News: June 2016

Arthur J. Gallagher team members in Bournemouth make volunteering count at Bethany Junior

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PUPILS from Bournemouth’s Bethany Junior School have buddied-up with team members from Arthur J. Gallagher to boost their maths skills.

The new relationship, one of the first of its kind in Dorset, is part of the National Number Partners programme which has been operating in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets since 2004, and supports seven to 14 year olds with motivation, confidence and attainment in numeracy.

Sixteen Year 3 and 4 Bethany pupils have been paired with 8 volunteers from Arthur J. Gallagher and will spend half an hour a week playing fun number games together.  Volunteers from Arthur J. Gallagher’s headquarters in London already support young people in Tower Hamlets schools via the Lloyd’s Community Programme.

Recently named as one of the world’s most ethical companies for the fifth year running, Arthur J. Gallagher, a global leader in insurance brokerage and risk management, is an organisation with social responsibility at its heart.

Hugo Rowland-Hill, Marketing Executive and community champion at the company said: “Number Partners struck a chord with our teams.  We can see the impact it is having in other parts of the country and were keen to bring it to our local community here in Bournemouth. Through our matched giving scheme at Gallagher, we are able to donate money to the charities we are supporting in addition to volunteering hours. We hope the relationship with the school is long lasting and that volunteers and children continue to look forward to weekly visits.”

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Steve Cottrell, acting Headteacher of Bethany CE Junior School, said “As a school we are always looking for ways to link with local businesses, and as maths is a key focus of our development plan, this seemed like a great opportunity. The children have found the experience of Number Partners exciting and engaging. The focused activities and games promote key numeracy skills that are vital to helping our children progress. We look forward to continuing with the Number Partners programme into the future and would like to thank the team at Gallagher for their enthusiasm for this project.”

On 11th July, pupils are invited to celebrate the partnership with a visit to the company offices in the Abbey Life Building.  They will tour the building, attend a maths-themed board meeting and have lunch in the café to experience what it’s like to be an adult in the workplace and how maths can be applied to many careers.

Pupils multiply their maths skills at the Number Partners Challenge 2016 Grand Final at XL Catlin 

Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership hosted its fourth annual Number Partners Challenge final where top scoring teams from across the borough competed against each other on their hardest maths challenge yet.

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Teams of finalists waited with bated breath as the winners of the Number Partners Challenge 2016 were announced at the end of the Grand Final, hosted by global insurance company XL Catlin on Friday 27th May. Out of a record 73 participating teams from 13 Tower Hamlets schools that entered the competition in mid-April, nine teams were invited to the final. After competing in an hour-long maths challenge live at the final, the self-named ‘Hexadecagon’ team from Woolmore Primary were announced as the winners, followed by runners up ‘Beanishy Beano Returns’ from English Martyrs RC Primary.

To get to the final, pupils had to determine how many sheep and hens made up 8 heads and 22 legs, among other tricky problems, over three rounds.  All the finalists will be rewarded with a trip to Brighton’s University of Sussex in June to find out what it’s like to be a student at a top university outside of London.

Year 6 pupil Tahira from the winning team said her favourite part of the challenge was, “problem-solving because you have to figure things out by yourself, and also the prizes!”

One of the volunteers, Cemile Turker from Financial Conduct Authority, who is a Number Partner at Woolmore Primary said; “It’s brilliant to see the pupils working together as a team and I hope they’ll continue to do that when they go to secondary school.”

Another pupil, Morium, said about her volunteer Cemile, “she motivates us.  When she finds the answer to something she doesn’t’ tell us straight away, she’ll show us some way we can get to the answer ourselves.”

Managed by Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership (THEBP), Number Partners supports 7-14 year olds with attainment, confidence and motivation in numeracy. The scheme pairs volunteers from the business community with pupils for half an hour per week to play fun maths games, whilst simultaneously bringing young people into contact with role models from the world of work. There are currently 450 Number Partners working in 37 primary schools throughout Tower Hamlets.

The annual Number Partners Challenge takes the partnership further, with pupils and volunteers forming teams to complete three rounds of stretching maths-related challenges, using their problem-solving, logic and teamwork. Becky Feetham, Senior Project Manager at Tower Hamlets EBP who started the competition said: “Our mission is to help students to learn more, do more, and become more, and numeracy is a critical life skill within this aim.  Number Partners business volunteers make maths fun for pupils and gives them insight into how it can help them in later life.’

This year, the Number Partners Challenge is financially supported by the Ernest Cook Trust.