Maths Counts aims to raise the attainment of children who struggle with basic mathematics at Key Stage 2. The intervention was developed by The Mead Community Primary School drawing on the principles of the Numbers Count programme developed by Every Child Counts at Edge Hill University. Maths Counts lessons last 30 minutes and take place at least three times a week for a minimum of ten weeks. Schools have access to an online tool that stores information about pupils’ progress, supports the planning of lesson objectives, and suggests activities and resources for each lesson. The first ten minutes of Maths Counts lessons focus on recall and reinforcement of prior learning, and the following 20 minutes introduce new knowledge and skills. The online tool suggests activities and resources to use, such as throwing and catching a soft football in order to count in sequenced steps or using coins to develop an understanding of money. In this project, schools selected pupils in Years 3 to 6 to participate in the intervention, prioritising pupils at risk of not achieving nationally expected levels, younger pupils, and pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium. The intervention was delivered on a one-to-one basis by teaching assistants. Schools were able to approach the timetabling of the intervention flexibly, so some lessons were scheduled during maths lessons while some took place elsewhere in the school day. Teaching assistants were supported by their schools’ maths leads (the school’s maths co-ordinator or specialist teacher). Support for delivery of the intervention was provided by the Mead Academy Trust project team. Before the intervention started, the project team provided two days of training for both maths leads and teaching assistants. The maths leads then delivered four further training sessions throughout the intervention to the teaching assistants in their school. After an initial development phase where the project team developed a website and the online tool, Maths Counts was evaluated by Durham University using a randomised controlled trial involving 291 pupils across 35 schools. Each school identified eight eligible pupils, four of whom were randomised to receive the intervention while the other four formed the ‘business as usual’ comparison group. The trial tested the impact of Maths Counts on maths attainment measured using the General Maths component of the CEM InCAS assessment. The implementation and process evaluation consisted of observations and interviews. School recruitment began in early 2016 and the project ended when pupils were tested in April 2017.
London: Education Endowment Foundation
Year of Study
See, B. H., Morris, R., Gorard S. G., Siddiqui, N. (2018). Maths Counts. Evaluation report and executive summary. London: Education Endowment Foundation. Retrieved from https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Projects/Evalu…