Maths trial to be extended after Honiton success

PUBLISHED: 11:34 20 December 2009 | UPDATED: 00:42 16 June 2010

A pilot scheme, trialled in Honiton, as seen a huge improvement in the maths abilities of those taking part at Littletown Primary School.

A pilot scheme, trialled in Honiton, as seen a huge improvement in the maths abilities of those taking part at Littletown Primary School.

Now at the end of its first year, the Numbers Count initiative, which provides extra investment for support in the classroom, is to be extended to a further 22 schools across Devon to help the poorest learners catch up with their classmates.

The programme is part of the Every Child Counts scheme, which addresses the attainment gap in maths at primary level. It intends to enable the lowest attaining children in Key Stage 1 (ages six to seven) to make greater progress towards the expected levels.

Specially trained Numbers Count teachers give intensive support to the lowest-achieving children, assessing them individually and developing a personalised programme to suit their particular needs. They teach one-to-one Numbers Count lessons to each child for half an hour every day for 12 weeks, with the aim of enabling the children to develop both their confidence and mathematical ability.

Just over 100 children across 12 Schools in Devon took part in the scheme during the last academic year, over 84 per cent of which achieved the age-expected levels at the end of Key Stage 1.

On average, the children involved made more than 13 months progress after just 20 hours of Numbers Count teaching over 3 months; equating to progress made at more than four times the normal rate.

Alex Soanes, one of Devon's Numbers Count teachers, said: "Being a Numbers Count Teacher is a privilege.

Working so closely with children on a one to one basis has given me a real insight into the way children think and the massive challenges and difficulties that they have to overcome to become numerate and access the classroom curriculum.


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