About One to One Maths
Our Mission Statement
The aim of One to One Maths is to provide a proactive support tool to prison education teams by creating that vital conduit for prisoners with limited basic numeracy skills, by encouraging them to take that all important first step into maths education, as a stepping stone back into the classroom.
The importance of prisoner peer mentoring
Educated bored prisoners are the greatest underutilised resource of the Prison Service. They can provide a mentoring service by offering individual assistance to those prisoners with poor numeracy skills to develop and improve those skills through on to one support and guidance.
Actions speak louder than words – One to One maths is making it happen
The only way to encourage the very high proportion of innumerate prisoners to take that vital first step back into education is to use fellow prisoners who ‘talk their language’ as equals and can act as a friend, to help them to have the courage to make a fresh start to their learning.
We use the maths skills which some prisoners have, to help other less fortunate prisoners for whom maths is a ‘no go area’. Helping the learner to overcome the shame factor and a lack of self esteem by giving him confidence and a sense of achievement – maybe for the first time – is at the core of One to One Maths.
For the mentors, it is an opportunity to use their time constructively and to gain confidence, develop new skills, a sense of pride in helping others and enjoyment.
We provide ‘Person Centred learning’
We encourage and assist prisoners themselves to take ownership of their learning with the help of a fellow prisoner so that they feel that they ‘own’ their education and that it becomes a ‘tool for living’. This is the key to achieving the intended outcome of prison education and reflects current practice in mainstream education – increasing focus on individual needs of learners and adding value to their lives.
Every learner has an Individual Learning Plan
Once we have carried out an initial assessment of the mentee, we create an individual learning plan, helping each prisoner to achieve personal goals. This allows that prisoner to progress one step at a time within his or her own abilities and with the aim of giving that person the confidence to take part in formal education in the classroom.
Motivation is the key to learning
Motivation of the learner in prison is extremely important, as very many prisoners have had negative experiences of formal education and simply shutting them in a classroom is unlikely to have any positive effect. Through encouragement and support and a ‘can do spirit’, our mentors assist and support the mentees to gain an understanding of maths, thus helping them to make a new start and gain confidence.