World Darts Champion Peter Wright visited Lark Hall Primary School in south London on Wednesday as part of the PDC's Bullseye Maths programme.
On National Numeracy Day, Wright took part in a darts-based maths lesson for 21 students aged 9-11 ahead of the Cazoo Premier League event at The O2 in London on Thursday.
During the session, the world number one spoke to the class about his experiences with maths growing up and how darts helped him improve his numeracy, as well as giving the children some tips when throwing darts during the session.
The PDC launched Bullseye Maths earlier in 2022 as a response to evidence that childrens' numeracy levels were drastically affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as school closures meant many young pupils saw their education disrupted at a crucial time in their development.
Working with children's charity, Maths on Toast, Nottingham College’s "Room 180 Academy", and online darts platform GoDartsPro, Bullseye Maths is an online and in-school maths programme for Key Stage 2 pupils which helps children practice their maths through fun darts-based games.
As well as an interactive portal on the PDC website, top players Peter Wright, Michael Smith, James Wade, Joe Cullen, Damon Heta and Devon Petersen, have visited schools in St Helens, Coventry, Blackburn, Nottingham, and Leeds and interacted with over 200 schoolchildren through the darts-based maths lessons.
The school sessions have been incredibly popular with children and the programme has had some hugely popular feedback:
• In general, the pupils like maths, with 59% saying they look forward to maths lessons and 63% saying that they enjoy learning about maths.
• However, 56% of pupils said they think playing darts will help their maths and 73% said they think learning maths will be easier when taught as part of a game. This went up to 81% following the Bullseye Maths class.
• 92% of pupils said they enjoyed the Bullseye Maths class and 90% said they would like to do it again as part of a maths class.
• 69% of pupils said the Bullseye Maths session helped them with their odd and even numbers and 56% of pupils said the Bullseye Maths session helped them with their 2 & 3 times tables.
Peter Wright said: "I wasn’t very confident with maths when I was younger, but darts helped me improve with numbers, and hopefully it will help the kids in the future with all areas of life - even simple things like making payments.
"I thought today's session was brilliant. Bullseye Maths is a great idea and you could see how much the kids enjoyed it. I really hope it takes off and starts to become part of all school lessons."
Matt Porter, PDC Chief Executive, said: "School closures during the pandemic meant many young pupils saw their education disrupted at a crucial time in their development, and as a sport that requires a degree of numerical ability, we wanted to see what we could do to support young children and their families with maths.
"Working with some fantastic partners, we launched Bullseye Maths ahead of the Cazoo Premier League in February, and it has been great to see the children trying and enjoying darts during the sessions so far and improving their maths in the process.
"The online games and activities, along with the in-school player visits, aim to inspire and engage children to want to learn and ultimately improve their confidence with numbers in everyday life. We have had some incredibly positive feedback so far, and look forward to building the programme out to reach even more children across the UK."
Adam Barnard, Lark Hall Primary School, said: "We always enjoy ways to make our lessons fun and engaging for the students, and the Bullseye Maths session was a fantastic experience for our 21 pupils taking part.
"You could see by how much they got involved with all aspects of the session, both the worksheets and the playing darts, that they loved it, and having the World Champion, Peter Wright passing on tips and talking about maths was something they will never forget."
Gary Horsley, from Nottingham College's "Room 180 Academy" who runs the Bullseye Maths sessions, added: "All of the schoolchildren we've been involved in Bullseye Maths over the last four months have enjoyed the sessions and we’ve had so much positive feedback from them and their teachers.
"To take the World Champion into Lark Hall School on National Numeracy Day was a great experience for the pupils who took part in this session. We can't wait for the next one!"