A primary school student went to First Class Learning struggling with maths and was not confident in his abilities. After an initial assessment, an individualised programme was devised to suit his needs and ability. The FCL programme is designed to ensure the concepts are thoroughly explored. Fluency is essential at each step before moving on to the next maths skill. After 18 months’ work, this student had progressed from a lower D to an A level grade. His confidence was restored and he was ready to tackle maths concepts that were new to him.
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 confidence needed to tackle the more complex ideas that appear in secondary mathematics and beyond. 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 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 a free assessment to see just where his/her strengths and weaknesses lie. If you decide to enrol, First Class Learning is offering a free two week trial of its programme.
FCL Galway has centres open in Oranmore and Salthill. Ring Frank Murphy PhD on 091 635678 or 086 3724617 and reserve your assessment. Assessments are strictly on a first come, first served, basis.