A new partnership between the Council and Edinburgh based social enterprise Sumdog has been announced with the aim of achieving a step change in pupils' proficiency in maths and numeracy.
Education officials have hailed the initiative as an important contribution towards the city's efforts to close the gap in educational attainment between the least and most deprived of the 40, 689 pupils who attend one of 139 state primary schools across Glasgow.
Under the new partnership, Sumdog has begun providing premium access to its online game-based learning system, which has been carefully aligned to the Curriculum for Excellence, to all P3, P4 and P7 pupils in Glasgow City Council primary schools with immediate effect. A recent major study carried out between December 2015 and June 2016 found that Glasgow primary school pupils who spent an average of one hour per week using Sumdog progressed three times faster than those who used the website and apps very little or not at all.
The council's Executive Director of Education Services Maureen McKenna officially marked the launch of the new partnership at the City Chambers with Sumdog CEO Andrew Hall on Wednesday 5th October. Pupils from Sandwood Primary School and P4 teacher Lynne Scott, who took part in the Glasgow schools study earlier this year, gave a demonstration of Sumdog and explained how the software has helped them to improve their skills in maths and numeracy.
A specific focus for the partnership will be to raise attainment amongst Glasgow pupils from the most deprived backgrounds and to close the educational attainment gap. The majority of pupils taking part in the recent Glasgow schools study, which demonstrated the effectiveness of Sumdog in improving attainment in maths and numeracy, attended schools in areas of high deprivation, as measured on the 2012 Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.
Set up in 1994 and headquartered in Edinburgh, over 2.8 million children in 88 different countries now use Sumdog's online learning system. The partnership with Glasgow City Council is the first to be concluded by Sumdog with a local authority in Scotland.
Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Children, Young People & Lifelong Learning at Glasgow City Council said: "We were genuinely impressed by the results of the recent study of the use of Sumdog in Glasgow Council schools - particularly since a majority of pupils taking part were from schools located in areas of high deprivation. It's great to see how enthusiastic pupils are about learning using Sumdog. We look forward to that enthusiasm continuing to grow as Sumdog gets rolled out across the city - and to seeing educational attainment boosted as a result."
Sumdog CEO Andrew Hall said: "Having demonstrated very clearly the educational benefits of Sumdog through our recent study of its use in Glasgow Council primary schools, we are delighted to have concluded this new partnership with Glasgow City Council to give comprehensive access to Sumdog for all P3, P4 and P7 state school pupils across the city.
"As a social enterprise, closing the attainment gap is an integral part of Sumdog's mission and something we feel very passionate about. We believe technology can transform young people's lives and give them a genuine enthusiasm for learning. In so doing, we are confident that its introduction will make a real and positive contribution to Glasgow City Council's goal of closing the educational attainment gap in Glasgow Council schools."
Sumdog is a social enterprise with headquarters in Edinburgh. Set up in 1994, Sumdog has developed an online learning system specifically designed to improve skills and attainment in maths and literacy and aligned to the Curriculum for Excellence. The Sumdog website is now used by 2.8 million children in 88 countries worldwide. Further information about Sumdog is available at here
About the Glasgow Effectiveness Study
The recent study looked at the effect of Sumdog's game-based learning service in Glasgow City Council schools. Carried out over a period of six months between December 2015 and June 2016, the study found that pupils who spent an average of one hour per week on Sumdog's maths games progressed three times faster than those who used the website and apps very little or not at all.
The majority of those who took part in the recent study attended a school where more than 60% of the school population lives in the 20% most deprived datazones in Scotland, as measured on the 2012 Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. In total, 764 students across 63 Glasgow Primary Schools took part.
The final report from the Sumdog Effectiveness Study in Glasgow City Council Schools is available at the following weblink here