Key Voices #133 – Exploring the need for Maths tutoring with Thorntree Academy, Third Space Learning and CFEY

This week we talk to Mike Foster, Assistant Head at Thorntree Academy in Middlesbrough, Tom Hooper, Founder and CEO of Third Space Learning and Baz Ramaiah, an associate at The Centre For Education and Youth (CFEY). We hear more about CFEY’s report ‘A Space for Maths: Exploring the need for maths tutoring and the potential role of Third Space Learning’,  the importance of early maths achievement and getting children confident with numeracy.  Mike tells us about his school’s experience of using Third Space Learning and we discuss what makes for a really effective maths tutoring intervention.

We talk about: 
  • Mike’s school and the community it serves 
  • The case for early intervention building strong maths skills early 
  • The findings of the ‘A Space for Maths’ report and how teaching and learning numeracy differs from literacy 
  • The difference tutoring can make to pupils 
  • The impact of the pandemic on maths skills and the issues with parental support for maths home learning 
  • How difficulties with and anxiety about maths can become intergenerational 
  • The potential economic impacts of a lack of maths ability 
  • Mike’s maths catch-up focus at school - vocabulary and application of mathematical skills 
  • Why Mike wanted a tutoring intervention and what he was hoping to gain from it
  • The importance of a tutoring solution that is responsive and aligns with what is going on in class teaching 
  • How Third Space designed their solution to make cost-effective, high-quality, one-to-one tuition available to pupils in need 
  • The impact good quality tutoring can have on pupils 

You can find the report from CFEY ‘A Space for Maths’ here.

You can find the Third Space Learning impact report here and read about other schools’ experiences here.

“We wanted to allow our pupils to be confident within maths, articulate maths and access maths at their level… We wanted something that was responsive to pupil need and also allowed us to spend the pupil premium grant effectively.” 


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