'Her teacher made a comment on how much she has improved in maths'

This primary school student went to First Class Learning struggling at maths and was not confident in her abilities. An individualised programme was devised to suit her needs and ability. Working just 10 minutes a day can make all the difference — after 18 months' work, this student had progressed to a nine out of 10 in maths. Her confidence was restored and she was ready to tackle maths concepts that were new to her.

According to research by the ESRI, children who are good at maths at the age of nine (third class ) are more likely to be more confident going into secondary school — so primary school learning is very important going forward into secondary.

The FCL programme is designed to ensure maths concepts are thoroughly explored. This is one of the keys to success in maths — having a solid fluency in the foundational maths skills that are taught in primary school. Students need sufficient practice at the different basic skills in order to have the confidence needed to tackle the more complex ideas. Often they 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, and division. 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 repeated in a cycle and can be accurately repeated by the student.

If you are wondering about your own child’s ability at maths you can book an assessment to see just where his/her strengths and weaknesses lie.

FCL Galway has centres in Oranmore and Salthill. Ring Frank Murphy PhD on (091 ) 635678 or (086 ) 3724617 and reserve your assessment now.

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