Alongside literacy, a good grasp of mathematics is one of the most important skills we gain at school. From navigating future finances to toting up the bill, it touches every part of our daily lives – so as anxiety around maths increases, here’s how we can help children to master the subject.
Why seek support?
Getting to grips with maths at a young age is critical to ensuring we have the numerical and problem-solving skills we need to flourish in later life. Whether pursuing mathematics in further education and beyond, or working in a seemingly unrelated field, the subject underpins a whole host of careers. And as the world moves closer towards automation and digitisation, maths is only going to play a bigger part in our working lives.
But it’s not just the job market where maths matters. Catching a train, baking a cake, shopping the sales – we’re continually drawing on our maths skills without even realising. It sharpens our minds and shapes our culture, giving us the analytical abilities to better understand the world around us.
With students often lacking confidence in maths, it’s more important than ever to tailor each session so that it’s delivered at a level and pace that’s right for each child. Our tutors really try to relate to their students, building a relationship that will help make them feel more relaxed and comfortable. We find that when there’s a genuine connection, students are more engaged and sessions are more productive as a result.
Maths is a subject where consistency counts, so students will always see the same tutor, who is of course a specialist in the subject. We design sessions to build up a student’s confidence through repetition and reinforcement, both reviewing work covered in school and introducing new ways to tackle problems.
Maths anxiety can really peak at exam season, with disappointing past results leaving children lacking confidence and trapped in a cycle of poor performance. So we really focus on exam techniques – whether that’s working on past papers, or recreating exam conditions to help children feel more relaxed when the time comes.
For more on why maths matters, and our approach to the subject, read this month’s interview with maths tutor, Joshua.