Maths Counts

Maths Counts provides one-to-one and small group support for pupils struggling in maths at Key Stage 2. It is delivered by trained Teaching Assistants, and is delivered in three 20 minute sessions per week for 10 weeks. It has been developed by The Mead Community Primary School, a National Teaching School based in Trowbridge, and is intended to be a personalised and creative intervention for pupils who are stuck in maths and struggling to make progress. To support the approach, the school has developed an online ‘Digital Maths Wheel’, which helps pupils and staff to monitor progress, identify strengths and areas for improvement – developing children’s confidence and ‘learning to learn’ skills. As the intervention is developed further, this platform will be populated with evidence-based resources for TAs, teachers and parents to support children in the areas where they are struggling.

The Mead Community Primary School has been delivering the approach successfully, and believes that other schools could benefit from it. This project involves a phase of development work with six schools to codify the materials and training, and update the content, before being tested as an efficacy trial.

Why are we funding it?

Evidence in the Teaching and Learning Toolkit suggests that one-to-one and small group support are effective, particularly for primary school pupils in maths. It also suggests that approaches encouraging meta-cognition, or ‘learning to learn’ behaviours are highly effective. In addition, the Maths Counts intervention draws on evidence about supporting pupils struggling in maths, including principles of the highly regarded Every Child Counts’ ‘Numbers Count’ programme, and has been adapted based on practice within The Mead Community Primary School.

How are we evaluating it?

A team from Durham University will evaluate the intervention. The project will involve a period of development and piloting in six schools. The aim of this phase will be to finalise the content (including adapting the materials for the new maths curriculum) and develop the training programme. From January 2016, The Mead would recruit 30 schools for an efficacy trial starting in September 2016. For the trial, pupils in Years 3–6 will be identified as eligible for support if they are at Level 2a or below in Maths. All those identified would be randomised to receive Maths Counts from a trained Teaching Assistant, or to a control group that receives ‘business as usual’ support.

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in Spring 2018.