07 Jul Spratton Hall Trial NumBots
We had the pleasure of sitting down with three Year 3 and 4 Maths teachers from Spratton Hall to ask them a few questions on the impact NumBots has had on their pupils. Spratton Hall is an independent preparatory school in Northampton, and they have been trialling NumBots after enjoying their TT Rock Stars account since 2019. So, after the initial implementation of NumBots into their school, we caught up with Justine Allam, Sam Canty, and Joe Dixon to ask them how it was going.
All three teachers agreed that pupils were showing a high level of engagement with NumBots. When we began to discuss the reasons behind the children’s attitudes towards the programme, certain trends began to emerge. Particularly, it was noted by Joe Dixon that the lack of time pressure on NumBots resulted in children’s playing experience becoming more enjoyable. Although the competitive nature of Times Tables Rock Stars is a crucial contributing factor to its popularity, some children feel that the removal of the competitive nature of NumBots allows them to develop positive attitudes towards maths – especially those who are slightly weaker or less confident with numbers.
“It’s just that engagement. When you say we’re going to do NumBots - it’s that excitement, they’re asking ‘can we do NumBots, can we do NumBots?’” - Sam Canty, Spratton Hall
Additionally, Joe indicated that the children benefit from the ability to earn coins quickly, as it allows them to experience a sense of achievement and success. This extra level of engagement has resulted in the children becoming motivated to continue their practise at home.
All three teachers identified the common issue relating to a ‘fear of maths’; that sometimes there are negative stigmas associated with maths. The teachers found that NumBots had helped to reinforce and identify number patterns, which combined with the ability to earn coins faster, allowed children to grow confidence. This growth in confidence is essential in helping children to overcome fears related to maths.
“Seeing them feel successful in maths is really important. I think they really enjoy it and I see them growing in confidence in maths as a result.” - Joe Dixon, Spratton Hall
Although only having trialled NumBots for a short period at the time of our meeting, all three teachers were noticing the impact that NumBots was having on the children’s learning. For instance, Joe told us about a particular pupil who had scored highly in a recent exam, which he mainly attributed to his hard work and extra practise on NumBots, where the pupil had answered over 700 questions.
They also found that the programme had had other types of positive impact. We also heard how NumBots had helped pupils with certain learning characteristics. For example, Sam told us of a child who was showing signs of perseverance and determination to complete the programme, whereas before they had been struggling with their confidence. This type of positivity was evident across all three teacher’s classes, with NumBots giving children who were potentially weaker at maths the confidence to shift their attitudes towards maths into a positive direction. This desire to succeed at NumBots was then taken home – a pupil in Justine’s class had even racked up an impressive 13 hours of practise!