‘Why making maths accessible is so close to my heart’ by Carol Vorderman (Free offer)

Carol Vorderman was already a pioneer by being the first woman to appear on Channel 4 in Countdown. Her love of maths is still close to her heart—Carol also has a son with additional needs/SEND and over a decade ago, she created The Maths Factor, an online school to help other children surmount their learning challenges.

Carol and her partner in The Maths Factor, Pearson, are offering three months’ free access for SNJ readers. She’s written for us today to explain why…

A good understanding of how numbers work is an essential life skill for anyone, but so many children and young people go through education with the belief that maths just isn’t “for them.” The long-term impact of that belief can be enormous, and damaging. 

If your child is one of the many learners who have a fear of numbers, or who learn differently from their peers, I know exactly where you’re coming from, and want to help.

Making maths accessible

You probably know me best as an ex-presenter of Countdown, where I calculated quick sums on TV for 26 years. 

I also have two wonderful children. My son has severe dyslexia, ADD/ADHD. He had a tough time at school and it was heartbreaking to see him deemed ‘unteachable’ by so many. However, with school changes, finding learning strategies that worked for him and hard work, he graduated from university with a Master's degree last year and I couldn’t be more proud.

I set up The Maths Factor, an online school for 4-11 year-olds in 2010, because I believe all children can unlock their full potential. Building confidence in maths is a key way to achieve this.

We need maths to help us live independently, and look after ourselves - to work out travel times and weigh up cooking ingredients; to cover our bills and shopping budgets, and to put away enough savings.

And yet, roughly 1 in 10 children in Britain have a fear of numbers today. Research carried out among teachers by learning company Pearson, who runs The Maths Factor with me, also found that children with SEND were among the groups of learners most likely to think that maths and associated careers are not accessible or appealing.

We want to change this.

Carol Vorderman
Carol Vorderman

Finding ‘the maths factor’

At The Maths Factor, we want all children to feel confident they can be master mathematicians, engineers, astronauts or whatever they want to be! By unlocking a child’s confidence, everything else can follow. Results at school improve, the appetite for learning grows, and the options ahead of them expand massively.

How do we do this? We take a simple approach – no timers, no pressure, no stress! It’s fun, and deliberately designed using engaging, bright colours. We support children to master a topic before they move on. Their learning journey is personalised to minimise stress and maximise engagement. The more they play on the platform, the more children see their number skills improve. The more they see that maths can be “for them.”

Nine in 10 parents see an improvement in their child’s maths confidence after using The Maths Factor for three months. During the national lockdowns, we were proud to support over half a million families with free access. And now we want to continue to help UK learners – especially those who have SEND.

Carol Vorderman’s offer for SNJ readers

We regularly receive amazing feedback from families with children with SEND about the impact The Maths Factor has had on their maths confidence and feelings towards the subject. But we want to understand this further.

We want to hear how The Maths Factor works for Special Needs Jungle families, so we are offering three months FREE access to the site. If you take it up, please share your maths journeys with us and tell us what more we can do to be accessible.

To enjoy three months of FREE games and lessons from yours truly, and help make maths for everyone, complete this simple form.

About Carol Vorderman

Carol Vorderman is a mother of two and a leading light in promoting maths at all levels. The first woman to appear on Channel 4 in 1982, she is a popular TV presenter widely known for her work on Countdown. She is also a bestselling author and campaigner, committed to helping children love maths. Carol set up The Maths Factor in 2010, and re-launched the site with Pearson in 2014. Learn more at www.themathsfactor.com

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