Oxford MailAcademics raise concerns at calculator ban for SATs (From Oxford Mail)

Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us

Academics raise concerns at calculator ban for SATs

Oxford Mail: Oxford University’s Prof Terezinha Nunes Oxford University’s Prof Terezinha Nunes

TEACHERS and academics have raised concerns about the impact of banning calculators in primary school tests.

Children in Year 6 have this week been sitting their National Curriculum SATs tests and for the first time under Government changes they cannot use calculators in the maths exams.

Ministers believe pupils are becoming too reliant on calculators, saying pupils should know their times tables and be able to add, subtract and divide before learning to use calculators.

But others have warned that the ruling could have a big impact on results.

Teacher April Warren, whose Year 6 pupils at Larkrise Primary School in East Oxford, were due to take the maths test yesterday, said it was difficult to know the impact the ban would have.

She said earlier: “What will have an impact is whether the test paper reflects not being able to use a calculator.

“We won’t know for definite how that has gone until we open the papers. If the tests are still set at the level that they were last year then it could have a big impact on results.”

Experts at Oxford University have argued children would lose vital skills and it will be detrimental to their learning.

Professor of Educational Studies Terezinha Nunes said calculators helped children develop mathematical reasoning.

She said: “There is a balance between assessing computation skills and reasoning.

“But if you take away the possibility of calculators, either you are going to not focus at all on reasoning and just thinking about how to do the sums correctly, or demand less on reasoning skills and so spend time calculating.”

Oxfordshire County councillor and education expert John Howson agreed that it could have an effect on results.

He said: “We won’t know what effect it will have until we get the results. I can see both sides.”

But he added: “Asking children to not use them does seem a bit like a step back.”

“It’s like going back to logorithms instead of using a computer. If the technology is there it should be a skill they should learn.”

Anne Watson, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education at Oxford University, said: “There is a substantial amount of good evidence on calculators in schools, mainly from the US, and none of it shows their use is detrimental to pupils’ learning.

“In fact, students who use calculators regularly in lessons score as high or higher in tests, taken without calculators, compared to those who do not.”

Our top stories:

Dad walking tall after his 70-mile trek for charity

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

IT was a fitting end to an admirable feat.

Developer submits fresh plans for 127 homes in Bampton

Oxford Mail: Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens and director Ben Bolt film a scene in Bampton

9:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

A DEVELOPER previously denied permission to build 127 homes in the village where ITV period drama Downton Abbey films outdoor scenes has returned with a new planning application.

Ambulance service cuts 12-hour shifts 'to reduce staff fatigue'

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

OXFORDSHIRE’S ambulance staff shifts could be shortened as part of plans to ease pressure on paramedics.

Confusing tale of two signs calls for a speedy solution

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 31st July 2014

DRIVERS should be paying attention to the roads when watching their speed limit.

Courts prove an inspiration to grandfather in his poetry

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

IN his job as a court usher Mike Lacey has seen people from all walks of life.

F1 team sues ex-employees

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Thursday 31st July 2014

LEAFIELD-based Formula 1 team Caterham is counter-suing a group of former employees who banded together to take the firm to court after being laid off.

Gaza scholar blast victim walks again

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Thursday 31st July 2014

FORMER Oxford Brookes Gaza scholar Hassan Al Hallaq, who was seriously injured in Gaza last week, has began walking again in hospital.

Pair in court after city centre protest

Oxford Mail: police officer rear

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

Two men arrested after a protest in Oxford will appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday, August 11.

The Ent is nigh for Tolkien tree

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

IT is said to have influenced the work of JRR Tolkien and inspired creatures in Lord of the Rings.

Funeral date set for footballer

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

THE funeral of former Chelsea youth player Jordan Tabor will take place at midday on Tuesday at Trinity Church in Abingdon.

It’s a ‘bootiful’ flower display for Marie Curie Cancer Care at Bicester Avenue Garden Centre

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

BEAMING Matilida Hillis, from Kidlington, filled her green star-strewn wellies with flowers at Bicester Avenue Garden Centre on Tuesday.

Power station rubble will be used in redevelopment

Oxford Mail: Pictures submitted by our readers of their memories of Didcot Power Station leading up to the demolition of three of the cooling towers.

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

ABOUT 32,000 tonnes of rubble and dust was collected by clean-up workers following the demolition at Didcot A Power Station on Sunday.

Driverless cars may soon be coming to a road near you

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Thursday 31st July 2014

DESPITE its academic reputation, Oxford has a long history of car-making and next year this could be taken to a whole new level.

Academy sponsor hits back at charity’s claims of pupil failure

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

AN academy sponsor in the city has been judged to be “failing” to improve the prospects for disadvantaged children.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree