Darts player Michael Smith returns to school in bid to help pupils with maths in St Helens
Report by Granada Reports sports correspondent David Chisnall
A primary school in St Helens has hit the bullseye with their maths lesson as darts champion Michael Smith swapped the blackboard for a darts board.
The World Championship runner-up returned to his old school, using darts to help pupils' numeracy.
As one of the world's best darts players Michael 'Bully Boy' Smith is used to playing in front of big crowds, but it was a select class watching him help out in a maths lesson with a difference.
His son Michael Junior was among pupils at Broad Oak Primary using the arrows to help with their addition.
Michael admits maths was never a strong subject for him at school, but he is hoping the new Bullseye Maths initiative from the Professional Darts Corporation will make lessons more fun.
Michael says that although he struggled with maths, darts helped him learn.
"I was useless at maths until Year 10, Year 11 at school and I started playing the game and I started getting a lot better," he says.
"Breaking up a maths lesson by playing darts and then going back doing questions then going back playing darts they're having fun at the same time."
The school were thrilled to welcome back their old pupil, Deputy Head Gary Affleck said: "I think over the last 21 months have been difficult right across education.
"I think our biggest problem at this moment in time is getting those children back engaged within the subjects.
"Certainly this will help because it's practical, it's fun they're enjoying themselves and that's what we need to do over the next 12 months."
The children were quick to pick up the basics of doubles and trebles and even learned some new skills throwing darts.
So in a bid to improve children's numeracy darts plus maths should equal a winning formula.