Case Studies

  • Bigland Green Primary School
  • Holywell Primary School
  • English Martyrs Catholic Primary School

Bigland Green, a Primary School in East London, has been taking part in Number Partners since 2011 supported by business volunteers from Total Objects and Aspen.

In 2014, ten Year 3 pupils were selected to participate in the Number Partners scheme on the basis of their confidence and current maths attainment, with a focus on children who are working at or just below age-related expectations.

Between September 2013 and April 2014, all of the children participating in Number Partners had progressed by at least 1 sub-level since being paired with their Number Partner, and one child had made 2 sub-levels of progress.

Tracy Crannitch, Assistant Head Teacher, says: ‘It is definitely worth it. The children love it and time wise it is an easy way of enriching the curriculum. Children are much more willing to give things a go in class and perseverance and confidence have definitely increased.’

Maths Competition

Holywell Primary School in Leicestershire believes that links with the wider community and interactions with adults beyond parents, teachers and support assistants are key to being a successful school.

Liam Battison, Maths Coordinator at Holywell Primary School, says: ’It is a worthwhile and fulfilling programme for both pupils and the Number Partners involved. The children really benefit and absolutely love it! As a coordinator, it is fantastic knowing that we have a support programme for pupils who really need one to one, just to improve their mathematical confidence.’

The school selects children from Year 3 and Year 4 to participate in Number Partners because they are low on mathematical confidence, and their progress is tracked over the course of the scheme. Pupils are paired with a different Number Partner each week to receive extra support with their maths in friendly, non-stressful environment. Sessions last for 30 minutes once a week, over the course of a term.

During the last academic year, participating pupils increased their end of year target by one sub level, as well as benefiting from increased confidence.

Number Partner. English MartyrÕs Primary School. London. UK. 26/06/2013.  Garry Bowden/THP Photo Imaging

Number Partner. English MartyrÕs Primary School. London. UK. 26/06/2013.  Garry Bowden/THP Photo Imaging

In 2013, 24 pupils at English Martyrs, Tower Hamlets, had a weekly Number Partner who spent 30 minutes with them on a one to one basis. 14 of the pupils were in Year 6, and the remaining 10 were all in Year 4. They were selected to take part in the Number Partner scheme because they either lacked confidence in their mathematical ability, or required an opportunity to be challenged and stretched.

Pupil progress was tracked from the start of the academic year, and after the first term, 9 of the 24 pupils had made adequate progress, whilst 15 had made a higher than expected rate of progress.

One pupil said last year of his Commerzbank volunteer; “My favourite thing about having a Number Partner is that he tells me what goes on in his work.”

Half way through the year, only two pupils remained below the expected level; however, one of these pupils had very poor attendance and the other had a specific learning difficulty with maths, which was thought to impact upon their progress. Bronagh Nugent, Head Teacher at English Martyrs School, said previous experience indicates that this gap will narrow as the pupils continue to receive additional support in the form of a Number Partner.