Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
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How young learners master maths - Ofsted report on best practice in early arithmetic

Providing the best grounding in mathematics at primary school is of fundamental importance to children’s future success in education, life and at work in today’s mathematical world, according to an Ofsted report launched recently.

Good practice in primary mathematics: evidence from 20 successful schools, looks at how 20 schools successfully taught arithmetic, a key component of mathematics.  The report highlights the approaches that best help children progress from counting to calculating, reason about numbers, work with measures and acquire the skills that underpin mathematical learning and applications in school and beyond.

The study shows that practical activities are of crucial importance for three to seven year olds, coupled with plenty of opportunities for developing understanding of mathematical language. Fluency in mental arithmetic methods, including agility with multiplication tables, is also essential for achieving good skills in adding and subtracting, multiplication and division. As well as calculating accurately, pupils who are taught to be flexible in their approaches can solve a wide range of problems.

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