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Sunderland introduction

Sport Counts’ was developed as a sporting activities project with embedded and contextualised maths skills so that participants would improve their health and wellbeing and functional skills. Two courses within the pathfinder project were successfully delivered. The first was in partnership with St. Luke's Neighbourhood Trust in Pallion and the second at C.H.A.N.C.E a Family Centre in Hendon, both situated in deprived post code areas in Sunderland.

The courses were delivered by two tutors specialising in both curriculum areas. They worked creatively as part of a team to gently engage parents and children on a Family Learning opportunity. We showed how learning about shape, density, space, scoring and measuring can be fun while families are prepared to work together.20 adults and 29 children took an active part in the pathfinder with 6 learners attaining Entry 3 in a national maths qualification and a further 3 learners achieving at level 1.


For learners

  • Parents / carers appreciated having new opportunities to bond with their children through learning and physical activities in the sessions.
  • They reported improved confidence in their own maths skills, as well as those of their children. As a result, they were more likely to support their children with their maths homework and engage them in maths activities at home. Because they had covered some of the terms and methods that teachers use in school, parents/carers felt that they could offer better support to their children at home.
  • The tutors noted that the parents/carers’ attitudes had also changed over the course of the pilot programme; at the beginning they were less inclined to engage with the children and tutors, but by the end all of the parents/carers were taking a hands-on approach and getting involved with all of the activities.
  • The learners were very positive about being involved in similar courses and expressed an interest in taking part in further programmes, such as more maths or health and fitness classes, while their children were at school.

For tutors

  • The two tutors felt that they had developed and enhanced their professional skills by working together. They benefitted from each having a slightly different approach to teaching and interacting with the children and parents/carers. They were able to take different approaches to engaging children who presented any challenging behaviour, and they learnt new behavioural management techniques from each other.
  • Through delivering the pilot courses, tutors also realised the importance of being flexible and providing learners with a choice of different activities. They felt that this helped their learners to feel more comfortable in the sessions and fostered a strong tutor-learner relationship over the course of the pilot.

For organisations

  • The WEA successfully re-established a working relationship with the CHANCE Community Centre. Both organisations now want to further develop this partnership and provide the local community with more family-focussed learning activities. By the end of the pilot the WEA had plans to support CHANCE with a Job Shop (an employment skills and job seeking course) and were intending to build on the success of the pilot by offering further courses based around yoga and maths.
  • As a result of the pilot, the WEA believed that they were more involved with the community in Hendon and had a greater understanding of their learning needs

Case Study

South Tyneside WEA

The aim of the WEA’s pilot was to engage families from areas of high deprivation who could make a joint progression in maths; with both parents and children benefitting from the opportunity to improve their maths skills. The pilot aimed to give parents the opportunity to take formal qualifications in maths; improve their confidence to engage in wider leaning; support progression onto further courses, volunteering or job opportunities; and increase their involvement in the local community.


SOW: Sports Counts

C.H.A.N.C.E Hendon - Sunderland.
June - July 2015 6 sessions.

SOW: Sports Counts - Session 1

Equip students with some exercise techniques

SOW: Sports Counts - Session 2

Equip students with some exercise techniques and trasfer results onto tally chart

SOW: Sports Counts - Session 3

Handling data, whole numbers, making exercise count

SOW: Sports Counts - Session 5

Equip students with some exercise techniques and Identify some 2D shapes

SOW: Sports Counts - Session 6

2D/3D Shapes and exercise and awarding certificates