You do the maths: Drayton Park Primary one of 12 schools in London to receive charity tuition

Bernard and Sarah Manson.

Bernard and Sarah Manson. - Credit: Archant

A charity offering one-to-one sessions for children struggling with maths is set to launch at a Holloway primary school later this year.

Number Sense was set up by husband and wife Bernard and Sarah Manson as an effort to take a more "hands-on" approach to education and in response to what they see as a disparity in resources between Maths and English.

In September it will begin working across 12 schools in the capital, including Drayton Park Primary.

Bernard said: "I used to be a governor of a further education college and wanted to take a more hands-on role in education where I'd actually be able to see a difference being made. You'd often get [teachers] saying, 'it's going to take forever to help this child learn maths.

"Most schools have schemes where children get extra one-to-one reading sessions with volunteers, but there's none for maths, which I don't understand. There should be the same thing going on for maths."

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Bernard, who worked in banking before fronting Number Sense, explained one-to-one sessions are crucial to build confidence in children who might feel too intimidated to ask questions in a larger class.

"If a child is doing something in class which they're embarrassed about they won't ask questions. If they build trust with an individual adult they can eventually ask them questions in private".

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Sessions last for 30 minutes and target children aged six and seven based on feedback from teachers and UCL academics that this is the age at which problems start to emerge in the learning process.

"I think for the six- and seven-year-olds learning maths is a very weird experience," Bernard said. "You can actually make a lot of it enjoyable by doing things like playing cards and working mental muscles in different ways."

Bernard and Sarah currently have their own numbers game to solve, with 14 volunteers active in schools across London but a goal to expand the team by September.

To volunteer can email

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