Every Child Our Future’s (ECOF) numeracy project pilot with Springfield School is already having a positive impact on pupils, according to the headteacher.

The numeracy pilot was designed to help children to develop basic numeracy skills; it aims to build confidence and enjoyment in working with numbers and has been supported by volunteers from Deloitte.

Reception and year one pupils who needed a little extra support to build confidence in specific number skills were chosen to participate.

The activities are designed to reinforce familiarity with numbers and focus on numerical games. The one-to-one interaction between Deloitte’s volunteers and the pupils has given the children the confidence and resilience to keep trying, even if they get the answer wrong at first.

The results from the first stage of the pilot showed that every child made some progress in the first six weeks of the programme, which started at the end of the summer term. Some children made progress in all six areas.

The programme continued this term, with the same cohort of children tackling the curriculum of their new school year. In year one, the majority of the children have made progress in all of the focus areas.

Amongst those now in year two, 50% of the children made progress in all focus areas and the rest across a number of the areas, all showing progress at various levels.

The measurement of the programme’s success looks not only at attainment, but also at the traits of confident and resilient learning. These traits benefit children across all subjects and throughout their school life; the holistic benefits from the programme will have a long-term impact on a child’s ability to learn across all subjects.

The teachers’ feedback has been very positive, noting the difference the pilot has made in that the children’s confidence has increased, they have benefited from the focus of one-to-one support and they are enjoying their lessons more.

The children have enjoyed their time with the volunteers as well. As one pupil commented: ‘It’s good because we play tricky games.’

Siobhan Durcan, a Partner at Deloitte, said: ‘To be part of this new scheme has been tremendously exciting and rewarding, more and more of our team want to get involved. The children benefit, and so do our staff who have enjoyed it and shared that with the rest of the team. We have more activity planned to support the pilot up in the coming months as we feel passionate about investing with the schools locally and the island’s children.

‘ECOF’s work with schools is very much in line with Deloitte’s One Million Futures initiative which aims to help one million people to advance through education or employment.’

Mubashir Shaikh, who has helped to coordinate the Deloitte volunteers, said: ‘Since the pilot started, our volunteers have got more confident with how they work with the children and know when to suggest more challenging number activities. We have all enjoyed interacting with the Springfield pupils and watching them develop their enjoyment of numeracy has been very heart-warming.’

Mal Robson, Head Teacher at Springfield, said: ‘Without doubt, the programme is having a hugely positive effect on our children’s confidence in the maths skills that are required to move forward with their learning. The volunteers have been very eager to get the best from the children, our children have had a thoroughly great time, and have enjoyed some of the trickier activities and build relationships. Our staff have really noticed a positive impact on the children’s attainment.’

‘We are delighted to see such a positive start to this new scheme and the feedback from the teachers, pupils and volunteers has been superb. We are looking forward to developing the programme further,’ said Gillian Arthur, Director at Every Child Our Future.