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IMPaCT (Interactive Mathematics, Parents and Children T ogether). Dr Irene Bell Stranmillis University College Special Acknowledgement: Mr Stephen Walls, Mr Keith Fulton. Research context NIAO(2013).

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Impact interactive mathematics parents and children t ogether

IMPaCT(Interactive Mathematics, Parents and Children Together)

Dr Irene Bell

Stranmillis University College

Special Acknowledgement: Mr Stephen Walls, Mr Keith Fulton

Research context niao 2013
Research context NIAO(2013)

  • Disparities in pupil achievement according to socio-economic background, gender and residency persist (paragraph 2.14):

  • pupils from an economically deprived background achieve considerably lower results;

  • social deprivation appears to have a greater negative impact on achievement levels in controlled schools than in their maintained counterparts;

  • achievement in Belfast continues to lag behind the rest of Northern Ireland; and

  • outcomes for boys are worse than those for girls at almost all levels.

Response to government policy
Response to government policy

Research commissioned by the Department (NI) identified clusters of under-performance in schools in Belfast and in the controlled sector. Factors contributing to under- achievement were thought to include:

  • a lack of parental involvement in their children’s education;

  • a perceived lack of value placed on education in certain areas, particularly deprived Protestant areas;

  • a shortage of positive role models;

  • the impact of 30 years of civil unrest; and

  • a lack of baseline data on young children, hindering early intervention.

    Education Training Inspectorate (2010, p. 3) argues ‘In the most effective practice: parents are involved in workshops and activities which enable them to support their children’s learning effectively’.

Where does stranmillis fit in realistic training context
Where does Stranmillis fit in? Realistic training context

  • Year 3 module in Leadership in learning and teaching taken by Numeracy specialists

  • Module is 50% theoretical and 50% practice

  • An example of collaborative practice between and ITE and 5 primary schools, in using evidence based practice to raise numeracy standards (All BELB)

  • Typically the schools are in areas where there are external variables

  • Second year of the project

Aims of the project
Aims of the project

  • Use performance data to positively impact pupil performance in numeracy

  • Encourage active engagement of parents in their child’s learning and progress

  • Create real life experience for student teachers in working with

  • subject leaders,

  • using data effectively in learning and teaching,

  • working with parents

Timetable of events
Timetable of events

  • Baseline assessment using PIMS (Standardised GL Assessment)

  • Pupils selected were placed at stanine 3 or 4

  • Individual phone call to relevant parent

  • Meeting with parents and contract signing – contact through weekly newsletter, group and individual texts to parents

  • Groups of 5 to 6 pupils from Year 3 (P4) at similar stages assigned to the students

  • Further diagnostic work undertaken using BELB criteria

  • Students undertake weekly planning for their group (which can be sub-divided for individuals) 10 weeks

  • ‘Maths Packs’ sent home at the end of each session

  • Students undertake retests using BELB criteria at the end of each session and final levelling

  • Friday afternoon maths fairs held for parents and pupils

  • Parent event for the presentation of pupil awards

Impact interactive mathematics parents and children t ogether

Learning Contract

Pupil Responsibilities

To come to the club each week

To bring my maths kit

  • To always try my best

  • To work well with others

  • To do special tasks at home


PARENT Responsibilities

To ensure my child attends every week and accompany him/her to the workshops agreed

To arrange for my child to be collected after the club

To encourage and support my child at home in the completion of special maths tasks

To provide feedback to the teachers


TEACHER Responsibilities

To set challenging yet realistic targets for each child in the club

To provide enjoyable learning experiences aimed at developing pupils’ skills and confidence To track pupils’ progress in relation to their targets set

To provide opportunities for effort and success to be celebrated


End of year 1of the project
End of Year 1of the project

  • Pupils attitude to maths was more positive (Parents and teachers)

  • Obvious gain in confidence of the children over the sessions. ”I had quite a queue at break time by P4 pupils wanting to race me!” (Parents and teachers)

  • From baseline being repeated there was clear evidence of improvement in various aspects of number (teachers)

  • Students became very aware of the relationship between parents, school and associated engagement

  • Students had received an outstanding experience on using data to raise standards

  • Students had received excellent training in leading numeracy

  • How could we further engage parents?

Year 2 impact maths
Year 2 IMPaCT Maths

  • Change in one school

  • New school selected to use the programme for their mathematically able pupils who were underachieving

  • Selection of pupils – on merit

  • Use of video to engage parents further (Mr Keith Fulton )

    which elements of numeracy should be included

    who would present the work

    access to videos

Parental engagement focus group feedback with participating schools
Parental engagement – focus group feedback with participating schools

  • Small group, high impact programme

  • Maths fairs – schools thrilled with the parent turnout

  • Maths Diaries - completion

  • Constant communication with participating parents through texts and phone calls

  • Engagement with videos was through the school websites and not the use of QR squares (Mr Keith Fulton)

  • Not one parent who engaged in the IMPaCT programme gave negative feedback

Student engagement
Student Engagement participating schools

  • Students appreciated the relaxed atmosphere which lead to informal ‘chats’

  • They understood more fully how parents played a key role in this process

  • They understood the pivotal position of confidence and attitude

  • They understood the role of the numeracy leader and teacher in achieving the above

  • They had the opportunity to work shadow a numeracy subject leader

  • The students could not have engaged in and appreciated this learning without the school partnership element.

References participating schools

  • DENI (2011) Count, Read, Succeed: A strategy to improve outcomes in literacy and Numeracy. Dept Ed NI.

  • DENI (2008) Every school a good school: A policy for school improvement. Dept Ed. NI

  • ETI (2010) Better Numeracy in Primary Schools, Evaluations and prompts for self-evaluation, Belfast, Crown Copy

  • NIAO (2013) Improving literacy and numeracy Achievement in schools. Report by the controller and auditor general.