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Our Approach

#389 Supporting the Understanding of the Number System and Developing Fluency with Number Facts -The Oaks Primary School

Debbie Thornton

What did we do?

I was selected by the school to become an implementation lead, which involved the following:

  • Spending time collating information and evidence to accurately diagnose the specific challenges to KS2 numeracy within our school • Drafting & refining a Securing Achievement Action Plan and then putting this into practice
  • Completing a training programme, through the Research School Network
  • Monitoring the effectiveness and impact of the project through surveys of pupils; learning support assistants and teachers’ perceptions of the attitudes and performance of pupils in the control and intervention groups. Pupil perception interviews were undertaken for the intervention pupils and Learning Support Assistant forums were scheduled for at least once a term. School based maths data was analysed, when available. The main indicator of progress was measured though using the Sandwell Numeracy Test. Intervention and control group pupils were tested on entry and exit of the programme.


The Opportunity Area  provided funding for resources, such as Cuisenaire rods, number tracks, base-10 apparatus, dice, counters, flip charts/whiteboard easels, tables for their working area and coins for each of the four groups led by Learning Support Assistants. Resources were organised into boxes for each Learning Support Assistant for each part of the programme so they could just pick up and lead the lesson.

Training was provided for the LSAs leading the intervention as they encountered each part of the programme in turn, with the aim that they then have a bank of resources and skills to draw upon when asked to support other children in their class.

“Success@Arithmetic is good because we’re learning new things. Pathways 1 and 2 have been good for me.”

A comment from a year 4 pupil.

Steps taken

  1. Select an intervention where there has been evidence of progress from EEF and Evidence for Impact. As there was a lack of interventions to choose that had been analysed for progress that could be purchased, we opted for one run by Edge Hill that had other interventions analysed that had a positive impact. We had previously used Success@Arithmetic many years ago and had positive results but because of staff leaving we only had one member of staff who had been trained.
  2. Purchase and prepare resources for each LSA led group and identify teaching areas.
  3. Analyse maths data for the last year, as well as teacher assessment, to identify children and intervention need from years 3 and 4. (3 per group).
  4. Test each pupil using the Sandwell Numeracy test, as well as randomly selected pupils for the control group to establish a baseline.
  5. Teacher-led one to one diagnostic sessions to establish current skills of pupils to ensure they are suited to the programme and identify parts of the programme that are relevant to their needs.
  6. Liaise with SLT and class teachers so interventions are timetabled for three sessions in the afternoon each week, outside of maths lessons.
  7. Train LSAs to teach each part of the programme in turn.
  8. Share overviews of each pathway of the intervention with teachers before LSAs begin teaching so they understand the skills being taught.
  9. Provide opportunities for LSAs to observe an experienced LSA.
  10. Monitor and evaluate through surveys, observations and LSA forums.
  11. Provide opportunities for class teachers to observe their pupils in LSA led interventions and discuss pupil progress.
  12. Identify games and activities that can be used for the whole class to embed into class based number skills lessons.
  13. Final evaluation of exit Sandwell tests, school based maths tests, surveys, LSA forums and pupil perceptions to measure progress compared to entry level data

What would we do differently

  • Focus on one phase or year group, rather than a whole key stage – which was the initial plan.
  • Allow for at least 2 groups to use the intervention so LSAs can learn alongside each other.
  • Ensure pupil selection takes place in summer term ready for the next academic year.
  • Despite sessions recommended to last 40 minutes, timetable sessions for 50 minutes three times per week to allow for LSAs to familiarise themselves with the lesson they are about to teach beforehand. Each step requires different skills to be taught that builds on previous learning.
  • Hold face to face meetings and training sessions wherever possible. Plan meetings for surveys to be completed.
  • LSAs found 10-minute drop ins on each other most beneficial to their own practice.
  • Organise teacher drop ins into sessions earlier in the process to facilitate discussions between LSAs and class teachers about pupil progress and for teachers to have a better understanding of the programme and how parts can be used for whole class number skills sessions.


Purchase of the programme Success@Arithmetic: Number Sense and training for one LSA is around £990 from Edge Hill University.

Additional resources approximately £250 per group

Resources required

Lead teacher time for assessments approximately 9 hours per group of 3.

Cost to release me from timetable for 0.5 days per week, for 1 year to: attend training, write an action plan, undertake relevant Implementation Lead duties and monitor progress.

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The Oaks Primary School

Debbie Thornton

Maths Intervention Teacher