Why we think Maths skills are important...
It’s maths week, and we thought it would be a good idea to share a bit about our philosophy on Maths - why it is important, and how we believe it should be taught. It is really important that our children feel confident in their maths skills, as they can be a predictor of later achievement, not only in Maths but in school overall.
How children learn Maths
When you imagine how Maths is learned, it is useful to imagine a brick wall. Children learn mathematical skills in much the same way as a wall is built; every new piece of learning (or brick) depends on the pieces below it in order to sit securely. Any gaps in learning early on can mean that the foundation becomes insecure which makes learning more skills trickier.
A good example of this might be learning number bonds to 10. This is a basic skill, one which is usually learned sometime between Early and 1st Level (Reception or KS1 in England). However, it is the foundation for far more complex manipulation of numbers.
Once a child has a good grasp of the bonds (and what they really mean in terms of quantity), they can begin to do additions like 7+5 more easily, because they know that 7+3 is 10, and 2 more makes 12.
From there they can move on to larger numbers, knowing that 70+30 makes 100, they will also know that 71 + 29 = 100 by making a small leap. From here they can start to get a deeper understanding of place value, and how this can help them to work with much bigger or smaller numbers.
And so, as children get older, and more comfortable with the numbers and skills they are learning, the wall grows higher but remains firm.
A child, on the other hand, who tries to understand place value without a firm understanding of the skills which come before, will struggle more than necessary.
How a tutor can support mathematical progression
At My Primary Tutor, we ensure that your child has the best possible start to their mathematical career by firstly giving them a high-quality assessment at the beginning of their time with us, and continuing to tailor their sessions according to their own personal needs.
By ensuring we know exactly where your child is, and where the gaps in their knowledge are, we can ensure that we can plug any gaps which appear.
We know that the best way for a child to become secure in mathematical foundations is by repetition, so all of our sessions have built-in opportunities to ensure that your child has a chance to practice skills they have already learned.
Another way for children to become more secure in their mathematical knowledge is to give them the opportunity to practice their skills in a real-world context. This could mean having things to hold and touch for very young children or using real-life situations to solve problems for older children. The more naturally we can find ways to integrate mathematics into everyday life for our children, the more opportunities they have to practise and to see that maths is not just a skill to learn in the classroom - but also a skill necessary for day-to-day life!
How can parents support their children in Maths?
Keep an eye out for our next blog, in which we’ll outline some of the best ways to support your primary-age children in their mathematical journey - and make sure you follow us on Facebook as we will be sharing loads of ideas there over the next few weeks.