A recent report, written by Alexandra Riley and published by Pearson, titled “The Power of Maths Roundtable: Changing Britain’s Perception of Maths”, explores how everyone can work together to transform children’s perceptions of mathematics.
Here, we have summarised five recommended areas to consider when enhancing and changing perceptions about maths in your school.
Collaborate with others
Knowledge is sticky and for children to experience success, they need to build on what they have previously learnt. It is important that we teach children the knowledge and skills they need in order to transition successfully. Teachers should work with others in different phases to understand where children have come from and where they will be going next.
Showcase the relevance and joy of maths
Invest time in carefully planning how to show children that maths can be useful and important but that it can also be fun. Show maths to be a creative subject, for example through classroom displays. One opportunity would be to show children that maths is not always about being right or wrong, by sharing problems that have more than one answer.
Reduce maths anxiety
There can be a lot of anxiety around maths with adults and children saying things like “I can’t do maths”. We should remember that these anxieties can be easily passed on so we need to support and build mathematical confidence in both teachers and parents too.
Invest in teachers
It is important to provide teachers with good quality professional development so that they have the confidence and skills to teach maths effectively. This could be done through attending training or encouraging staff to share expertise, for instance, by observing colleagues and reflecting on their practice.
Innovate and be creative
Try to be creative in your maths teaching by finding new ways to inspire and interest your students. You could try teaching problem solving through stories or find ways to teach maths skills within your topic learning. STEM activities are a great way to use and apply mathematical skills.
TTS, in collaboration with Pearson, has developed a range of bespoke year group Power Maths Kits that contain essential manipulatives to support and enhance your maths teaching.
With thanks to Catherine Sawkins for writing this post. Catherine is a TTS Primary Editor and previously worked in Primary Education for 9 years.