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Year 1 Maths

(12 Posts)
wishiwasonthebeach Fri 07-Nov-14 11:14:12

I started a thread not long ago about not getting much information on how my child is doing at school. Well, I'm still clueless as the communication from his school teacher is very poor.

I feel more relaxed about Literacy as he reads to me at home. But I have no idea of how he doing at maths or even what he has been learning. I do some work with him at home and when I ask him if he has learned that at school, he always says no. I'm talking about simple things like adding on a number line or number bonds.

Actually, when I ask him if he has done anything with numbers at school, most of the time he says no. I know that he's only 5 and might get confused about what he did do or not, but I feel that I should believe him as when I do work with him all he knows is what I did teach him. He is at an outstanding school with good KS2 SATS, so maybe i'm being paranoid.

Is it normal not to have done much maths at this stage of year 1? Can you please share what your child has been learning?


PastSellByDate Fri 07-Nov-14 11:24:01

Hi Wish:

My advice is have a read of the New National Curriculum programme of study for mathematics - and look at the material specific to what Year 1 should be covering on pages 6 - 10: - this is what should be covered in Year 1 (and frankly mastered).

Find out when your next parent/ teacher meeting is (it may be soon - often they are in November and usually workbooks for each subject are available for parents to look through). If there is no parent/ teacher meeting scheduled for quite a while or you're unaware when there will be one - e-mail the school (on their enquiry e-mail and ask them to pass it on to your child's teacher) - say that although you're quite clear about what work is going on for reading, you're less clear for maths and if there isn't a parent/ teacher meeting planned for before Christmas, you'd like to arrange to come in to see your child's maths workbook to get a better idea of what they're working on in class and to find out what you should be doing at home to support their learning.

I'd clarify you only want 10 minutes of the teacher's time - but that should be sufficient to explain what is going on and hopefully you'll get some information on what you can be doing at home to help.


wishiwasonthebeach Fri 07-Nov-14 11:41:30

Hi Past

Thank you for your reply. You always give excellent advise, I will read through the link.

I already had a parents meeting hence why I feel even more confused as I didn't get much information at all. I was not shown any workbooks and when I tried to dig for information I got the frustrating he's doing 'fine'. I felt that she didn't know much about him to be honest. I know it still early in the year but I don't want DS to fall behind.

All I got was a list words that as a target he should be learning to read (he can read them all already since reception) and spell. No mentioning of targets for maths.

PastSellByDate Fri 07-Nov-14 11:53:31


your are completely within your rights to ask the teacher to have a quick look at your child's maths workbook to just get an idea of what kind of work he's doing right now and how he's doing.

Start with asking the teacher verbally. If you're fobbed off - formally write to the Head Teacher requesting that your child is sent home with his maths workbook or that an appointment can be made for you to see the maths workbook. Explain that this is entirely about you being unclear what is going on and wanting to understand better how you can support maths at home.


LittleMissGreen Fri 07-Nov-14 12:06:42

Maybe he has been doing a different maths topic than straightforward sums. I know that DS3 had been doing bar charts, venn diagrams and measuring because he has had to do them for homeworks.

LittleMissGreen Fri 07-Nov-14 12:07:39

Having said that he has also done sums as he was doing number bonds the other day too.

wishiwasonthebeach Fri 07-Nov-14 12:50:18

SellByDate, thank you again. I will do as you suggest.

LittleMissGreen, that might be a possibility.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 07-Nov-14 14:00:31

could he have been doing things like measuring and estimating, shape or time which he won't realise are maths?

wishiwasonthebeach Fri 07-Nov-14 16:25:01

nonickname I hope that's the case.

Ferguson Fri 07-Nov-14 18:27:30

If you want to do extra 'work' with him, this is my standard Numeracy advice. I was a TA / helper in primary schools for twenty years, and it is important that children UNDERSTAND number concepts, and not just learn by rote or from set instructions:


Practical things are best for grasping number concepts - bricks, Lego, beads, counters, money, shapes, weights, measuring, cooking.

Do adding, taking away, multiplication (repeated addition), division (sharing), using REAL OBJECTS as just 'numbers' can be too abstract for some children.

Number Bonds of Ten forms the basis of much maths work, so try to learn them. Using Lego or something similar, use a LOT of bricks (of just TWO colours, if you have enough) lay them out so the pattern can be seen of one colour INCREASING while the other colour DECREASES. Lay them down, or build up like steps.


ten of one colour none of other
nine of one colour one of other
eight of one colour two of other
seven of one colour three of other

etc, etc

then of course, the sides are equal at 5 and 5; after which the colours 'swap over' as to increasing/decreasing.

To learn TABLES, do them in groups that have a relationship, thus:

x2, x4, x8

x3, x6, x12

5 and 10 are easy

7 and 9 are rather harder.

Starting with TWO times TABLE, I always say: "Imagine the class is lining up in pairs; each child will have a partner, if there is an EVEN number in the class. If one child is left without a partner, then the number is ODD, because an odd one is left out."

Use Lego bricks again, lay them out in a column of 2 wide to learn 2x table. Go half way down the column, and move half the bricks up, so that now the column is 4 bricks wide. That gives the start of 4x table.

Then do similar things with 3x and 6x.

With 5x, try and count in 'fives', and notice the relationship with 'ten' - they will alternate, ending in 5 then 10.

It is important to try and UNDERSTAND the relationships between numbers, and not just learn them 'by rote'.

I am sorry it seems complicated trying to explain these concepts, but using Lego or counters should make understanding easier.

An inexpensive solar powered calculator (no battery to run out!) can help learn tables by 'repeated addition'. So: enter 2+2 and press = to give 4. KEEP PRESSING = and it should add on 2 each time, giving 2 times table.

There are good web sites, which can be fun to use :


RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 07-Nov-14 18:33:52

It's quite possible that a large amount of the maths at this stage in year 1 is practical rather than written down. There may not be an awful lot in an exercise book or that he sees as being 'numbers' even if he has been doing maths.

erin99 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:35:35

DS spent the whole of YR claiming he did no numbers whatsoever. Hopefully you will have a parents' evening and find out more then, but if not do ask for a 10 min talk with the teacher.

We were given a maths target at parents' evening. I think some of them have started structured number lines but don't know if they all have, and they seem to be mainly taking away at the moment.

We drop the children off in class every morning so I can look at his workbook whenever I want... I try to do it at least once a month because he loves to show me. We also have a simple homework every other week, which gives you an insight, though I don't think it's differentiated.

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