Brighton and Hove Albion chairman Tony Bloom is helping school children to score better marks in maths lessons.
The help is being provided by Mr Bloom’s family trust which is providing financial assistance to a scheme to support teachers as they develop maths reasoning among primary children.
The Bloom Foundation is backing Brighton University’s Counting on Results scheme, a new six-month professional development project for schools in Brighton and Hove, Newhaven and St Leonards.
Mr Bloom, who has a degree in maths, said: “I recognise the crucial importance of having a solid foundation in mathematics reasoning among young pupils.”
Brighton University said: “Reasoning is one of the three high-level aims of the national curriculum for mathematics and helps pupils create new knowledge and understanding as well as connecting concepts they already know.
“Nationally, reports have shown that although the take-up of mathematics at A level has dramatically increased and also that examination results continue to rise, there are concerns about the quality of mathematics teaching among lower-attaining pupils.”
Brighton University’s director of philanthropy and alumni engagement Sam Davies said: “As part of our long-standing commitment to school outreach and raising aspirations locally, the university has a number of strong partnerships with local schools in the city and wider region.
“Seven of these schools have signed up to take part in this project.
“In Brighton and Hove, these are Bevendean Primary School, Carlton Hill School, Coombe Road Primary School and Hertford Junior School.
“These are joined by Harbour Primary and Nursery School and Breakwater Academy, both in Newhaven, and Dudley Infant Academy in Hastings.”
Mr Bloom said: “As one of the UK’s largest providers of education and training for teachers and other learning and development professionals, the University of Brighton’s School of Education is very well positioned to deliver professional development projects such as this.
“Aligned with our mission to support important community initiatives in the Brighton area, the Bloom Foundation is delighted to be part of this project.”
Brighton University vice-chancellor Debra Humphris helped secure a grant from the Bloom Foundation after meeting Mr Bloom and discussing shared concerns about attainment in primary schools.
Professor Humphris said: “The University of Brighton remains committed to raising attainment in local education through our teacher training provision, academy sponsorship, wide-ranging outreach and now this ‘continuing professional development’ intervention.
“It is wonderful to partner with Tony and his family foundation on this project.”
The project will use a “video club” model for professional development – one that is easily adaptable to other subjects beyond mathematics.
With support from Lesley Hope, a senior lecturer at Brighton University, the teachers will plan lessons that offer opportunities for pupils to reason mathematically.
These lessons will then be delivered in class and one of the learning activities filmed.
Clips from these films will be selected for the next project group session for review, discussion and analysis.
It is hoped that, as a result of this six-month project, the teachers taking part will be able to use the same approach to further enhance the teaching of other subjects in their schools.
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