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Maths Grants 2019


The short version

The great news is that due to the excellent quality of this year’s applications, we increased the number of grants from 3 to 9, giving away over £7500 to be spent on some stimulating enthusiasm in Maths across the country. We look forward to hearing the results of these exciting projects.


We are really grateful to the Association of Maths Teachers for their expert advice with these grants, as well as specialist input from several extremely kind people who helped us review the huge volume of grants and helped us make the difficult choices of which projects to fund. 

  • Windmill Integrated Primary are going to help parents get over their fear of maths by hosting maths games evenings and creating “Maths Packs” for parents to enjoy playing maths games with their children. Read report here.
  • St Mark’s CofE Primary School have identified that their children need support transitioning from reception to Year 1 and are going to invest in physical resources, some of which can be used over the summer holidays to reduce the “fall back” that some children experience.
  • St Mary’s CofE Primary School have also used research to identify a gap, this time between girls and boys. They are looking to increase engagement and reduce the gap through a Maths-Story-book club group.
  • Thomasson Memorial School helps those with visual impairments and are going to be spending their grant on technology to help their students understand 3D shapes and spatial awareness.
  • Two grants, to Oughtrington Primary and The Redstart Partnership are going to enable a series of Maths competitions, between various year groups. We like the idea of making maths competitions as high profile as sporting or music events.
  • Yox Valley Partnership of Schools are creating outdoor Maths stations where the older children in the schools will be “trained” to lead informal play sessions with Mathematical equipment during lunch and breaktime, inspiring the younger children whilst reinforcing their own understanding. Read report here.
  • The grant to Shoreham Academy will support their Codebreaking experience during activity week, allowing them to take 48 students to visit Bletchley Park complete follow-up competitions based on their learning.
  • Educational Diversity, the largest pupil referral unit in the country, works with students with a very wide range of barriers to learning, physical, mental, social, behavioural. Their grant will support the development of Maths Buddies, KS4 students working with KS2, to the benefit of both age groups.

The longer version... (well worth a read!)

In 2019, the Jo Walters Trust continued to celebrate Jo’s enthusiasm for Maths by calling for applications from anyone with a great idea for how to help more people engage with maths. As in the previous 3 years, we offered 3 grants of up to £1,000 each. This year, the word had clearly got out as we received over 80 applications. As we had budgeted for only 3 grants this made the process of choosing the 3 extremely difficult. In the end it was so difficult that we chose to allocate some additional funds that had been raised for the trust so that we could triple our allocation, and approve 9 of the applications, worth a total of £7,506. The successful applicants are outlined in more detail below, and if you click on the links you can read reports from those who have already put in place the funding and see photos of the projects in action.

  • Windmill Integrated Primary, £800

The “Maths, maths everywhere” project aims to help pupils and families to realise that maths is not just an academic subject but is everywhere in their environment. 

Goal: help parents overcome their fear or dislike of maths and challenge parents to see they can have fun doing some maths with their children.

Method: Host parent information evenings where families can have fun playing maths games and seeing that they don't need a lot of resources or expertise and begin to see themselves as mathematicians. 

Resources: We would like to create maths packs for families to borrow at the weekends to enjoy maths in a playful way with their young children. Buy lots of large dice.

Based on: the nursery class trialled an idea like this in the past year and it was most successful so we wish to roll this idea up through the whole school.

There is a full report with pictures here; https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yE7ASnhiFNpa78PkoFo1eJjuc8TUP6TJn48yCorgG-Y/edit?usp=sharing

  • Thomasson Memorial School, £1000

To buy 3Doodler pens which allow children and young people with visual impairments to understand mathematical concepts by, for example, plotting graphs and making lines of best fit independently. It also allows them to make 3D shapes as well as increasing their manual dexterity and spatial awareness which are very important skills. They also seem to help in loads of other areas, particularly art!

  • St Mark’s Church of England Primary School £970

We wish to improve the transition for children from Reception to Year 1. Research has shown that pupils can “full back” over a six week holiday, and so playing games at home will reduce this. We will purchase concrete materials to help children develop their understanding of place value and counting which they will use at the end of Reception and the start of Year 1. Children who are not yet ready for more formal teaching will work with these independently to develop their confidence.

  • St Mary’s Church of England Primary School, £648

To reduce the attainment gap between girls and boys at primary age, thereby preventing a drop in future attainment, the grant will buy maths story books to engage children who are at risk of falling behind. The books introduce a mathematical concept, and the children then work on this over two sessions / week, including a lunchtime club. This will be assessed as to how much the pupils have retained at the end of each topic and again 6, 12 and 20 weeks later. They will then compare this group's scores at the end of the school year with the rest of the class scores. The grant will also buy other games and materials to use in the lunch time clubs to embed the topics further.

