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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

NRICHing teacher support for maths problem-solving in the classroom

Our Solved! report recognised the promise of the NRICH Project's collaborative resources and, at our launch event back in March, NRICH’s Director, Ems Lord, gave an enlivening demonstration of how their ‘Olympic Records’ graphs can be used to encourage team problem-solving and to draw upon the skills and expertise of pupils who may not traditionally be engaged in maths.

However, our report also identified a need for further training to ensure teachers had the confidence and expertise to use these resources effectively.

We recognised a particular paucity of collaborative problem-solving in primary education, particularly in maths and humanities subjects where research has repeatedly shown its effectiveness as an educational tool.

That is why we’ve teamed up with NRICH for this pilot (the second of our collaborative problem-solving series), which will work with 10 primary schools in Cambridgeshire training teachers to use their resources and evaluate their impact.    

The NRICH Project is based at the University of Cambridge and, last year, its website attracted 7.9 million visitors 

It offers free primary and secondary maths and problem-solving resources for teachers and students and also works face-to-face with them to provide guidance and support.

The experiment will run until December and, during this time, NRICH will conduct focus group interviews with pupils and teachers in order to get feedback on their experience of using the collaborative resources in class.

They will also share their experiences with local subject leaders; in this way we hope to embed the practice into schools, and spread the reach of the pilot beyond the 100 teachers it will initially target.  

We will soon have some interesting teacher and pupil led reflections to share with you, so watch this space...

Image credit: Acdx/Wikimedia Commons


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Maeve Croghan

Maeve Croghan

Maeve Croghan

Education Intern, Innovation Lab

Maeve was an education intern at Nesta in the Innovation Lab.

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