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Taking a leaf out of gaming: Leeds City College helps students level up in maths

Research from Leeds City College reveals that game-inspired tasks can boost attainment in maths. 

The research found that putting maths into a context that resonates with students or gamifying it; a method of applying game elements, supports their confidence levels in the subject.  

The college, which is a centre of maths excellence, reported that 63% of students were more motivated to learn maths when gamification was introduced, as it enhanced the learning experience through a set of enjoyable tasks that they had to solve or complete. 

A points-based system akin to FIFA or Minecraft, was created to reward students, resulting in 88% of learners saying that the games driven approach increased their motivation as it helped them to make progress. 

Jonny Diamond, Head of English and Maths at Leeds City College, said:

“It is clear that a lack of confidence with handling numbers is limiting many learners. This is why we’ve been working closely with a network of other colleges in the Yorkshire region to improve both teaching and learning experiences for students through gamification. This is going to be especially important if Rishi Sunak’s plans for students to study maths until the age of 18 goes ahead. 

“Most of our learners have been through school, sat a GCSE and perhaps have gone through the standard syllabus and never had maths contextualised in relation to a career they are passionate about before. We want to be able to help them understand why maths may be useful in any sector or job they are likely to take on in the future.”

The colleges involved in the network alongside Leeds City College are Barnsley, Calderdale, Darlington, Kirklees, Bradford, York Council, Shipley and Thomas Rotherham College. 

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