Why mistakes are opportunities to think

“The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics” – Paul Halmos, Mathematician and statistician

At Hatherop Castle we make learning maths fun and practical to ensure children go on to have the skills and knowledge they will need for their lifetime. From setting up a shop in the EYFS to collecting and displaying data in Prep 2 children will be exposed to mathematical experiences embedded within the creative curriculum. This will give them knowledge and experiences which are useful and relevant to them. The use of interactive whiteboards and kindles are used to enrich and enhance the children’s experiences by providing mathematical activities and games to support areas of learning and develop a deeper understanding.

We follow the Rising Stars Mathematics scheme of work which encourages competency in number skills and secure understanding of fractions, decimals and percentages. It enables children to use formal written calculation methods and develops problem solving and reasoning skills. The scheme provides a range of strategies for the children to recall and use. This comprehensive scheme follows the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract) approach to mathematics. This entails a practical approach initially to introduce new concepts with lots of opportunity for discussion and development of verbal explanations and reasoning skills, focusing on using the correct vocabulary and enabling a greater understanding.

At Hatherop Castle children can attempt to gain coloured maths badges which they can then wear with pride on their blazers. The badges range starting from the red badge to the elusive Owl badge. Each badge is obtained by completing a range of questions to demonstrate understanding and mathematical ability.


At home it is important to support your child in their mathematical journey of discovery by creating a positive mindset around the subject. Negative feelings towards mathematics can really impact children’s way of thinking about the subject, which can be a huge barrier to their learning. Positivity can go a long way to improving their attitude towards maths. Taking the opportunity to use maths talk in everyday life can really help with children’s understanding. This can be done simply by talking about money when buying items in a shop or looking out for shapes while out for a walk. Even counting, reinforcing the last number they counted can all help children to see the importance of maths in the world around us. Playing games together is a fabulous way to bond with your children but it can also enhance their mathematical and logical skills. Piecing a jigsaw puzzle together will help with spatial awareness and develop positional language.

Furthermore, games like snakes and ladders will enable children to practise accurate counting and if you play a game with two dice you can even discuss doubles and halves. You can point out the time at various moments in the day to demonstrate reading an analogue clock to help give children an awareness of time and reading a clock. Playing to children’s love of technology is another way to enrich their mathematical experiences. There is no substitute for personal support for your child’s maths, but online maths games can be really engaging for children and can be a great help if you are busy or need a change from traditional maths practice.