My daughters Maths targets- Advice from primary teachers would be helpful.

My daughter has been desperate to learn Maths ever since we read Mr Tick the teacher and she knew that I was a Maths teacher.

At the moment we do a little bit of Maths before she goes to bed 2-3 times a week.

She’s in reception at the moment and so far I have taught her the following things at home:

  • Reading and writing numbers up to 1000
  • Number bonds to 10 mentally
  • Up to 3 digit numbers plus or minus 1 digit numbers (counting on or back on fingers)
  • Any addition or subtraction sum involving up to 3 digit numbers (using base 10 apparatus including sums requiring carrying and borrowing)
  • Simple multiplication sums (up t0 5 times 5 mentally or using fingers)
  • More difficult multiplication sums using base 10 apparatus
  • Simple division using base 10 apparatus
  • Other bits and pieces like telling the time and how many sides different shapes have.

If I give her a question on any of these things then she will generally (sometimes needing a bit of reminding or prompting) get it right. I’m delighted with her maths and her enthusiasm for learning maths.

I’m writing this because her Maths targets are currently:

To recognise numbers up to 100.

To add and subtract single digit numbers by counting on and counting back.

I’m slightly concerned that these targets are so far below what she can do.

I have no wish to be a pushy parent. She loves going to school and apart from the reading books she brings home being far too easy I have no issues with the school.

My questions are:

Should I be worried about the undemanding targets?

Why might these targets have been set?

Is it worth raising this with the teacher or shall I just continue to teach her Maths myself?

These are the first targets I have seen for my daughter and to be honest I was happier when I thought she didn’t have any. Most of her other targets are also things she can already do.

I hesitate to complain because she enjoys school so much and has made good friends and seem to be better at reading and maths than most of her peers. I’m just not sure what, if anything, she is learning.


2 thoughts on “My daughters Maths targets- Advice from primary teachers would be helpful.

  1. @mr_chadwick

    These targets seem to come from the Early Learning Goals which most children are expected to reach by the end of Reception. The Number ELG is:

    “Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which
    number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they
    add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They
    solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.”

    It’s possible the teacher may have seen your daughter’s potential as recognising numbers to 100 is more challenging than this?

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sharing with the teacher what you’re doing at home but probably not the time for all guns blazing just yet – especially as she’s enjoying school so much.

    The new National Curriculum for KS1&2 (which your daughter will start in Yr1) says:

    “Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich
    and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content.”

    This may be something you consider in your time with her at home – using and applying what she knows in different contexts, not just making the numbers she works with bigger or more complex.

    You’re giving her a great start though and focusing on all the right things – but as a Maths teacher I’m sure you know this!

  2. Primary prowess

    The above poster explains it perfectly. Your daughter is functioning at home way above where we usually expect reception children to be at this stage- hence her targets are actually unusually high for a reception child. Most years we my have one child like this and we usually do the frowned upon thing and send them to year one or two to do maths. However the mood is rely shifting way from this ( see ofsted quote in previous post) with mastery methods giving vogue. I am beginning to to concede some ground here and yes, actually really good teachers can offer rich and sophisticated problems instead of accelerating through content ( you are currently teaching her around about yr2). We are doing maths mastery this year and they start year 1 off with teaching numbers 1-5 for the first half term! BUT, children can be given rich and sophisticated problems even when you stick to these numbers ( although I did hide one yr1 child in year2 against explicit instruction not to because I thought otherwise he might stick pins in his eyes with boredom….) For the other ones who find maths easy- they investigated ways to partition numbers to make 5 – after quickly finding all the ways using 2 pairs they explored partitioning into 3 numbers, 4 numbers, 5 numbers and then ( drum roll) 6 numbers ( and beyond). They are also mention to grasp at a really deep level that + and – are inverse and to know number facts of all these permutations of ways of making the numbers to 5 off by heart before proceeding to 10. Then if they’ve got all that, partition 5 tens using base 10 apparatus and repeat.
    It will be interesting to see if longer term the ones who find maths easy but are in year 1 do better than the one we’ve accelerated. But the main point for your daughter is….. Is she bored? She’s going to be fabulous at maths whatever the school does.
    I think if it were my child at home I’d give the ‘rich and sophisticated problems’ a go – nrich does primary problems too and honestly as a secondary maths teacher you will probably ask better more thoughtful maths questions than most primary teachers – including myself- ever could. When I do nrich type problems at school, I realise how formulaic my own understanding of maths is and wish I had better depth understanding. My favourite resources at the moment and one you might enjoy together is solve me mobiles and you might enjoy doing the easy ones together with some objects to help. They ratchet up in difficulty quite quickly but once you get the ide it is easy enough to invent your own.
    Hope this helps.


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