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Sheffield

Sheffield introduction

Sheffield Family Learning ran its pilot in partnership with two local housing associations. The aim was to support families with complex needs living in housing association accommodation. The programme was delivered in two venues: a community venue within a local primary school and a primary school and was focussed on improving adult maths skills by helping parents/carers to understand the school curriculum so they could better support their children's learning.

The pilot proved highly successful in engaging and supporting parents and carers and children to develop their skills and confidence in maths. The effectiveness of the blended learning and flipped classroom approach in supporting ongoing and flexible learning, as demonstrated by the pilot, has led to a step-change in the way that Sheffield Adult Learning delivers its provision. From September 2015, this approach will begin to be rolled out across all provision.


Outcomes

For learners

  • Learners improved their maths skills and were more confident in engaging with maths as a result of participating in the programme.
  • Learning the methods that their children were using at school meant that parents and carers were better able to support them with their homework.
  • Learners felt that their children’s attitudes towards maths had improved as a result of the pilot course.
  • Allowing the learners to take the LEGO® home meant that families continued engaging in the maths activities they had learned in the latest session and they enjoyed being able to work together on a maths problem. Some parents and carers reported that their children were more likely to ask them for help with their homework.
  • Learners reported that the programme had had a positive impact on their children’s confidence and motivation to do well at school due to parents and carers giving them more positive encouragement and messages about maths.
  • All of the learners who took part in the course progressed onto a Functional Skills maths programme which was run in the same school. At the end of this additional maths course many had already expressed an interest in progressing onto further learning including: Raspberry Pi (computer literacy), health and fitness, Makaton and further training in maths, including working towards GCSE qualifications.

For tutors

  • Tutors views about the types of activities which could be done with families to improve their maths were challenged and widened by the course. They were surprised at how successful the flipped classroom approach was, and found that learners were very engaged with the course.
  • The pilot also helped tutors to realise the importance of building a strong rapport with learners as this helped them to feel comfortable asking for help and confident to input into the development of the course, tailoring it to suit their needs and interests.

For organisations

  • The pilot lead felt that the project had helped tutors to gain confidence in using flipped classroom and blended learning delivery approaches.
  • The success of this projects means that Sheffield Adult Learning is planning to roll out this approach across the rest of their provision from September 2015.
  • The service has plans to ensure that any course with a home learning aspect will be available through a virtual learning environment to allow learners to engage in a more flexible way.

Case Study

Sheffield Adult Learning

This pilot was run by Sheffield Adult Learning in partnership with two housing associations; Sheffield Homes and Sanctuary Housing. The aim of the pilot was to improve Sheffield Adult Learning’s engagement with families living in housing association accommodation, as their contact with this group had been quite limited in the past. Sheffield Adult Learning also hoped that the pilot would complement their anti-poverty work across Sheffield and their Building Successful Families project, which was working with families with complex needs.


Resources

Scheme of work and lesson plans for a 6 week course

We Can Do Maths

Gain confidence in everyday maths whilst using LEGO

 

Resources developed by the Pilot
Learners build models using Lego and complete tasks associated with the models they have built.

Project 1 - Grand Design

Using the box of Lego you have been given build a model of your choice. Make it as colourful as possible using a variety of different pieces.


Project 2 - Build It Up!

Using your Lego build a tall stable model – it must be free standing when you have finished. As before make it as colourful as possible using a variety of different pieces.


Project 3a - Bridge the Gap

What is the widest bridge you can build using your Lego? It should have a span of atleast 30cm (try to make it wider than this) and a height at its centre of atleast 6cm. As before make it as colourful as possible using a variety of different pieces.


Project 3b - Bridge the Gap on a Budget

Your budget is £30. What is the widest bridge you can build using your Lego? It should have a span of atleast 30cm (try to make it wider than this)and a height at its centre of atleast 6cm. As befor emake it as colourful as possible using a variety of different pieces.


Project 3b - Bridge the Gap Table

For use to help learners work out their calculations on projects 3a and 3b.

 

External resources used by the Pilot

Sumdog

Play maths games – can be used for consolidation exercises with the learners using the iPad app. Also provides  an opportunity to continue consolidation at home and for learners to share the activity with their children. Tutors can set up a free account and enrol their learners. Parents can set up a free account and enrol their children.


Padlet

Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is a free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a new board. You can add images, links, videos, and more. We used this to create a wall for each week’s project, posting the handouts on the wall. The learners completed the tasks and posted their work to the wall to share with the rest of the group.