Maths mastery and chess boost pupil learning
Teacher training and chess clubs are starting to improve pupils' maths learning, in a project by ChildHope and their partner Kabukye Trust in Uganda
BFSS support ChildHope with funding for a two-year project to improve 50 teachers’ ability to understand and teach maths to primary school children in five rural schools in Uganda.
In 2018, 70% of these students failed their maths exams. This project aims to create a hub where teachers can be trained and mentored in a range of mathematical concepts and given tools and resources, to increase parental ownership and children’s enjoyment of and ability to learn maths.
We gave them a £38,736 grant, and in the first year ChildHope report* that they have:
- Constructed a Happy Maths Hub, where teachers access Maths Mastery resources
- 50 teachers have been trained in child friendly teaching methods or pedagogy and 25 in inclusive or non-discriminatory practices
- Girls had a separate role model session with female students motivating them to excel in maths.
- Chess Clubs have been set up in five schools to boost children’s logic skills, alongside their learning in maths.
ChildHope partnered with a community–based charity, Kabukye Trust, for the project and the Trust have worked with other specialists in the country including collaborating with the Ugandan Dove Chess Academy to establish chess clubs in project schools. They also worked with girls affected by menstrual poverty and stigma, in Abawala Einsanhu Movement, to hold community conversations and mentor girls aiming to increase knowledge about menstrual hygiene, reduceg stigma and help ensure girls remain in school.
The early results are really positive:
Teachers have been introduced to the basic elements of Maths Mastery, which had a positive effect on students’ learning. These teachers have also formed a community of practice to ensure their learning continues and to support each other, contributing to the project’s long-term sustainability.
The chess clubs have been really popular and teachers report improved levels of concentration among the children who play chess. After only three months there has already been great success with pupils winning a trophy and silver medals in a regional tournament.
Already 225 girls and 225 boys have benefitted including nine girls and seven boys who did not previously go to school. Indirect beneficiaries include 59 parents/caregivers who participated in the design of individualised learning plans for their children, in particular children with disabilities.
*ChildHope UK, interim report to BFSS 2022