Home Children and Young People Knowsley schools celebrate numeracy and maths achievements

Knowsley schools celebrate numeracy and maths achievements

by Laura Johnston

Congratulations to the eight schools in Knowsley who have achieved the Liverpool Counts Quality Mark in recognition of their efforts to raise standards in numeracy and maths.

The Liverpool Counts Quality Mark is a project run by the Liverpool Learning Partnership, aiming to help schools change children’s attitudes and perceptions about maths by promoting the importance of numeracy as a life skill. The children are given enjoyable and engaging cultural opportunities and use links with local businesses. Children learn in a fun way and the project helps children to create a love of numbers.

Case study: Halsnead Primary School

‘Maths for life’ is a long term goal at Halsnead Primary School in Whiston, making taking part in the LCQM an ideal opportunity. Halsnead started working on the LCQM one year ago and achieved the gold award! To make achieving gold possible, teaching staff, school governors, and parents and carers have all embraced the quality mark and have engaged in events aiming to develop the teaching and learning of maths.

As part of the school’s dedication to offer extensive support with maths, peer support is offered through Maths Ambassadors. With Maths Ambassadors, pupils can discuss and solve maths problems together, making learning a more enjoyable experience. This peer mentoring allows pupils to become role models and gives them the opportunity to encourage and motivate peers, and promote a positive attitude towards maths. Halsnead runs maths activities throughout the whole year which Maths Ambassadors’ help to organise and children can take part in a weekly maths challenge in the school’s newsletter. These challenges are suited for those in Nursery through to Year 6, making sure every pupil can get involved and work on improving their maths skills.

Maths Ambassadors have a close relationship with Halsnead’s Numeracy Champion, Mrs Kendall, who they receive support and guidance from. The Numeracy Champion helps the ambassadors to progress in their role and also offers support to colleagues to maximise the success of the project.

Pupils at Halsnead also take part in maths quizzes with pupils at St. Luke’s Primary School in Prescot with the competitiveness of it encouraging enthusiasm and determination among the children. Pupils are also full of enthusiasm about having the opportunity to be crowned ‘Mathlete of the Week’. Children who have shown to have a good attitude towards maths, and have evidenced perseverance and resilience in the subject are chosen for the award, making it something pupils strive towards and put in effort in the subject.

As part of LQCM, a group of pupils have been involved in the ‘Enterprise Challenge’, a creative project involving pupils sharing ideas, comparing prices, and managing budgets, marketing tactics and sales to raise money for charity. Who knows – this experience could be practice for the real thing when they grow up!

Maths Governor, Tina Cinnamond, is the ‘Forest School Leader’ and uses the school’s allotment to aid children in their learning by teaching maths activities such as estimation and measurement. The allotment also allows children to develop their teamwork skills, speaking and listening skills, as well as improve their independence.

Allotment at Halsnead Primary School helping children with their maths skills

Taking part in the LCQM has given children at Halsnead a more positive attitude towards maths as 95% agree they enjoy maths and the majority show understanding of the importance of the subject to their future. LCQM has not only benefited children as teaching staff agree they are now more confident when teaching maths.

Lisa Baggaley, a LCQM assessor, said: “It’s evident that the whole school has embraced the LCQM and are proud of their achievements.” After looking at the school’s learning environment and resources, Lisa Baggaley went on to say: “It is very clear that maths is promoted, enjoyed and celebrated here.”

Case study: St John Fisher Primary School

St John Fisher Primary School in Prescot has also earned gold in the LCQM and achieved this by raising the profile of maths with a particular focus on highlighting the importance of it in ‘real life’.

Children have been able to find out how maths can help them in the jobs they may do in their future by meeting people in jobs where maths has helped them to progress. A firefighter, a nurse, air cabin crew members, a jockey (Franny Norton), a radio presenter (Helen Jones from BBC Radio Merseyside), a vet, a chef and a business manager all led exciting sessions with children about maths in their jobs. These sessions helped the children to understand the benefit of maths skills in all areas of work and not just in obvious job roles.

Even more exciting, Liverpool Football manager, Jurgen Klopp, Prime Minister Theresa May and local actor Andrew Schofield have all sent letters to the school after they asked the well-known figures how they used maths in their job.

Pupils will soon be learning about Roman Numerals and the link between maths and our world, evidencing the impact of maths has even more to the children.

Headteacher at St John Fisher Primary School, Michelle Forrest, said completing the LCQM has made a real impact on the school and has helped expand and improve maths in the school curriculum.

The following other schools have successfully been accredited with a Liverpool Counts Quality Mark award:

  • St Luke’s Catholic Primary School
  • Halewood C of E Primary School
  • St Andrew’s the Apostle Catholic Primary School
  • Plantation Primary School
  • Evelyn Primary School
  • St Mary and St Paul’s C of E Primary School

By May 2018, a further 19 Knowsley schools are expected to achieve a Liverpool Counts Quality Mark award. Well done everyone!