Online games will test ways for teaching assistants to improve pupils’ maths skills

A new trial using teaching assistants and internet games to help improve primary school pupils’ mental arithmetic is one of three launched today by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) that will evaluate different ways for teaching assistants to support primary school pupils struggling with their numeracy skills.

These trials form part of the EEF’s £5m campaign to help schools make the best use of the country’s 240,000 teaching assistants:

  • Delivered by the University of Oxford, a trial of Improving Working Memory will find out if teaching memory strategies to Year 3 pupils can improve their results. Led by teaching assistants, the intervention will utilise internet games to help Year 3 pupils improve their working memories, a cognitive skill that has a significant impact on number understanding and arithmetic.
  • In Edge Hill University’s 1stClass@Number, teaching assistants will be given six half-days of training and detailed lesson plans to deliver a Post Office themed small-group intervention to Year 2 pupils. The children will use letters, parcels and house numbers to support their maths and write postcards to tell their class teachers about their achievements.
  • Catch Up Numeracy, a one-to-one teaching assistant-led intervention that breaks numeracy down into ten components, was previously trialled by the EEF with positive results. This trial will find out if the programme is as effective when delivered at a larger scale.