  • Yox Valley Partnership of Schools, £813

This is developing maths outdoors, through the use of a ‘Maths station’ which is being filled with a range of stimulating and engaging equipment which children can access during the day, including break times and lunchtimes. Through free-play and adult led investigations, children will explore mathematical ideas and develop mathematical skills and concepts; these will be the initial building blocks for mathematical thinking, reasoning and problem which are crucial to children’s later success in mathematics. The Maths Subject leader will work with our Y5 and Y6 pupils to empower them to design and lead maths activities at lunchtimes; this will not only engage our younger children but support their own mathematical knowledge and understanding. We would also like to promote Maths with our parents and carers and hold regular Maths Café sessions to develop their confidence to support the learning of their children.

Full report of Project is here, inc pictures: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Sc-B8Cr8rPTlvFRcQeh1_97XLIQFfsGFKUsxfHZeIUo/edit

  • The Redstart Partnership £800

This Multi Academy Trust of 9 primary schools in a relatively close geographical area are focusing on collaboration between the schools. We plan to organise 6 maths competitions throughout the year (one per term targeting all year groups from Year 1-Year 6). We trialled a Year 3 multiplication games competition last summer and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The selected children (of mixed ability) competed against other children in a fun and positive environment. The nature of the games ensured that all children succeeded, as there was a mix of strategy based games as well as mathematical competencies. All of the children who took part requested another similar type event. Studies have also shown that many children benefit from participating in maths competitions. Preparing for and taking part in maths competitions helps strengthen children’s reasoning skills, enhances their problem-solving skills and develops values such as respect and resilience. Most of all, the competitions make maths more appealing and raise children’s self-esteem. After all, as with all children’s activities, our ultimate goal should be to have fun and succeed in maths.

  • Shoreham Academy, £1000

Codebreakers Experience

This project is to coincide with Shoreham Academy Experience Week 7-11 July 2020. This would be a 3 day learning experience about the importance of Mathematics in Computing and Codebreaking. We aim to take 48 students from Years 7-9, 20 at least would be from Pupil Premium backgrounds, who would attend free of charge.

Typically, disadvantaged and more affluent students from this area do not visit Museums such as Bletchley Park (BP). The non-PP students generally are time poor families (both parents usually work)

Therefore there will be an additional enticement to the experience of £50 (Alan Turing note!) prize for the competition day based on any the Mathematics, Computing or History, as inspired by their visit.

BP offer specific student workshops. Having been to BP several times, this will be a life changing experience in the mathematics and computing field. This will be supplemented by the project day, then a final day learning how to programme robot cars.

The 3 day experience would be therefore: Day 1: Visit to BP; Day 2: BP Competition; Day 3 Building Day 4: Robot car building with Raspbery Pi

  • Oughtrington Primary, Cheshire, £567

Maths Competitions between local primary schools sharing their love of Maths

We trialled this a couple of years ago when a couple of local schools came together to take part in maths activities.

This time we will open this up to children from at least 3 primary schools, from both KS1 and KS2 and also take it in turns to host each term so the children visit each school involved. This is friendly competition which brings children together to take part in a variety of maths activities e.g playing a game of Plyt (mixed school teams), an individual mental maths round and a final team round.

The money will be used to purchase the maths games, release the staff and purchase some medals for the children.

  • Educational Diversity, £909

Educational Diversity is currently the largest Pupil Referral Unit in the country. Our students are with us due to permanent exclusion, social communication difficulties, mental health needs or physical illness. Many have a coexisting undiagnosed learning need such as speech, communication and language. They arrive with low levels of maths understanding and often a fear of maths.

Our aim is to re-engage students and foster a love of maths, and for all students to leave KS4 with a recognised qualification, in relation to their ability, induction data and prior knowledge, which will help prepare them for college, apprenticeship, employment and real life. From September, KS4 will be educated at the same site as KS2/3; thus enabling 'maths buddies' to be developed where buddies will work on a regular basis with a KS2 student.

The grant would be spent on resources. These will be purchased to improve confidence and encourage not only a love of maths but the development of maths skills in a non threatening environment and will include games such as dominoes, board games, dice etc.

Manipulatives. To develop skills in a concrete way and build student confidence to problem solve.

Miscellaneous items to design and develop our own resources to a high standard e.g. card, trimmer, laminate pouches, bags to store resources, to cater for different learning levels, individuality and styles.

Mini whiteboards and pens to encourage a climate of its OK to make mistakes, they can be wiped and learnt from.

Buddy badges and certificate paper to ensure students see their role as important and are rewarded.

‘Loyalty card’ and stamp to ensure both buddy and student are committed. 

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