Suffolk: EADT’s Maths Challenge reaches major milestone as 100th Suffolk school signs up

A DRIVE to improve pupils’ maths skills has reached a major milestone after the hundredth Suffolk school signed up to the initiative.

It means nearly 6,000 schoolchildren will have had the opportunity to improve their arithmetic thanks to the joint project between the East Anglian Daily Times and Suffolk County Council.

It comes as an Ofsted survey on maths found that not enough was being done nationally to help pupils who fall behind in the subject.

The EADT campaign, which was launched last year after league tables revealed 11-year-olds in Suffolk were underperforming at maths, invited every primary and middle school in the county to get involved.

The challenge has seen youngsters tackle a variety of stimulating and fun arithmetic tasks, both in the classroom and at home with parents. As teaching resources pupils have used a workbook specially prepared by a team of teachers, and copies of the EADT, which were delivered to schools. Pupils needed to link the newspaper and the workbook to complete the maths tasks.

Rosie Castle, EADT’s Maths Challenge project co-ordinator, said, “The response to the Maths Challenge in Suffolk has been fantastic and we’re delighted that so many schools have chosen to take part.

“I know that our whole team feels privileged to have been able to visit so many different primary schools during the last few weeks and meet some truly motivational teachers.

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“The response from parents and carers has been fantastic too and, with their help, the children will, most definitely, have an enjoyable and very successful experience.

“We have almost run out of time, but any schools who are interested in joining in should contact me.”

Councillor Graham Newman, portfolio holder for children, schools and young people’s services at Suffolk County Council, said: “To see so many schools signed up to the Maths Challenge is really encouraging.

“Raising attainment in maths for Suffolk pupils is vital for them to have the very best start in life. I would urge any school that is yet to sign up to the challenge to do so; together we can drive up the standard in maths across the county.”

Figures released last year revealed 11-year-olds in Suffolk were underperforming at maths - Suffolk was joint 133 out of all 151 local education authorities (LEAs) in the country – just eight places from the bottom.

The Maths Challenge is similar to the highly-successful Reading Together project which the EADT ran for a number of years, and which saw significant improvements in the reading ability of many of the children taking part. It is hoped that the new maths project will produce similar results.

If you would like to sign up to the Maths Challenge e-mail rosie.castle@archant.co.uk or telephone 01473 324951.