The Lightning Bolts Project is designed to support children, who are falling behind in maths or who have an additional learning difficulty. The Project can be run throughout key stage 1 and 2 and is designed to be delivered by teaching assistants.
Children receive their daily maths lessons as usual and any gaps in their understanding can be addressed via Lightning Bolts. This involves individualised daily practise for approximately 15 minutes per day or as often as possible supported by specially trained teaching assistants. The Project builds on childrens’ “known facts” with as a focus on moving children out of the “counting trap” and an emphasises on the importance of daily rehearsal to consolidate learning.
When children start the LightningBolts project they usually begin with work which is within their comfort zone. In this way they can experience success, their anxiety is reduced, their confidence increases and they are able to engage with more complex learning.
Why it works
The Lightning Bolts Project combines sound educational theory with an understanding of the impressive effects of daily practise on brain function. Research has shown that daily practise changes the structure of the brain and creates new neural pathways. Repetition strengthens these pathways and learning occurs. The child develops the tools to solve mathematical problems and use maths creatively.
A vital component of the Lightning Bolts Project is a complete acceptance of the child and their style of learning. Children are encouraged to talk about, understand and accept the difficulties they are experiencing as well as value the differences in the way people learn and experience the world. Children no longer feel they must cover up what they can’t do.
The programme works very well in small groups of 4 to 6. However in instances where children have become entrenched in avoidance behaviours or where self-esteem and confidence is particularly low, one-to-one sessions can be of benefit until the child feels ready to join a group or to work on the project independently.
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