Research finds Abacus is making an impact!

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The Pearson research team are working with the UCL Institute of Education to conduct a study into the impact Abacus is having in schools.

Throughout 2016, the team conducted an ‘Exploratory Study’ to gather early results and test out their research methods - in preparation for a larger study which is taking place throughout 2017. Fifteen schools, across a range of contexts, were selected for the study and the evidence drawn from interviews with senior teachers was overall very encouraging with some helpful suggestions too. In the below blog, Professor Ruth Merttens shares her thoughts on the results so far...

It is always nice to receive good news, and the report detailing the results of the ‘Exploratory Study’ on Abacus contained a few pieces of information which made me, personally, very happy…

Confident and excited young mathematicians

More than 85% of the teachers using Abacus reported that children enjoyed doing maths; they love the interactive tools, the online activities and the Quick Maths activities, including the weekly Driving Tests (which help assess procedural fluency).

Best of all, the teachers felt that Abacus was enhancing both pupils’ confidence and their mathematical experiences. To me, this finding is particularly pleasing. I feel that now, more than ever, we have to stand up for what we believe is best about British education – namely that primary children are expected to enjoy school, and to be stimulated whilst learning. Hand in hand with this, goes the commitment to teaching for understanding, and not by rote, recognising that procedural fluency is a product of conceptual understanding.

Abacus supports great teaching through saving time

Teachers value the planning support provided by Abacus – the report states that,

" the planning tool is widely appreciated for the time saved, whether its use is intensive or as a starting point. "

Since another of my concerns is teacher workload, this was also music to my ears.

Supporting pupil attainment

An added bonus was that teachers had also reported an increase in confidence, both with new curriculum content coverage and also with planning for progression using formative assessment.

All the teachers felt that the development of mathematical fluency was well-supported by Abacus and in a wide range of ways. It was good news that the workbooks and textbooks were found to build children’s experiences too.

A number of teachers requested more support with problem solving – feeling that extra activities in this important area would be extremely helpful. In response to teachers’ feedback, work is already in progress and we shall be adding some brand new problem solving investigations later this year.

What happens next?

The Exploratory Study is the start of our journey towards showing the impact Abacus is having in schools. The main study is now underway and the full report is expected this summer - we’ll be sure to share our findings along the way.

For more information on how Abacus can help to inspire confidence and a love of maths in your children, please visit our website.

Visit the Primary resources section of our website.

To read more about the impact Abacus is having in UK schools, take a look at our dedicated impact site.

View the Impact website

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