Number Partners: Impact Report
7 July 2014
By Katy Morris (Education and Employers)
Maths shapes everything that we do, at school and beyond, and numeracy – understood as the ability to access, use, interpret and communicate mathematical information and ideas – is an essential life skill for all primary school pupils.
This pamphlet presents findings from a small survey of 28 teachers, teaching assistants, head teachers and maths coordinators at schools that take part in Number Partners, a national employer volunteering scheme whereby volunteers go into primary schools to help children with their maths. Following some initial training, Number Partner volunteers are assigned to a particular school which they visit approximately once a week. When there, they play number games and undertake number-based activities with pupils who are selected to participate by their teachers, with the aim of making maths fun, increasing the confidence of participating students and improving their attainment in maths.
The short guide sets out information about how and why schools select children to participate in Number Partners, how the scheme is organised in schools and the benefits that teachers perceive the scheme has for participating pupils. The pamphlet shows that staff at schools with first-hand experience of the Number Partners scheme believe it has positive effects on the numeracy skills of participating children. But equally importantly, teachers also identify a host of benefits for participating children beyond enhanced numeracy skills and attainment.
- When asked, the majority of teachers surveyed said that participation in Number Partners had improved pupils’ chance of reaching their individual numeracy targets, 66% reporting that it had slightly improved chances and 26% saying that it very much increased their chances.
- Respondents identified positive effects associated with Number Partners on the concentration, listening skills, verbal expression, confidence, motivation and aspirations of participating children, as well as improvements in their understanding of the world of work and participation in the classroom.
- Comments from teachers highlight the nature and significance of the additional benefits that accrue from pairing Number Partner volunteers with pupils, particularly in terms of children developing confidence and self-esteem through interactions with a non-parental and non-staff adult.