due to visit the middle school today to talk to the pupils about the change.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk