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Developing maths skills further

At this age children are becoming more confident in their use of numbers, so maths is taught through mental, practical and written lessons. Where possible, they’re shown how it links to other areas of the curriculum, such as science or ICT, as well as everyday life.

Children will now have a good grasp of the basic maths skills and their mental maths recall is becoming more automatic. They’ll be starting to develop their own ideas of how to solve maths problems, and how to check that their calculations are correct. They should be confident with one and two-step problems and begin to work on three steps using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and they’ll be able to decide on the best way of solving a problem. They’ll be expected to know all their times tables to 12x12. Children will be practising their mental maths, as well as using written and practical methods to help them calculate. It’s still important for children to use maths outside school and in all areas of their life.

Here are some ideas of things that you can do at home:

Play board games like chess and Scrabble. Studies show that these types of games can help with critical and analytical thinking.

Involve children in planning journeys: You can get them to use timetables and follow the map during the journey. Include discussion around distance, time and direction.

Multiplication tables: Automatic recall really does help at school and with homework. To help your child to learn their times tables you could put up a poster, chant them on the way to school or go through them in the car. Play a multiplication game with a pack of cards where each player takes two cards, multiplies them and whoever has the higher number gets a point.

Put small change in a jar: You can do this over several weeks and ask your child to tell you how much they think is inside. You can ask them to guess how much there will be after one week and make charts to show the numbers of different types of coins.

Plan a party with your child: You can set a budget, decide on who will come and plan what you’re going to buy for the birthday tea.

Look at the sales in shops and online and think about and explain percentages and fractions. For example 50% off is the same as half price.

Make wrapping paper: You can do this using a repeating pattern, symmetrical design or tessellation (when shapes fit together in a pattern with no gaps or overlaps).

Play paper and pen games like Bingo, boxes and battleships. You can find the rules and more ideas for games that develop maths skills on the Third Space Learning website