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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June, 2005, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Snooker boosting pupils' skills
Pupils playing snooker
Pupils attend the course once a week after school hours
Snooker is being used to help improve maths and science skills among pupils at a Swansea primary school.

The youngsters at Ysgol Lon Las have swapped the chalkboard for green baize for 10 weeks of lessons at their after-school club.

By scoring, working out the angles and speed of shots it is aimed at improving numeracy.

Head teacher Dyfrig Ellis said boys who would not usually stay for extra tuition have signed up for the trial.

If I sold it as an after school maths club or literacy club it would not wash
Dyfrig Ellis, head teacher

The weekly School Super Snooker programme involves youngsters, aged nine and 10.

The Welsh-medium lessons including learning and discussing shot making techniques, work on vocabulary and social interaction.

An adult version has already been tested in Swansea prison as way to interest inmates in learning.

Mr Ellis said: "For the pilot we have chosen 10 boys in year five that are moderate achievers - pupils that just need that little extra push.

"If I sold it as an after-school maths club or literacy club it would not wash.

Head teacher Dyfrig Ellis
Mr Ellis said it gave the youngsters a little extra push

"There are a lot of educational opportunities and because it's snooker they will come."

He said next term he hoped to enrol girls onto the course.

Achieve Now, the local company behind the programme, hope it will be rolled out across the country.

Managing director John Davies said: "As they work through the book they are asked to complete certain activities.

"These are very subtle so it seems to be focused on playing snooker but really it's focused on their Key Stage Two work in school.

"It's a way of encouraging the kids to see what they are learning in the class room can be applied in so many different ways."

The company has also produced a version based on pool and it is developing football and fitness programmes.

Pupils taking part in the project say it is more fun learning around a snooker table than in the classroom.

Bradley Rowland, aged 10, said: "We are going to learn maths by adding up the scores and science by looking at the angles.

"It is much more fun than sitting in the classroom."

Former world snooker champion Terry Griffiths has recently linked-up with primary schools in Llanelli to stage a weekly after-school club at his match room.

His son and snooker coach Wayne Griffiths said: "Because the balls have different value than they learn to keep score, how far or behind they are and if they need snookers - so it does help their mental arithmetic."

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