Who We Are
“Math success is about reaching every teacher and every learner wherever they are on their
How We Do It
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”
ACHIEVING MATH SUCCESS FOR EVERY TEACHER AND LEARNER
Why You Can Trust Us
The Proficiency Trust Board of Trustees oversees the governance of the organisation and have a combined experience of over one hundred years in the corporate, education and philanthropy sectors.
The Foundation is an approved Public Benefit Organisation (“PBO”) under PBO number 930062567 and Section 18A (1)(a) approved. Also registered under NPO 213-482.
Bheki Shongwe (Chairperson)
Bheki is currently the executive chairperson of Flow communications, a position he has held since 2012. He has more than 30 years of business experience in finance, marketing, sales, and general management and prior to his role at Flow was the managing director of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club. Bheki has a long-standing fascination with the role of education in driving social development.
Peter comes from a family business background and over 30 years in Media, Distribution and Supply Chain and Merchandise Management both in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Positions held have always involved an extensive Change Management role and from this Peter has developed a passion for education and job creation and aims to continue this vision through the work of the Proficiency Trust.
Prince Siluma is the nominee of FNB Fiduciary (PTY) Ltd, an independent corporate trustee. He currently heads up FNB Fiduciary Philanthropy. A well-rounded business strategist with over 20 years of financial services experience; Prince has a demonstrated history of driving solutionist thinking extending from finance, fiduciary services, social investment strategy, grant making and management to working with Non-Profit organisations and the Corporate Social Investment sector.
Partnerships and Programmes
"Excellent teaching gives children the life chances they deserve... Enjoyment is the
birthright of every child. But the most powerful mix is the one that brings the two
together. Children learn better when they are excited and engaged - but what excites and
engages them best is truly excellent teaching.”
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
Early childhood development: 90% of a child’s brain develops by the age of five and South Africa currently has six million children below the age of six.
For South African children to succeed and compete in this 21st Century and the fourth industrial revolution (“4IR”), their mathematical skills need to be developed during this phase. The use of math manipulatives during the Early Childhood Development (ECD) phase of child development are stimulating to children as the learning tools create excitement in a playful way which encourages creativity in children.
The ECD programme is designed with bespoke learning tools developed for The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and the National Early Learning and Development Standards (NELDS).
GRADES 8 AND 9
Grades 8 and 9: The focus is on Grade 8 children coming from many different primary schools with various levels of math competency. It is especially important that, this cohort of learners are provided with support structures that will lift, align, and standardise the conceptual foundation for learning high school maths, with a focus on certain key concepts of the math programmes to meet the required competency as laid out in the South African CAPS curriculum.
The Proficiency Trust, through its partnership with Clever Minds Direct Pty Ltd (CMD), a supplier of education products, training services and curriculum development, the Foundation benefits from the experiences and successes that CMD has had in the South African Education Sector. Since 2015 over 350 000 learners and over 4500 teachers were reached across 5 provinces with pleasing results and significant impact:
- 17% increase in competency in Grade 3: 2015 vs 2017
- 40% increase in competency in Grade 6: 2015 vs 2017
- 74% increase in competency in Grade 9: 2015 vs 2017
Provinces reached include Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.
Magic Maths is CMD’s teacher programme which facilitates ‘learning by doing’. The programme offers a grounding of mathematical concepts and topics through a ‘Show me and I understand’ approach.
Maths often seems hard because children are taught that there is only one correct way to learn it, by memory. The purpose of the programmes is to create a love and passion for maths and a belief in each child that they are ‘good at maths’, so that later they’re more willing and able to participate. Sounds like magic, right?
Magic Maths gives learners physical objects called ‘manipulatives’, so that they can visualise what the problems look like, and use a more hands-on method of solving them, rather than trying to work it all out in their heads. Linking the manipulative to the curriculum is important to justify the expense and the need for the manipulative in the first place.
Magic Buddies is a structured peer to peer math network program. It is enabled by identifying talented math learners who are offered the opportunity to become a math mentor. Only learners who are achieving 65% and above for math are eligible to become a mentor
Magic Buddies is a country first. It is a peer-to-peer network program for learners by learners. The programmes select talented math learners and appoints them as mentors. Each mentor is shadowed by learners who need support in math to increase their grades.
Many learners would rather ask their friends for math support on a one-on-one basis than ask for help from a teacher in front of a whole class, that’s where the genius of Magic Buddies comes in: officially appointing students who achieve more than 65% to help students who are struggling allows the lesson to be passed on without the teacher present.
How do the mentors benefit? Aside from being acknowledged in front of the whole school at year end, selected mentors are afforded the opportunity to advance themselves to Advanced Math where they are encouraged to strive towards self-development and academic excellence.
The CMD Saturday School program is an afterhours intervention that is used to improve a group of learners’ capabilities in a specific topic, or term’s work. The Saturday School programmes are based on the CMD’s Magic Maths and Magic Buddies methodology. That is, teaching complex math concepts with physical, hands-on math manipulatives which convert an abstract concept to a concrete, visual representation of the concept, for a solid foundation and well-formed understanding of the “WHY” behind certain concepts.
A Saturday school can take many forms and are fully customisable to any specific needs.
- It can be used for remedial purposes, that is, to provide support and additional teaching to learners who are struggling to comprehend certain topics and allow them to reach their true potential.
- It can provide talented learners with the extra guidance they need to improve their results.
- It can be used for exam and test preparation throughout the year.
- It can be used as a “crash course” or “refresher course” for topics that learners struggle with, or simply need to refresh.
With this in mind, and with a very successful outcome, the Saturday School Programmes have produced phenomenal results. For example, Algebra which is introduced in Grade 8 and expanded on in Grade 9 in the South African CAPS curriculum. Historically, Algebra has proven to be a hugely compromised area in the math curriculum. Algebra provides a base for almost all the math concepts taught in Senior and FET Phase Math.
Where are we going?
TESTIMONIALS AND REPORTS
Excellent teaching gives children the life chances they deserve... Enjoyment is the birth right of every child. But the most powerful mix is the one that brings the two together. Children learn better when they are excited and engaged - but what excites and engages them best is truly excellent teaching.
Math success is about reaching every teacher and learner wherever they are on their learning path.
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.