INNOVATION IN MATHEMATICAL EDUCATION: Numberfit piloted in Old Oak Primary and Avonmore Primary as part of the National Curriculum

INTRODUCTION

Numberfit was commissioned by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) Local Education Authority (LEA) to deliver a pilot programme to two schools. The mandate was to partner with the schools to raise both engagement and attainment in numeracy as well as supporting and reinforcing the schools current numeracy program.

The pilot was a huge success and this case study will outline why...

AIMS OF PILOT

•       Replace one hour of maths teaching time per week for Year 3 and Year 4 pupils across the schools to increase both engagement in maths as well as attainment

•       Assess the impact of Numberfit with a selected participant from each ability group to gauge impact across the ability spectrum

•       Create a bespoke program that will meet the end of year targets for each year

•       Deliver differentiated lessons with multiple coaches, teaching groups ranging in ability, from Special Educational Needs (SEN) to gifted and talented (G&T)

•       Collect both soft and hard data to demonstrate a tangible improvement in attitudes and opinions over the project lifetime

•       To take maths out of the classroom and use physical activity as a way to deliver lessons

FINDINGS OF THE PILOT

STRUCTURE

As you can see from the figure to the right; a fantastic positive to come from the pilot, was short lessons interspersed with active games examining the lesson content as well as having the whole structure differentiated and accessible to all abilities. The sessions were run over approximately 10 weeks over each term. With sessions designed to cover all National Curriculum (NC) themes.

With an average of 36 questions being answered by every student in the session, this goes way above and beyond the involvement a student would get in a regular mathematics lesson.

The aim was to have students consistently answering questions across all elements of the Numberfit session and that the engaging format should maintain and if possible exceed the amount of maths a child would get in a traditional classroom setting.

The feedback from the schools suggested the pace and structure of the session resulted in students working continuously and enjoyably for each hour long session.

ENGAGEMENT, ATTITUDES AND OPINIONS

Proudly and very importantly, Numberfit conducted research amongst the students who participated in the pilot scheme and it can be seen that a massive 98% of children thought mathematics had been made more fun. Additionally, 89% of students also enjoyed the homework sheets that accompany a typical session. Click on the images on the left to see the feedback from students that participated in the programme.

All the class have been highly motivated when it comes to Numberfit. They have been more willing to learn during the sessions and over the year I have seen that their confidence in maths has been built up through praise and a positive mathematical learning experience.
— Year 4 teacher, Old Oak Primary

PROGRESS AND ATTAINMENT

 Over our time at both schools, we saw a huge increase in progress and attainment. Within the year we had helped decrease the number of students who were performing below national curriculum target levels by 17%, as well as increasing the number of students who had above national curriculum target levels by 13%.

Levels of numeracy and problem solving saw huge improvements with 93% of participants seeing improvements in their attainment.  As a result of Numberfit sessions placing a large emphasis on using maths to help solve problems and building perseverance. (Something outlined in the new 2014 national curriculum as important to future success).

Within the classroom environment there have been a number of occasions when pupils referred to what they have learnt in Numberfit sessions.
— Old Oak Primary

LEA FEEDBACK

The Local Authority found Numberfit to be highly professional in presentation and delivery of the programme, actively seeking feedback to improve that delivery and find new ways of capturing the agreed outcomes. Facilitators were enthusiastic, built great relationships with pupils and adapted sessions to meet the needs of their groups. The engagement with and understanding of Maths in their target pupils was reported as having greatly improved and the impact on their learning and achievement was measured as more than expected sub levels of progress across the period of the programme.
We have no hesitation in recommending Numberfit to other schools
— Katy Mbanefo, Bi-Borough Lead Adviser, School Standards, Children's Services London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea