Primary schools exclusively pilot new programme using census as teaching tool

St Elizabeth Catholic Primary School is one of those that will be piloting the scheme. Picture: Goog

St Elizabeth Catholic Primary School is one of those that will be piloting the scheme. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

Thirty-seven primary schools have signed up for an education programme designed to teach children about the census while improving skills in maths, geography and other subjects.

Let's Count! has been developed by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the lead-up to Census 2021 and, initially, is being made available exclusively to schools in Tower Hamlets and three other local authorities (Hackney, Ceredigion and Carlisle).

The four areas have been chosen to take part in a census rehearsal this autumn, which is an opportunity for ONS to test systems, services and processes to make sure the 2021 survey is as accurate and runs as smoothly as possible.

St Elizabeth Catholic Primary School in Bethnal Green is one of the schools that will pilot the Let's Count! programme.

School senior leader Fiona Macleod said: "We loved the fact the program allows us to choose from a wide range of lesson plans and that they are adaptable for different subjects.

"We're looking forward to using it to educate our pupils on the important issue of the census and helping them understand to how our population has changed over time."

A free programme, Let's Count! is open to all primary schools in the borough.

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Those that haven't signed up are encouraged to register as soon as possible at to receive a resource pack.

The pack contains 12 lesson plans covering key curriculum areas, tailored to support children's learning across Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Key Stage 1 (KS1), Key Stage 2 (KS2), as well as specific resources for year 6.

Let's Count! will also involve a competition in which pupils will count things on a 20-minute walk around their schools and local areas.

The information gathered will be used to develop school-centred maps and displays, which they can enter for a chance to win £1,000 worth of school equipment.

ONS director of census operations Pete Benton said: "The census is a great teaching tool.

"Let's Count! provides an engaging way into key topics like maths and geography - while helping build awareness and understanding of the census.

"We've worked with teachers to develop content that works for them."

The census is a once in a decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales.