Monthly Archive: December 2016

PLYT Games Offer

I’m delighted to be able to share with you a potential new resource for use either in your classroom or by your parents at home.  I’m not sure if you have seen the board game PLYT but it was specifically designed to allow all ages (4+) and abilities to play together, for all players to be challenged and yet everyone to have the same chance of winning.  It has been proven to improve maths (both in a family environment and most recently in a classroom) and boost children’s confidence as they gain a much deeper understanding of numbers – and children love playing it.


PLYT is about being your best not the best at maths, so it gives less able mathematicians confidence and helps create a “can do” attitude.  It’s perfect for use across the entire school Yr1-6, for mixed ability classes and also for families to improve parental engagement.  A few PLYT highlights below:

  • PLYT improved the maths of a Yr5 class in Warrington by an average 19%, playing just 1 hour per week (on a Friday afternoon!) for 5 weeks.  Importantly 100% of the children said that they felt more confident with numbers from playing PLYT – see details here
  • PLYT has been proven to improve maths in a family environment : independent researchers – Ask your staff – proved that playing at least once a week for just 6 weeks improved the maths of 7-13 year olds by 30% and adults by 22%.  Read more here
  • PLYT has been endorsed by National Numeracy (and is recommended as one of the best games on their family maths toolkit) and also by leading maths consultants
  • PLYT is easy to play and yet is incredibly flexible  – it can cover much of the KS1/2 curriculum and increases confidence with numbers
  • PLYT is already used in many schools and they’ve had great feedback from teachers
  • Most importantly children love playing PLYT and don’t realise they are doing maths – it’s maths by stealth!

The standard price for a single copy of the game is £24.67 delivered – purchased via the website or Amazon but they also offer discounts for schools:-

  • 25% discount on a case of 6 games – ie 6 games for £109.95 (incl VAT & delivery).  This equates to £18.33 (or £15.27 +VAT) per game
  • Teacher PLYT training course (to ensure that all teachers know how to use the game for their individual class and get the most from the resource).  Courses start at £200 +VAT and include a case of 6 games
  • Once a case is purchased, they provide a unique 10% school discount off a single game for any of your parents  – playing at home can really reinforce the learning at school and parents often don’t know how to help their children with maths at home.  Playing a fun family game is a great way to help them especially one where their whole family can play together.

There is more information for schools on their website here but the Chief Plyter is Lisa McCartney and she’d be happy to help with any questions you may have about the game.  Please don’t hesitate to contact her via email  or on 07956 352926 for more information.  It really does work – I have a copy that I play with my own children – even though they are 6 school years apart.

Kind regards,

Lisa Bradshaw

Director of the St Helens TSA and National Maths Hub NW3


Mastery Through Intervention

Last year 4 local primary schools took part in Mastery through intervention programme on behalf of NW Maths Hub 3 in association with Edge Hill University- ECC Team. This involved the teacher and TA, associated with the same class supporting each other to diagnose the mathematical gaps that existed within their class and being taught how to ‘plug the gaps’. This intervention programme is written as a ‘Keep up not catch up’ intervention programme. During the autumn term this has been cascaded to a further 10 schools.

Maths Hub NW 3 are now offering this to a further 20 schools to start in January 2017.

Target audience:  A Teacher and TA from Y3, 4 or 5 that requires additional support, advice and guidance on delivering a maths intervention programme to children below age related expectations via a Mastery approach. This is open to ALL schools across the NW region.

The Expectation of the programme:

  • The teacher and TA, working in the same year group, will attend ALL 3 days of face-to face training.
  • It is aimed at Y3, Y4 and Y5 teachers/TAs.
  • After each face-to face day the Teacher/TA will receive a ½ day release session to complete the diagnostic activities.
  • Select a class that has the highest % of children below age- related expectations
  • Ideally the TA will be strong and have some experience of delivering intervention, however this is not essential.

Aims of the 3 day programme:

Improving the outcomes for learner who need keep up/ improving the school management of keep up support/ improve the skills needed to support learners who have difficulties in a mastery context. This includes input on:

  • The pedagogy of mastery
    • Variation
    • Coherence
    • Representation and structure
    • Developing fluency
    • Thinking mathematically
  • Pedagogy of intervention
    • Identifying learners needs
    • Understanding what to do for learners who have difficulties
    • Breaking down learning and assembling coherent conceptual journeys
  • Managing intervention
    • Identifying learners who need keep up or catch up intervention
    • Developing good communication
    • School management role in supporting intervention

Sessions will run as follows at The World of Glass, St Helens.  

Thursday 26th January 2017-       Day 1

Thursday 2nd March 2017-           Day 2

Thursday 4th May 2017-                Day 3


Cost of the programme is: £300 per school for 2 delegates (1x Teacher and 1x TA) for 3 days of training; including all course materials, delivery and refreshments.


If you wish to express an interest please contact Lisa Bradshaw: lisa.bradshaw:

Places will be offered on a first come, first serve basis and based on the school ensuring they can fulfil the requirements above.


Primary Maths CPD opportunities in spring/summer 2017




NW Maths Hub 3 is offering the following Primary Maths CPD opportunities in spring/summer 2017 (please see attached for full offer):

NEW for Spring 2017

From ‘Modelling to Mastery’– Year group based sessions- starting January 2017

Teachers will explore how to start from a model moving to depth of learning to achieve Mastery. They will extend the mathematics tool kit as well as looking at how we can teach the skills of reasoning and solving problems to ensure teachers are meeting the 3 aims of the National Curriculum.

Success@Arithmetic- 3 sessions

Success@Arithmetic is an innovative, highly effective intervention for pupils in Key Stages 2 and 3 who need support to become fluent at arithmetic.

Expert training enables a teacher to plan a programme and a teaching assistant to deliver it to a small group of pupils. The training also strengthens their teaching and support of mathematics across the school- Starting January 2017

Mathematics Subject Leaders Day 2– Friday 10th March 2017 Focus on the Assessment of Mastery; moderation and standardisation. There will also be an opportunity for quality assurance of Maths practice via NW Maths Hub 3 as they share their experiences from current national practice and policy.

Mathematics Moderation and Standardisation sessions starting March 2017

These sessions will explore what a learner looks like in a year groups. Establish what the key areas of maths are and what this looks like with a depth of understanding. The session will provide an opportunity to build the mathematical toolkit further with new ideas! Teachers will have the opportunity to look at a range of children’s learning in the specific year groups. It will also support teachers to make a summative judgement and then help them plan and adjust teaching for the third term. Sessions are led by experienced moderators and quality assured by NW Maths Hub 3.

There will be a pre-course task and teachers are asked to bring a small selection of children’s books.

Places are limited and will be given on a first come, first serve basis.

A full days course costs- £150, this includes: refreshments (including light lunch) and all course materials.

½ day training costs- £70, this includes: tea/coffee/biscuits and all course materials.

Alliance members receive 25% of all training opportunities.

Maths SL network meetings and Head Teacher briefings are Free of Charge to all alliance members.

All sessions are led by Tara Loughran, Tara has extensive experience in schools for leading improvement and change in mathematics. She has provided high quality training for the St Helens TSA since becoming at teaching school in 2013; she has inspired lots of teachers and support staff to take her ideas back to the classroom with significant impact. Tara now represents NW Maths Hub 3 across the North West.

Intervention programmes are led by ECC (Every Child Counts) team at Edge Hill University.