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Oldham Lifelong Learning Service working with Oldham Library

The Service already has an established working relationship with the libraries as we have previously worked together on a number of projects. This helped with the planning and organisation. It was the first time that we had jointly delivered courses using the expertise of both partners.

The pilot was called Wise Owls, after the Oldham mascot, and took place in the Oldham Centre: a large public library in the town centre with adult learning facilities. The aim was to reach families who had not previously engaged with maths but who needed some support to improve their own skills and develop a learning culture in the home. We specifically offered the courses on Saturdays to target a group that would support the integration of the BME and white communities. It was also an opportunity to enable fathers and families to come together outside their working week.


For learners

  • Learners reported improvements in their children’s attitudes towards maths. Their children were happier to practise maths at home and actively asked their parents/carers to do maths activities with them.
  • Some learners became more confident in maths. Parents and carers felt that they had a better understanding of the methods that teachers used with their children, which enabled them to support their children with their homework.
  • Having the chance to attend a session each week and work with their child was very important to learners. They reported that their relationship had improved and they had a stronger bond with their child as a result.
  • Many learners were keen to continue their learning after the course had finished. Some suggested that they would like to do a maths course so they could provide more support to their children. Others wanted to take part in more Family Learning courses to maintain their relationship and spend more “quality time” with their children

For tutors

  • The tutors felt that the pilot courses had enhanced their ability to engage their target group of learners. Their decision to run the course on a Saturday in the town centre had made it more accessible for learners.
  • Tutors gained new insights that strengthened their professional understanding. One maths tutor reported that the pilot had made him realise the importance of parents and carers understanding how maths is taught in schools, and that this gave them an opportunity to improve their own maths skills.Another tutor felt that taking part in the pilot courses had improved her teaching approach.

For organisations

  • The pilot enabled OLLS to develop a stronger partnership with the Oldham Centre by working directly with library staff to develop and deliver the course.
  • Library staff gained an increased understanding of the importance of embedding numeracy into their activities and were looking for ways to integrate this into their wider literacy work.
  • Running the pilot courses in the Oldham Centre generated a lot of interest from other families who visit the library. As a result, OLLS are hoping to roll out the Wise Owls course to other libraries and potentially adapt it for delivery in schools or children’s centres, expanding the reach and scope of their learning provision across the community

Case Study

Oldham Lifelong Learning Service

Oldham’s Family Numeracy pilot was called Wise Owls and took place in the Oldham Centre: a large public library in the town centre with adult learning facilities. The aim of their pilot was to reach families who they had not previously engaged with but who needed some support to improve their numeracy skills and develop a learning culture in the home. The service specifically targeted families from a BME background, a group that they had previously found difficult to engage in their provision.


Project S.O.W

To enable learners to developtheir own Math’s skills whilst engaging in Maths Family Learning based activities which will have an impact on their children and families.To enable learners to become familiar with technologies/software available to support their own and theirchildren’s maths. To enable learners to use/createopportunities at home to support their child’s developmentin Maths

Alien Mask Coordinates

List of coordintates to produce a template of an alien mask

Alien Coordinates Grid

Grid for use with Alien Coordinates

Fortune Teller

Blank template to make a maths based 'Fortune Teller'

Session Plan NIACE Resource

Useful resources for planning

Session Plan NIACE Resource

Useful resources for planning and new ideas

Maths Websites

Some useful maths websites