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Claire Isaacs

In 2014 Prevista appointed a Maths graduate, Varunaan Nehru, as our Numeracy Champion. With Varunaan on board Prevista now provide enhanced numeracy support through daytime, evening and weekend drop-in sessions for learners on our employability and skills programmes. Varunaan provides classroom based lessons and intense one-to-one support for those struggling with maths to help them pass their in-work qualifications or move into employment. This has had a hugely positive impact on our learners, as demonstrated by the case study below.

Claire Isaacs* was a Prevista Level 3 Childcare Apprentice who was progressing well with her qualification. However she struggled throughout with the functional skills element of the qualification. Varunaan takes up the story:

“In terms of maths Claire was working at a level much lower than someone who should be taking the level 3 and in fact I would have found it difficult to say with confidence that she was ready to take the level 1”

Prior to Varunaan’s arrival Claire was overdue in completing her qualification due to repeatedly failing the Maths test. This had a knock-on effect on her confidence and therefore her ability to complete assignments for her childcare units. Varunaan explains how he began to turn the situation around:

“Claire had issues with confidence in her mathematical ability exacerbated by poor history with the subject and issues with retaining techniques and knowledge. Together with her Assessor, we drafted a plan of action to meet Claire’s learning requirements and needs. This action plan involved her Assessor focusing solely on Claire’s overdue childcare assignments and myself developing one-to-one lessons to develop Claire holistically in terms of mathematical ability rather than focusing solely on the test”

Varunaan carried out twice weekly one-to-one sessions to aid Claire’s development, pulling on Prevista’s extensive resource bank of materials, as well as drafting new bespoke resources and activities to accommodate her learning. The BKSB online diagnostic and learning tool was used extensively to help track Claire’s work outside of the sessions at Prevista, which allowed Varunaan to develop and plan sessions around her evolving needs. Varunaan explains:

“As Claire came closer to being test-ready her one-to-one sessions switched from mathematical knowledge building to more problem solving content focusing on identifying, interpreting and analysing questions. This was in order to build critical thinking skills such as abstraction and evaluating so that when a question she wasn’t used to came up in the test she would not freeze up and forget everything she knows”
This focused and personalised support was augmented by Prevista’s policy of being only a phone call or email away; this particularly helped in Claire’s case it meant her chronic medical condition could be taken into account when organising timings of sessions as well as teaching approaches during especially painful times.

After much support from her Assessor, Varunaan and her own persistence and commitment Claire passed her maths test on her 6th attempt and has now, against all odds, achieved her full framework. Claire comments:

“I am so thankful to Varunaan, my Assessor and Prevista for helping me through my Maths qualification, without their support it would have never been possible. I am very proud of myself too, I was very determined to succeed and I have!”.

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