Games consoles to improve maths results

Pupils can play maths games on their Nintendo DS console. Photo: Dekuwa

Afro-Caribbean pupils in twelve Hackney schools are being given handheld games consoles to improve maths scores.

The new Learning Trust pilot scheme encourages students to play brain training games such as Sudoku on the Nintendo DS consoles.

The consoles are being lent out so that the young mathematicians can practice both in school and at home.

A number of schools are involved in the project including Daubeney Primary School, Northwold Primary School, and Tyssen Community Primary School.

The scheme is a response to underachievement in maths by black Caribbean children across the country although some schools have decided to loan to all students.

Early results, according to the Learning Trust,  show that, on average, it raises student achievement by three national curriculum sublevels.

The brain training games are a part of a larger programme of activities within schools including a Maths club, a series of parent and pupil workshops and a set of specially created resources.

Sue Windross, the Headteacher of Tyssen Community Primary School in Oldhill Street, Stoke Newington regarded the scheme positively and pointed to improved results in maths tests generally.

She said: “It is vital children make the grade even at this early age because they are then more likely to get an A-C grade at GCSE level.”

Caribbean achievement consultant for the Learning Trust, Mike Vance, said: “This scheme is about helping black Caribbean pupils to practice their mathematical skills when they’re not in school, but it’s also about changing perceptions – we want all our pupils to say ‘I love maths – it’s a cool subject’.”

Mike Addis

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