BUDDING mathematicians are rocking through their times-tables thanks to an upbeat numeracy programme that helps them find the right rhythm.

Students become anything from rock stars, gods and legends to giggers, wannabes and headliners as their performances are recorded for all to see.

Rock music sets the pace in a trial of times-tables which they have to complete as fast as they can.

Three challenges have to be completed in 20 minute sessions held twice a week with the accolades being awarded for those students who get the most sums right in the shortest period of time.  

Students who perform the best also become mentors during advisory time for the children who prove less able.

The project is part of a raft of innovative programmes introduced at South Shields School to boost opportunities in learning for young people.

Assistant head teacher for achievement Janey Stubbs said: “These mastery sessions really motivate our Year 7 and 8 students.

“The rock music stimulates their interest and the whole process is proving to be an invaluable way to provide them with the skills for problem solving.”

Literacy mastery sessions are also helping students with their grammar skills and rules of reading.

Twenty minute sessions cover areas such as the use of capitals, nouns, apostrophes and clauses. They also involve spelling tests and students record everything in their grammar books which then become a resource to be used in English lessons.

“This is working excellently and the students have done really well,” Ms Stubbs said. “It is fun, introduces a healthy element of competition as we have a leader board and tests students’ knowledge, which all works to keep them on task.”

Master classes are also being staged for more able pupils from feeder primary schools in maths, English, science, computer science and performing arts.

Year 7s are getting the chance to experience university life as they join the Brilliant Club. A PHd student is briefing pupils on a variety of theories and issues before they write a dissertation.

In an initiative designed to stimulate interest in higher education, students work will receive a degree-style grading and this will be followed by a graduation ceremony at Durham University.