An IRVINE man is on a mission – to make mathematics fun.

Chris McKenna believes that if kids can grasp the basic principles of counting at an early age, it will help them in their working lives.

Which is why Chris quit his job as a maths teacher to launch Count On Us, a mathematical education centre that specialises in breaking down the barriers surrounding maths and numeracy.

Chris invented a learning aid, which he called numeracy Blueprints, that helps pupils to visualise and understand the process of using numbers.

He has begun his new career with a bang as Chris’s campaign has been endorsed by a former colleague who was the winner of the Headteacher of the Year title at last year’s Scottish Education awards.

David Watson, headteacher at Ayr’s Forehill Primary provided his support for Chris’s learning tools by order a batch of 66 numeracy Blueprints learning boards for his school.

“It means a lot to me that David, who is officially the best headteacher in Scotland, values the quality of these learning aids,” said Chris.

“It makes all the design and production work worthwhile.”

Chris, who lives in Irvine with his wife Marilyn and their children, Austin, aged 7, and five year-old Scarlett, taught maths at Kyle Academy in Ayr.

“I have been teaching mathematics for 12 years,” says 36 year-old Chris. “And I realised that there is a big demand at every level to offer extra help with maths.”

It was after Chris took on an addition role as Numeracy Development Officer working at a number of primary schools in the county that he started to develop his revolutionary teaching aids.

“I thought it could only help if I made the whole idea of numeracy fun and easier to understand,” he says.

“Deciding to leave my job at Kyle Academy was a very big step but this is something that I feel so passionately about and so it was a move that I had to make.

“I am so convinced that what I have devised through Count On Us is the way forward that I have handed out a free sample of the learning aid to every primary school in Irvine and Kilwinning and plan to do the same for the three towns of Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan and the Garnock Valley.”