EXTRA maths lessons are adding up for primary school children in Farnworth.
Young mathematicians in eight schools received extra lessons from specialist teachers at Bolton School — the borough’s top performing school and one of the country’s best — to help them achieve higher grades.
Young people nationally are expected to reach at least level four in their key stage two tests.
More children are also expected to reach a level five, which shows they have made excellent progress since starting school.
Now the bar has once again been raised and children are challenged to reach level six.
This level of maths is equal to that in years eight and nine in secondary school.
More affluent families are able to pay for tutors to help their children reach the level, and in Farnworth St Peter’s CE Primary School headteacher Lynn Williams is ensuring that as many pupils as possible are able to benefit from specialist extra teaching.
She was able to draft in Phil Howard from the boys’ division and Lauren Reynolds from the girls’ division at Bolton School.
Mrs Williams called upon Bolton School to see if it could help the gifted and talented children in Farnworth reach their potential as teachers in primary schools do not always have the subject knowledge, time and resources to help gifted children attain the next level.
Sessions were run during and after school for children from the Ferns Academy, Highfield School, St John’s CE Primary, Queensbridge, St James CE, Our Lady of Lourdes, All Saints CE and of course St Peter’s CE where the classes were held.
Mrs Williams said: “I approached Bolton School to see if they could provide the help and support to children in Farnworth. The children really enjoy the classes, which they see as their extra special time where they are together.
“It prepares them for secondary school and raises their aspirations.”
Mr Howard said: “The classes have been well received.
“The classes are about getting young people to think about maths problems, to reason and get them thinking outside of the box, to develop skills — and make them think in different ways about maths problems.”
The lessons are delivered as a “Maths Club” with children being welcomed in with a glass of juice.
Miss Reynolds added: “We tried to help to make children feel more confident about maths in the booster sessions.
“We organised activities like CSI maths and show how maths can be applied to many different things. I really enjoyed taking the sessions.”
St Peter’s CE Primary School is hoping teachers from Bolton School will return in the new academic year as the bar is raised for other subjects.
Esha Saha, aged 11, from St Peter’s CE Primary School said: “Mr Howard made the classes fun, and the help we got to achieve level six was really good.
“I think sessions like this are a good idea.”
Jonathan Ndongala, aged 11, of Our Lady of Lourdes, added: “The classes helped us with our SATs level six. The maths classes have been very interesting.”
William Jebb, aged 11, said: “I feel more confident about maths problems now with having these extra lessons. It has been fun and interesting and maths problems don’t seem so difficult now and we have made new friends. ”