Quality Preschool Programmes
Proof of Concept
MathsUp is an app used by Grade R teachers to access fun and relatable Mathematics content to help their teaching practice. It also helps parents support learning in the home environment. MathsUp is aligned to and supports the Mathematics content of the South African National Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). It has been designed to be used on all internet enabled devices.
South Africa regularly ranks as one of the worst performing countries in terms of Maths and Science attainment. Fewer than 12,000 learners every year (±1% of Grade 12 learners) achieve more than 70% in Maths and Science, a level generally considered necessary to be selected for degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering or Medicine. A recent report from the University of Stellenbosch revealed that 40% of Grade 6 children are functionally innumerate. These problems arise largely because of a failure to lay good mathematics and literacy foundations during the first 6 years of a child’s life.
The majority of South African Grade R teachers do not have a formal teaching qualification. Most have a National Qualification Framework (NQF) Level 4 or 5, which does not adequately prepare them to teach the Mathematics content of the Grade R South African Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) in preparation for Grade 1.
A scalable and affordable intervention to strengthen foundational numeracy is needed, targeting teachers and simultaneously empowering parents to support their children’s learning within the home.
The MathsUp app aims to strengthen early Mathematics through the use of mobile technology to deliver accessible Maths content to Grade R teachers and parents of Grade R children. There is currently no other app of this kind, designed specifically to support the delivery of the South African Grade R Maths curriculum through co-ordinated school and home-based communication.
The app features fun hands-on activities that encourage problem solving and investigative skills. Suggested activities encourage play-based, active teaching and learning. Tips are provided on how to involve parents in their children’s maths learning at home. Stories and rhymes are recorded for easy listening in preparation for reading to or reciting with Grade R learners, and a direct link allows teachers to share information in-app with parents, colleagues and friends.
Why we invested.
The app has been designed for all internet enabled devices to ensure maximum usage and leverages our investment in The ECD Apps Launchpad, which provides the platform on which MathsUp is integrated. MathsUp provides a resource that supports existing classroom and teacher training initiatives by enriching and extending teachers’ experiences and practice in the classroom. Teacher training that traditionally relies on face-to-face contact and paper-based resources is expensive to scale.
The intention is to test the extent to which this mobile app, carrying an adapted version of the same core CAPS Mathematics content and targeting Grade R teachers can improve classroom practice, encourage reinforcement of maths concepts in the home and ultimately improve child outcomes.
The Project Team
Redink provides resources and education for learners. They develop high quality materials and offer training and mentoring programmes for children and parents/caregivers.
Reach Trust has helped more than 10 million people transform their lives through access to free education, health and counselling services on their mobile phones.