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Some 40 adults and 40 children from schools across Derry~Londonderry and the Causeway Coast area were honoured this week at the final Bring Your Grown-Up session, which followed seven classes designed to inspire parents and guardians to get involved in their child’s numeracy and mathematics learning.

Funded by the Department for the Economy and delivered by experienced teachers, the Ulster University School of Education programme aims to engage adults, including parents, to build their confidence and competence in numeracy through a series of collaborative classes and tasks demonstrating how numeracy relates to everyday life.

As well as increasing parental participation in education, Bring Your Grown-Up was an opportunity to engage with newcomer families and those who homeschool their children, promoting active and collaborative learning between the parents and their children.

The parents and pupils who took part were joined by Professor Paul Bartholomew, Ulster University Vice-Chancellor and project leads Dr Aideen Hunter and Dr Shauna McGill from the School of Education, Ulster University Coleraine, for the final session on Tuesday 19 March.

The event involved a carousel of engaging and fun numeracy learning activities for the children, including an interactive dance mat multiplication session with Katrina Bradley, founder of local company Numerasee and Ulster University 25@25 Leadership Programme participant and a session with the Izak 9 maths team.

Parents also participated in a class about growth mindset and attitudes towards numeracy and mathematics in daily life, before the groups came together to receive medals and certificates.

Supporting parents for learning at home

Parents were provided with a range of online and offline, physical resources including a tablet loaded with the Ed app which Numerasee developed as part of the Bring Your Grown Up programme with Ulster, to continue learning at home. They also received Numerasee resources with which to support learning in a fun and a meaningful way including: a copy of Grit Grow Goals, a growth mindset book to encourage perseverance and resilience-building in order to help kids become better problem solvers; a times table toolkit which uses flashcards for a progressive way to memorise without creating overwhelm; and a bubbleboard for promoting colour association with numbers.

Dr Aideen Hunter, Lecturer, Ulster University School of Education said:

“Positive attitudes and confidence in numeracy and mathematics are a fundamental part of primary school education and the beginning of the process of preparing young learners for their future workplace. To support this, we know that engaging with adults and parents to build their own confidence in numeracy is important and will help them guide and support their children throughout their education. The Bring Your Grown-Up programme was designed to do just that, and we were thrilled to work with so many pupils, teachers, parents and local educators to deliver the scheme.”

Katrina Bradley, founder of Numerasee and Ulster University 25@25 Leadership programme participant:

“This programme is all about empowering parents with the tools they need so that they feel confident to support their children’s learning outside of the classroom: at home or in social settings such as the supermarket or in the outdoors. There is a generational gap in knowledge of how maths is taught at school so we want to help them understand how children are learning in the classroom, so they can reinforce this at home. We want the programme to ignite conversations and instil in kids a passion for numeracy.”