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National Numeracy launches new app to aid maths education

24/10/2016 Joanna

A new mobile app is being launched by a UK education charity to bolster standards of attainment in maths teaching.

Entitled Star Dash Studios, the game - developed in collaboration with Plug-In Media - is intended to help students to bridge the gap that often exists between their achievement levels in maths classes and their mathematical aptitude in everyday scenarios.

Based in a virtual film set, the free game requires players to use everyday maths skills to tackle problems involving money, percentages, measurements and estimates, with fast-paced action and a humorous voiceover from comedian and writer Chris Kendall helping to make the experience as engaging as possible.

The app has been developed in response to figures showing that two-thirds of young people attain between an A* and a C grade in their GCSE maths exams, whereas fewer than one-quarter of them are able to demonstrate practical maths skills at the same level.

Moreover, findings from a 2016 YouGov opinion poll indicate that 47 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds who took GCSE maths or equivalent felt it did not prepare them for managing their money in day-to-day adult life, while 36 per cent of those who worked felt it did not prepare them for their current job.

Meanwhile, OECD data has highlighted England as one of very few countries in the developed world where young people on average do no better at maths than the over-55s, suggesting new tools to bolster mathematics performance are necessary.

Anne Haworth, chair of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics's general council, told BBC News: "National Numeracy does great work in schools, in the community and in the workplace, helping people to be more confident and competent in their use of everyday mathematics.

"I would expect the app to be a useful means of engaging learners of all ages with numeracy, which can only be a good thing."

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