Home U.K The pandemic is threatening children's maths progress

The pandemic is threatening children's maths progress


The coronavirus pandemic has severely disrupted learning for millions of children, but the subject of mathematics has been hit the hardest. The Centre for Education and Youth think-tank (CfEY) revealed a stronger link between children’s performance in maths at the end of primary school and at their GCSEs than there is for other subjects.

Earlier this year, the Department for Education stated that by autumn 2020, students’ maths progression was about three months behind where it should have been.

The CfEY attributed this to the fact that primary-aged students are less likely to receive tutoring for maths than for other subjects.

A large-scale study by the Department for Education found that “the link between attainment and future earnings is stronger in maths than other subjects”.

It said: “The marginal return on an extra GCSE grade in maths was approximately double that of an extra grade in English.”

The report also highlighted concerns about an increasingly anxious approach to maths and parents’ lack of resources to help their children to overcome this.

“An extensive body of international research shows that maths anxiety can overload and disrupt working memory during mathematical tasks, driving some pupils to avoid maths altogether.

“Many parents lack confidence in their ability to support their children in maths, due to their own difficulties with the subject and changes in teaching methods since they were at school.”

Creating a support network for each pupil in primary school can be difficult without enough funding – especially one-to-one.

But there are alternatives. Spending a few hours a week giving children a bit of a “maths boost” at home, with basic exercises and lessons, can have. a great impact.

Loic Menzies, chief executive of CfEY, said: “Far too many pupils reach the conclusion early on in their educational careers that they can’t succeed in maths, and the pandemic has thrown additional obstacles in disadvantaged pupils’ way.

“Yet skilled, one-to-one support in maths at primary school has the potential to equip pupils with the foundational understanding that they need in order to unlock future success in the subject.”

Virtual tutor Maths-Whizz one-to-one on-demand work with children at the click of a button.

To start with, the clever software calculates children’s “maths age” – a measure of their mathematical knowledge deciphered through fun activities and non-pressurised assessments.

Maths-Whizz claims that students who complete 60 minutes of exercises per week not only “build confidence, ability and motivation” but also increase their “maths age” by 18 months within their first year of using the platform.

Find out more here.

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