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What to do if your child is falling behind in maths


Children develop at different rates. This is obvious from an early age. They walk and talk at different times and school work, including mathematics, is no different.

working through problems

The National Curriculum levels can give an idea of how your child is progressing and what is typical for their age. For example, at the end of Key Stage 1 (the end of infants) most children will have reached Level 2B and by the end of Key Stage 2 they will have reached Level 4B (the end of primary school).

If you are worried about your child's progress, go and talk to their teacher about your concerns. If the teachers are concerned, they should be able to suggest a number of positive ways forward. 

Special educational needs

Some children may have special educational needs. This means that they need extra help to develop skills their friends have already developed.

You need to know what the needs are and what the school is going to do to meet these needs, and what you can do to support the school and your child. This is necessary if you are to work together to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. 

In some cases, a specialist teacher may come to school. Once action has been agreed, it is recommended that you arrange to meet your child's teacher at regular intervals to evaluate progress. Steps forward may be tiny, but they are still progress.

If the school has expressed concerns, you should ask for some evidence (eg SATS scores, the results of tests given by the school SENCO).

Early intervention is very important. Whenever you do maths work with your child, make sure it's in a relaxed and comfortable environment, and praise their efforts. Play lots of maths games and show that you enjoy the activities.

Try board games, playing cards, dice and dominoes. Make it easy so that your child experiences success over and over again, and gains confidence. 

Occasionally, maths progress may be affected by illness or problems within the family.



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Last updated: 8 months ago