Unison at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
National Numeracy has brought a big numeracy campaign to Blackpool Teaching Hospitals in partnership with Unison. We have been working in partnership with them for over a year on numeracy initiatives. We are delighted that the union Learning Reps we worked have been recognised for their work on the project with the Unionlearn ULR award for promoting numeracy.
What have we done?
- An initial Numeracy Review – showing that many staff at the hospital needed support for their numeracy skills. This included staff taking our attitudinal survey, the Challenge Check-Up and participating in focus groups.
- Used the National Numeracy Challenge as a learning tool for staff to improve their numeracy
- Encouraged staff to engage with numeracy during Learning at Work week
- Delivered a Challenge Champions workshop to help staff encourage their colleagues to see value in numeracy, believe they can improve and put in the effort required.
What did the work achieve?
- Highlighted numeracy as an important skills challenge among the hospital’s workforce.
- Supported many staff on their journey to improved numeracy through the Challenge online.
- Positively impacted attitudes to numeracy among the workforce
- Created eleven new Challenge Champions from a variety of roles in the hospital who have gone on to encourage their colleagues to have the right mindset to improve
- Given staff greater opportunity for career progression – as numeracy is required for those who aim to move into nursing
“We were very happy to be one of the first union/trust partnerships to sign up to undertake the National Numeracy Review and hope that this will encourage other unions and trusts to do the same.”(Unison rep, Jane Eyre)
Becoming Numerate in Hackney
Funded by UBS, this project aimed to embed numerate behaviour in Hackney primary schools in order to improve attitudes to, and confidence with, numeracy. Working with a group of primary schools in 2015-16, National Numeracy focused on three strands of development:
- Numeracy across the curriculum
- Creating a number rich environment
- Parental engagement
The work with schools was directed by a National Numeracy consultant and included individual school visits, school cluster meetings and workshops which focused on specific strands.
The Good Practice Guide from the project gives details of some of the project’s key initiatives, tips on how to implement them in school and examples of good practice from the schools involved.
What the project achieved:
- A positive shift in the types of maths activities that teachers and parents do which support children in developing numerate behaviour.
- A positive shift towards a growth mindset in pupils and teachers, and a belief that anyone can improve with effort.
- More creative and widespread opportunities offered by the schools for pupils and their parents to engage in mathematical activities.
“Children who have been taking part… are disentangling their negative experiences of maths and discovering the fun, everyday maths. This has been inspiring and the pupils showed much more enjoyment with maths. Pupil engagement noticeably improved. They are hunting for maths in their environment and can see the maths relating to their world and experiences.”
(From a teacher taking part in the project)
Raising achievement in mathematics for all in Years 3 and 4
Funded by John Lyon’s Charity this project was a direct response to an issue identified in many primary schools in England: why do some children fail to make sufficient progress during the first half of Key Stage 2 (ages 7-9) and then have too much ground to make up in Years 5 and 6 (ages 9-11)?
Working in two London boroughs the project aimed to transform aspirations, raise achievement and equip schools to address the issue themselves. This was accomplished by developing and delivering a programme of training, consultancy and online support to school leaders, numeracy and mathematics leaders and years 3 and 4 teachers.
What the project achieved:
- Improved children's performance between 1 year and 5 months to 1 year and 11 months
- Changed children's attitudes to maths – they became very interested
- Increased teachers' expectations for pupils to meet their full potential
- Extended use of resources as well as using them differently and more effectively
- Provided opportunity for regular professional dialogue
“Year 3 and 4 children are more enthusiastic about maths. A big percentage of children made accelerated progress from our baseline assessments in year 3. Teachers are more confident in teaching problem solving. We are going to use some of the lesson study ideas in our school to improve teaching and learning.”
(Taken from the Evaluation Reports)