Teaching Rods Company Celebrates 70 Years

Training with Cuisenaire rods in the 1960s

Have you come across Cuisenaire rods? You may remember them from schooldays. They are small wooden or plastic rods of different lengths and colours used as mathematics learning aids for students. They are used to represent numbers and comparative sizes.

The rods are  particularly useful as hands-on learning, helping students to visualise mathematical concepts. They can be used to build models, create patterns and explore relationships between numbers.

But did you know that the Cuisenaire Company, founded by Dr Caleb Gattegno, received permission from Belgian teacher Georges Cuisenaire to manufacture and distribute the rods to schools all over the world? This family-run business, based in Pembrokeshire,  is now celebrating its 70th year.

Founded in 1954, it is the original of a number of companies started by Gattegno and is run by Michaela Hollyfield and her brother Jake

Michaela might be better known to Fishguard folk as an artist and teacher in the learning centre, but the Cuisenaire Company is her day job. So every share, like, follow or comment can go to help a small family business stay in business.  ·

While the company has beaten off fierce competition over its 70 years and survived intact, Michaela says that it can no longer offer training with the rods.

“Back in the 1960s,” she says, “we had a team of staff delivering training to teachers in how to use the rods in the classroom.” Despite no longer being able to do this, she says that there are some wonderful videos accessible on the company’s website.

“These have been given to us to use with permission from Caroline Ainsworth (now retired), whose work with Cuisenaire rods with the students in her school has been recognised by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.”

The Cuisenaire Company
Unit 5 Feidr Castell Business Park
SA65 9BB
01348 874890

Educational Solutions (UK) Ltd – The Original Manufacturer of Cuisenaire® Rods since 1954




Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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