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How Sumdog Closes the Gap By Improving Mathematical Fluency

Did you know that persistently disadvantaged pupils in the UK are now almost two years behind their peers by the time they leave school?  And that in the USA the achievement gap is only 30-40% smaller than it was in the 1970s?

Falling behind in early education significantly impacts pupils’ later achievements in life, such as earning and career potential. To truly achieve equality and social mobility, we must close this attainment gap.

Whilst this isn’t an easy task and there are no quick fixes, EdTech software like Sumdog can undoubtedly help. Our recent impact study shows how Sumdog improves mathematical fluency. Keep reading to find out more about our research.


Sumdog’s Impact Study

We created a quasi-experimental, longitudinal study to measure the progress of 221 pupils across nine schools to see whether using EdTech in the classroom could improve their fluency. 

Pupils were asked to complete pencil-and-paper maths exercises at the beginning and the end of the study. Progress was calculated for both ‘regular’ users, those who used Sumdog for at least 30 minutes a week, and the remaining ‘non-regular’ users. An analysis of the differences between the two groups was conducted in order to understand the impact of the resource.

We then asked both groups to complete maths assignments to measure their progress and analysed the difference in learning outcomes. By measuring this difference, we could then determine whether Sumdog had an impact on maths fluency.


Factors that could impact results

Since our study groups were self-selected, we also needed to consider possible pre-existing factors that could confuse the results such as age, attitudes towards maths and maths ability. 

To further examine these factors, we conducted a statistical test and found that the groups did not differ significantly across any of the possible variables.


The verdict: Sumdog improves mathematical fluency

Our study showed that mathematical fluency progress for pupils who used Sumdog regularly was almost double that of the non-regular users. 

According to the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), these results suggest a “high impact” or a 6-month advantage.


Using Sumdog to close the attainment gap

A poignant problem faced by education is the skills gap between children from families living in deprivation and their peers.

As a demographic group, these children’s numeracy levels are significantly lower from the very early stages of education, and they don’t get the chance to catch up. This leaves them in a disadvantaged position leaving school, and perpetuates the problem (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2014).

Standardised test scores for the pupils participating in this study suggested their average ‘maths age’ to be around six months behind the national average. This study showed that Sumdog gave these pupils the opportunity to consolidate their basic numeracy, giving them a chance to ‘catch-up’.


Learn more about a Sumdog maths subscription

As our study shows, incorporating Sumdog into your classroom helps improve mathematical fluency and pupils’ learning. 

A subscription to Sumdog gives you access to 32 educational games, keeping pupils entertained for longer and encouraging them to spend more time on the platform. And, the longer they spend on the platform, the more they progress!

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