When the COVID-19 pandemic closed UK schools in March 2020, our NRICH programme reacted swiftly to lend vital support to schoolchildren, their parents and teachers. It continues to provide essential help, both in classrooms and with homeschooling.

The NRICH project provides thousands of free online mathematics resources for ages 3 to 18, which focus on developing mathematical thinking and problem-solving. Following school closures traffic to the site surged: the NRICH website saw a dramatic 95% increase in site visits from the UK between March and September 2020, reaching more than 1.5 million UK users.

International figures are even more impressive. Between March and September 2020 the NRICH website was accessed by more than 3.5 million users across 230 countries and territories worldwide, resulting in over 20 million pageviews.

NRICH is a collaboration between the University's Faculties of Mathematics and Education, and the largest programme in the Millennium Mathematics Project. The NRICH team responded quickly when it became clear that schools would be closing as part of the lockdown, working to tailor the website for pupils working from home and uploading resources to support them and their parents.

The revamped site was live on the morning of March 23, 2020, the Monday after UK schools closed. NRICH was already reaching millions of users worldwide, but on that Monday morning the increased demand was so high that server capacity had to be doubled.

The Department for Education highlighted the NRICH website in its list of resources to support online learning. NRICH also worked with the BBC to provide resources supporting and extending the BBC Bitesize online daily maths lessons throughout the 2020 summer term.

Find out more in this article on the Faculty of Mathematics website.