Extra support for children

Supporting the mathematical development of all children

Sometimes parents experience life pressures which can create barriers to engaging with schools or supporting their child’s learning.

There are a number of initiatives schools can adopt to help families overcome these barriers and increase participation from under-represented groups.

Key recommendations:

  • Use these ideas along with other approaches. Support parents and children together.
  • Make connections with local organisations in order to reach those families who have more complex needs.
  • If you use volunteers, try to get a good mix people of different genders and backgrounds.
  • Make sure the school or organisation environment promotes positive attitudes to maths. For example, maths displays around the school, maths stories or maths days.


Volunteers are particularly valuable for any child who might be missing out on some educational support at home.

Advertise through the school or organisation and make connections with local volunteering groups to recruit the right people.


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Magic Breakfast

A charity with one aim, to make sure that no children start the school day too hungry to learn by giving each child access to healthy breakfasts.

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Every Child Counts

Helping primary schools to raise achievement in mathematics through intervention.

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Count On Us

The London-based Count On Us programme provides extra-curricular opportunities for children to increase engagement in mathematics.

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Further resources

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Inspiring the Future

If you want to focus on maths and careers, approach Inspiring the Future, which is a free service with volunteers from all sectors and professions going into state schools and colleges to talk about their jobs and sectors.

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Use the Family Maths Toolkit

It's really important that the volunteers help the children develop positive attitudes towards maths. The Parents' Resources section has lots of ideas for activities.

Parents' Resources

Using Numicon and Pairwise Shapes

For primary students, 100 simple activities to do with Numicon or Pairwise shapes.

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Online games

Online interactive games and activities to practise key learning skills in maths KS2.

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Improve confidence with numbers using games

Interactive, fun and supportive tutor-led sessions based on playing games to improve children's confidence with numbers.

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