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Are times-tables important?

Are times-tables important? We probably all remember having to learn our times-tables as kids and most likely have forgotten a lot of them by now. You will have your own feelings toward them- whether you loved them or hated them, as will your kids! But do you think they are important? As with many things we learn in school, we sometimes fail to see the relevance to our real lives but we really do rely on table facts far more than we realise. In school, the tables are important. So much so that the government introduced the mandatory multiplication check in…

word problems

Why is a word problem hard in maths?

Why is a word problem hard in maths? A math word problem is when a problem is presented using a real life scenario and a child has to work out what maths they need to do to find the solution. It is so common to hear that a child knows how to add, subtract, multiply and divide confidently but then when they get to a word problem it all goes out of the window! Some of it is a mental block, they might not understand the problem, there could be a lack of familiarity with the format of questions, not…

How important are fractions?

How important are fractions? Fractions are often cited as a "problem area" when I take on new pupils and can cause a lot of anxiety. They can be an area that as parents we either have forgotten ourselves or the methods we use are so far removed from the methods used today that helping our kids ends up causing more confusion. I often hear “we don’t use it in real life anyway” in response to the frustration but mastering fractions is actually very important. Not only does is it in one of the building blocks of further math content but…

Year 6 2022 tips

Back to school tips for Year 6 2022

Is your child starting Year 6 this September? Read on for some tips to help ease the transition now that the whirlwind couple of years of lockdowns, bubbles and home learning has eased. Settling back into school after the six week holidays is never an easy adjustment, let alone after the chaos and unpredictability of partial school closures and bubbles being sent home over the last few years. The Year 6's this year have experienced a particularly unusual time, having missed out on a large chunk of school time in Year 3 and then entering a completely unfamiliar learning environment in…

Does my child need a Maths tutor?

Does my child need a Maths tutor? There is a common misconception that it's only children who struggle that need a Maths tutor. This is not the case. The real question is, would my child benefit from a tutor? The answer is an absolute yes. Common problems preventing getting a Maths tutor. Of course, there's lots of factors that might make getting a maths tutor difficult in reality. Financial reasons, a lack of space to fit a tutor in your home, being unable to commit to a regular time slot with busy family schedules. The trick is to find a…

Should I use past SATs papers for revision?

Past SATs papers are available freely on the internet however it is debatable whether using them is beneficial for your child’s progress. While studying past papers for familiarity is good these can interfere with your child’s teacher being able to accurately assess their needs. They can (if not used in the correct way) actually damage confidence. However, using materials from past papers in the right way, can also increase confidence and prepare your child for the big day. Read on to learn more pros and cons and tips for utilising this freely available resource. Are past SATs papers used in…

5 reasons to fall in love with Maths

5 reasons to fall in love with Maths I fell in love with maths and I know many of you have too but maths really is the marmite of education- you either love it or you hate it! So many people say they hate maths or believe they’re not good at maths but it’s something I strongly disagree with. Nobody is intrinsically bad at maths. They may just not have had the right exposure, been shown enough ways or had the chance to spend the time needed to “get it” and fall in love with maths the way I did.…

Why is long division so hard?

Why is long division so hard?  There is something about division in general which just intimidates a lot of kids (and adults!). Then you throw in the “formal written method” of long division and it‘s enough to put the strongest of mathematicians to the test. The method is lengthy and requires a fair amount of prep and this tends to cause a lot of children to give up before they have even begun. It is also slightly different to the methods most adults were taught and so helping with homework can sometimes just reinforce the belief that it is a…

Year 6 2022 tips

Back to school tips for Year 6 2021

Is your child starting Year 6 this September? Read on for some tips to help ease the transition after a whirlwind 2 years of lockdowns, bubbles and home learning. Settling back into school after the six week holidays is never an easy adjustment, let alone after the chaos and unpredictability of partial school closures and bubbles being sent home. The Year 6's this year have experienced a particularly unusual time, having missed out on a large chunk of school time in Year 4 and then entering a completely unfamiliar learning environment in Year 5 with rows, no joint assemblies, bubbles and…

Year 6 SATs. What are they?

What are the Year 6 SATs tests? The Year 6 SATs are to assess your child’s understanding of Maths and English against the National Curriculum learning objectives from Key Stage Two (Year Three to Year Six). Primary school is split into two stages after Reception: Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. At the end of each key stage, children sit a SATs test. This stands for Standard Assessment Test which will cover Maths and English.  They include a reading paper, a grammar punctuation and spelling paper (often referred to as SPAG) and maths. In this article, I will be discussing the…