Learning in Mathematics

A positive attitude and a belief in their ability to learn are essential for students to learn well in Mathematics. Teachers provide activities to challenge students, and encourage a collaborative approach to learning, providing opportunities for discussion and questions. Students are encouraged to approach their learning with a Growth Mindset, believing that anyone can learn mathematics and that mistakes are important for learning.

Learning at home:

Your daughter is expected to engage in productive learning of mathematics at home to support her learning in the classroom. This should be done three or four times a week, with students in Years 7 and 8 spending around 20 minutes each time, and students in Years 9 and 10 spending around 30 minutes. Students in Years 11 and 12 are expected to spend longer, depending on the course studied and their individual needs.

The learning activities completed at home should be viewed as opportunities for students to improve their understanding and mastery of concepts rather than tasks to be completed to satisfy someone else. Ideally, students should take responsibility for their own learning, both for selecting an appropriate activity and ensuring value is gained from it. In this way students will quickly see the connection between productive learning at home and increased understanding and confidence in Mathematics. Teachers will often recommend activities that consolidate the learning from that day’s lesson, on the basis that brain research has showed that new ideas revisited within 24 hours are more likely to be retained. Alternatively students may be required to prepare for future learning or review learning from earlier in the year. It is important for students and parents to appreciate that better learning may result from a student struggling with one problem for 15 minutes and perhaps still not resolving it, or making mistakes and realising her error, rather than producing a page of correct answers which have required little thought. If no specific activities have been set by the teacher, students should reflect on their recent learning and select an appropriate activity from Mathspace, their textbook or Canvas.

How parents can help their child:

  • Ask your daughter to explain what she is doing – this will show her that you are interested and also help her to understand the concepts more deeply.
  • Do not share any negative feelings you may have (even if this is difficult – you may have to fake it…!) Parents, especially mothers of girls, should never say ‘I was hopeless at Maths’. Research shows that this is detrimental to student achievement.
  • Encourage her to approach her maths learning with a positive attitude, and dispel the myth that some people are naturally good at maths and other are not.
  • Praise her for her effort rather than her marks,
  • Encourage her to reflect on her learning and embrace her mistakes as valuable learning opportunities which have helped her brains to grow.
  • Encourage her to focus on the learning value of the activity rather than completing a particular number of questions.

For more information, see https://www.youcubed.org/parents/


Mrs Carol Osborne

Head of Mathematics