1stClass@Number is a maths intervention targeted at struggling primary school pupils. It is a ‘lighter-touch’ version of Numbers Count, which it can be used either instead of or alongside.
There are two versions of the intervention: one mainly for Year 1 children, and one mainly for children in Year 3-4 and beyond, although the intervention can be used with pupils up to KS3.
1stClass@Number comes ready-made with detailed session guidance and extensive resources. A specially trained teaching assistant delivers up to 30 half-hour sessions to a group of up to four pupils. The pupils continue to take part in their normal class mathematics lessons.
The lessons focus on number and calculation, developing mathematical understanding, communication and reasoning skills. Games and activities engage the pupils and build their confidence. Each topic starts with a simple assessment that helps the teaching assistant to tailor the sessions to the children's needs.
Delivered by teaching assistants to small groups, in the form of three half-hour lessons per week over 12-15 weeks, which supplement normal maths lessons. Detailed lesson plans are provided, along with resources for use in the lessons.
The Every Child Counts partnership runs the intervention, and offers participating teaching assistants three days of training in the first term and two follow-up sessions subsequently. Delivery can begin after the first day of training. Training then runs alongside the implementation of the intervention, training topic by topic.
The Education Endowment Foundation (2018) ran a project investigating the effectiveness of 1stClass@Number, which found that it had a positive impact on primary maths. The study found a mean effect size of +0.22 in primary maths.
1stClass@Number embodies the principles of effective teaching assistant-led interventions. The EEF funded this evaluation as part of its campaign to support the effective use of TAs.