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Learning Maths… the English Way!

On Tuesday, 24th January, 28 parents of children in Key Stage 2 attended our first-ever “Mathematical Calculations, the English Way!” Parents Workshop. It was a very successful and well-attended Family Club activity, as parents were curious as to how mathematical calculations differed between the UK and Spain (and from what they were taught at school), and appreciated some advice on how they could help their children at home.

Philip Antcliffe, Year 5 Maroon Teacher and KS2 Maths Subject Leader, explained what the workshop consisted of:

What activities did parents engage in during the workshop?
“Parents were first told how Maths is taught at the BSB. They were informed of when and how often the children receive their Maths lessons and how they are organized. We then discussed the UK Maths curriculum and what is covered in each year group. Finally, we went through the different calculations for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, showing the progression and different methods used from Years 3 to 6. The parents even had the opportunity to try out the UK methods on whiteboards – just like their children.”

What was the aim of the workshop?
“The aim was to show ALL the different calculations used in the four Maths operations, demonstrating how lots of methods are taught and the reasoning behind. It also highlighted that there are differences between the methods using in the UK and Spain – especially in division! As such parents were shown the UK methods and had the chance to practice them.”

What was the feedback of the participants?
“The parents were initially nervous about trying out calculations that they had not done since they were at school. However, they soon got into the spirit of the workshop and had a go at sums on their very own whiteboards!”

Do you think it was a useful workshop for parents?
“Definitely. It was really useful for parents to see the progression of the calculations in the four Maths operations, from addition partitioning in Year 3 up to long division in Year 6. Hopefully parents are now clearer on the difference between UK and Spanish methods, understand why their children are taught different methods for calculations and feel more confident in helping at home. We did not have time to complete everything in great detail, so will hopefully hold another workshop soon to concentrate on multiplication and division calculations.”