Maths Counts aims to support pupils who struggle with basic mathematics skills at Key Stage 2. The intervention was developed by The Mead Community Primary School drawing on the principles of the Numbers Count intervention developed by Every Child Counts at Edge Hill University.
Maths Counts lessons last 30 minutes and take place at least three times a week for a minimum of ten weeks. Schools have access to an online tool that stores information about pupils' progress, support the planning of lesson objectives, and suggests activities and resources for each lesson.
A maths lead teacher will work with individual pupils for a series of diagnostic lessons, where both the learners' strengths and learning needs are identified. These 'diagnostic lessons' are designed to be a rewarding experience for the pupils, where they will be given opportunities to identify their personal strengths.
The first ten minutes of Maths Counts lessons focus on recall and reinforcement of prior learning, the following 20 minutes introduce new knowledge and skills.
A digital tool is a piece of software designed to facilitate the delivery of the intervention. This digital tool leads the Learning Partner and child through a learning journey via a series of learning steps. The digital tool suggests activities and resources to use, such as throwing and catching a soft football in order to count in sequenced steps or using coins to develop and understanding of money.
All pupils will have access both at school and at home to a personalised screen on the digital tool.
A maths lead teacher will work with pupils for the diagnostic lessons. Learning Partners will then deliver the lessons. The Learning Partners will often be teaching assistants, but may also be trainee teachers or other experienced staff.
Learning Partners will be trained in how to use the digital tool and its resources before starting the Maths Counts intervention. As part of the intervention maths leads will deliver four planned CPD workshop sessions to the Learning Partners. Detailed plans and activities for each of these sessions are contained in a handbook.
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) ran an evaluation project in 2018 to investigate Maths Count, which found that it has a positive impact on primary maths. The study had a low security rating of two padlocks, EEF evaluations must have at least three padlock security rating to be included on E4I. The trial was slightly smaller than usual, with 291 pupils, and there were some important differences in prior attainment between the pupils who received the intervention and comparison pupils, this may account for the security rating. The study found a mean effect size of +0.12 for primary maths.
The Education Endowment Foundation (2018) evaluation found Maths Counts had a positive impact on primary maths but the study had low security and so has not been included in the E4I rating.