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Pupils Leon Bottomley and Shauna Peacock.
Pupils Leon Bottomley and Shauna Peacock.
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HOW do you solve the problem of getting rid of calculators?

Well pupils at St Theresa’s Primary School, Cleveleys, who struggle with numeracy, are being offered extra specialist lessons, called Numbers Count, which is helping build their mathematical methods.

In some cases the programme has seen children progress the equivalent of two school years in just one year.

And specialist Numbers Count teacher Norma Sherington said: “We’ve been delighted with the results.

“These were children who were unlikely to get the desired results, who were perhaps at reception level of maths when in Year Two and they have progressed hugely.

“It impacts on their learning in other lessons and on their confidence, realising they can learn well.”

The programme is in its third year at the St Theresa’s Avenue school, helping 18 infant pupils so far.

It is now the only school in Blackpool to use the programme, created at Edge Hill University.

Mrs Sherington guides pupils in 40 30-minute lessons over one term, offering them a variety of ways to approach maths problems and teaching them to decide on the best way to learn.

And the teachers say the learning method is one reason why Government proposals to ban calculators for pupils could be difficult.

The coalition announced last week it was scrapping the use of calculators for over 11s as of 2014, as ministers said over-reliance on the devices leave children without the basic numeracy knowledge they need.

David Aaron, Year Six teacher at St Theresa’s, added: “It comes down to appropriate use. I had a young man doing quite high level maths and he chose not to use a calculator, the freedom was there for him. It’s all about choice on how best to learn and problem solve.”

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