1stClass@Number trains Teaching Assistants (TAs) to work with children who struggle with mathematics. The programme, designed and produced by Edge Hill staff with support from the Department for Education (DfE), was first implemented across England in the 2011-12 academic year and has recently extended to Scotland, Wales and Guernsey.
It is an intervention programme for children who have fallen behind at mathematics and need a helping hand to get back on track and catch up with their peers. A trained teacher or TA supports a group of up to 4 children through an intervention consisting of 24 to 30 half-hour lessons that focus on number and calculation, developing children’s numeracy and communication skills and their mathematical thinking. A Post Office theme engages children’s interest and helps them to learn and build up their confidence in a practical way through real-life scenarios.
There are two levels of 1stClass@Number training, initially for children who are at about National Curriculum level 1C, most often in year 2 and subsequently for children at around National Curriculum level 2C, most often in years 3 or 4. The programme has been shown to dramatically improve the ‘maths age’ of participants.
1stClass@Number is part of Every Child Counts, an Edge Hill University initiative that encompasses a range of reading, writing and mathematics programmes. It aims to enable the lowest attaining children in Years 1 to 8 (ages 6 – 13) to make greater progress towards expected levels of attainment. At present, over 90,000 children across the UK have been helped by Every Child Counts.
Louise Matthews, Head of Every Child Counts at Edge Hill University said: “I was approached by Dubai company Quest, who offer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training in education. They’d heard about the success of the scheme in the UK and wondered if it could be implemented in Dubai. Their local trainer travelled to the UK to see the programme in action in various schools and was very impressed so embarked on a training programme to teach 1stClass@Number herself, then in October last year I visited Dubai to observe her teaching and help launch the programme there. The scheme will be offered to schools in Dubai in Spring and Summer this year.”