School of the Nations – Improving the results in the Cambridge international exams

Eric Kinjanjui – Year 6 Class Teacher & Maths Teacher kindly spoke to Whizz Education

Improving our results in the Cambridge International Exams

The School of the Nations, Nairobi, Kenya has a vision to prepare and equip pupils as global leaders of the future while providing them with a sound holistic foundation. The school follows the Cambridge International Curriculum. They pride themselves on their exciting, enterprising curriculum and strive to raise standards with the local community in a supportive way. Thanks to the support and dedication of the teachers, the School of the Nations has over the last eight years, built a culture of success in maths, achieving significant improvements in the grades in the Cambridge International exams and Maths-Whizz has played a significant part in this success.

“Since starting with Maths-Whizz, over eight years ago, our students’ exam performance in the Cambridge International exams have improved continuously”

Eric Kinjanjui
Year 6 Class Teacher & Maths Teacher kindly spoke to Whizz Education

The Challenge

Our students were not doing as well as we had expected or hoped in the Cambridge International Examinations for maths. We had identified significant learning gaps and we needed to raise the overall performance of maths at the school. For that reason, we went out to find a solution that would achieve all these goals but would also be child friendly.
Whizz Education was listed in Kenya as an official education partner that supported schools in implementing technology in schools to deliver accelerated learning results, therefore we invited them to present their educational solution.
The representative from Whizz Education tailored the presentation to our school and we immediately saw our needs would be met by working in partnership with them. Their virtual tutoring platform, Maths-Whizz, is a child-friendly programme that supplements what was being taught in class and was quickly embraced by children, teachers and parents.

The Solution

There was an immediate need to roll out Maths-Whizz for the Y6 students sitting Cambridge exams so we started the implementation with Y6 first and then across the school as a whole. We were very happy to re-organise the ICT lab and the timetable so that all students could have their time using the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor and now Maths-Whizz is a timetabled activity for all children at the school plus we assign weekly homework using Topic Focus.

Helping teachers: using Maths-Whizz for classroom teachine and at home study

The School of the Nations partnered with Whizz Education to create a seamless connection between classroom teaching and at home study, including weekends and during the holidays.
In the classroom, all students are working on the same topic. The interactive whiteboard within Maths-Whizz makes it much easier for the teachers. Pupils often know ahead of time some of the information and topics that they are going to be studying in the classroom having worked on it at home which makes teaching easier and more pleasurable for the teacher and the students.

The teachers can see how individual students are progressing and then use ‘Topic Focus’ to set individualized and differentiated learning for each child at the weekend and holiday homework. This ensures that each student works at their own pace and ability.

Our children’s attitude towards maths has changed significantly over the years as they have gained confidence in their own ability. They are very competitive and are motivated by their position on the leaderboard at school and also where they are ranked in Kenya. Some of our students have appeared on the Maths-Whizz global leaderboard which really motivates them.

Reliable data accurately forecasts future performance: using Maths-Whizz test results to assign final grade scores

Having partnered with Whizz Education for over 8 years, the school is very confident in the high degree reliability of the Maths-Whizz data. So much so that how a student performs in the Maths-Whizz tests has a direct impact on their final grade score for the term.

Twenty-percent of the students total assessment mark in maths is based on their performance working with the virtual tutor.

Each week at Assembly the top Maths-Whizz performers are announced and at the end of year Prize Giving Day there is a prize for the top performers on Maths-Whizz.

Building the triangle of success

Eric has been teaching at the School of the Nations where the parents are very involved in the school community and like to know how their children are performing. We know that children excel when teachers, students and parents are working together.

“At teacher/parents evenings, I pull out the data, tables and graphs for their child to show them where their child started the year and the progress they have made and where they might need further assistance. Whilst this end of year/term data is summative, we have access to the formative data all year long which assists us in making decisions for immediate intervention rather than waiting for the end of the term reports.”

Eric Kinjanjui
Year 6 Class Teacher & Maths Teacher

The results: reliably predicting exam results

“We know the data from Maths-Whizz to be very reliable. Students who interacted with the Maths-Whizz tutor on a consistent basis were generally a year, if not more, ahead of where we would normally expect them to be aged 11 years old. This is reflected in the very good Cambridge exams results we are experiencing. I can say with great confidence that I rely on the results and data from Maths-Whizz to predict children’s exam success”.

Better performance

Eight years ago, the maths results were unsatisfactory. Now, we are seeing significant progress in these results across the whole school. Maths-Whizz has given the children not only confidence in their ability in maths but also a belief that maths is fun. The Maths-Whizz virtual tutor has been of great assistance to all teachers in the school and we are all very happy to use it in our classes.

Maths-Whizz has absolutely contributed to boosting our maths results.”

The students who were in Year 2 when we first implemented Maths-Whizz are now in Year 6. Having consistently used Maths-Whizz throughout their schooling, they are doing exceptionally well now in maths.”

“Previously, students who started with Maths-Whizz in Year 2 are now in Year 6 and have been consistently using Maths-Whizz throughout their schooling and so they are doing exceptionally well now.”

“When I look at the ability and understanding of concepts among my students, I can tell who is using Maths-Whizz frequently and who is not.”