AI solution to Wigan pupils’ home maths classes

A Wigan school is using an online platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure pupils don’t miss out on vital maths knowledge due to the coronavirus crisis.

Thursday, 30th July 2020, 11:53 am
Updated Thursday, 30th July 2020, 11:59 am
Youngsters learning from home

Teachers at Our Lady Immaculate RC Primary in Ashton, say that the Maths-Whizz program has been a key tool to enable children to practise numerical skills from home.

It uses AI to mirror the behaviour of a human tutor through interactive learning content in order to tailor maths lessons to each child’s individual needs.

The school has used the virtual tuition program throughout the lockdown period – and pupils are free to continue during the summer holidays.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Teacher Jane Hine said: “Our children are engaged with Maths-Whizz and are making excellent progress. It’s very useful to have a reporting system so that you can see which classes are using it the most and which children are making the most progress. This has been especially useful during the school closures period. Children grow in confidence as they move through the various levels of learning.”

It is widely accepted that the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in many pupils being out of school since March, will produce substantial losses in learning that will be further impacted by the summer holidays.

Experts say maths knowledge normally regresses by two to three months over the summer break due to lack of practise. This loss of learning is known as the Summer Slide. It means many schools will potentially face disruption in September - with pupils struggling to catch up.

Richard Marett, CEO of global learning company Whizz Education, which supplies Maths-Whizz, said: “Many parents are rightly concerned about their child’s education. They need professional support if home schooling is to be effective. There is strong evidence that a gap in teaching a subject like maths can actually result in a pupil’s knowledge of that subject regressing. It’s a double whammy, because not only does the child stop learning, but their progress can actually go backwards.

“For this reason, schools normally face a challenge catching up even at the best of times in September, but this year things will be far more difficult. There are huge benefits to schools and parents if they are able to take advantage of online learning between now and the start of the new school year.”