Do not leave it until secondary school to get help with maths

This is the advice for all parents of primary school children who are experiencing difficulties at school with this core subject. Frank Murphy, manager of FCL Galway, explains that one of the keys to success in maths is having a solid fluency in the foundational maths skills that are taught in primary school. Too often, students do not get sufficient practice at the different basic skills, and so lack the confidence needed to tackle the more complex ideas that appear in secondary school mathematics and beyond. Often students lack the necessary fluency and feel that they are “no good at maths”.

Maths skills build one on top of the other starting with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and division with remainders. It is only when the core skills are sufficiently secure that the student can proceed on to more complex computation in fractions, decimals, percentages, and algebra. Mastering maths is similar to mastering the piano: the growth of each skill is gradual and cumulative, each new improvement being built upon earlier achievements.

Feeling confident at these central skills means students are not afraid to meet the more complex mathematical ideas. To acquire this competency needs practice — the same as practice in music, sport, languages, or reading. The key is little and often —important information is practised in a cycle until it can be accurately repeated by the student.

FCL Galway has centres open in Oranmore and Salthill. There are limited places available. Ring Frank Murphy on (091 ) 635678 or (086 ) 372 4617 for an assessment.

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