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Focus on Mathematics in the Primary School

12 February 2014

Numeracy enables children to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to calculate, reason and solve problems. It is essential to understand relationships and patterns in both numbers and space in their everyday lives.

Children develop their skills in the following areas:

  • Counting, partitioning and calculating 
  • Handling data and measures 
  • Securing number facts, relationships and calculating 
  • Calculating, measuring and understanding shape 

It is important that children learn to apply their mathematical skills to solving problems in various contexts. Here are a few examples of such cross-curricular projects. 

Student in Year 6 have had the opportunity to use electric fairground models built in the DT lessons. First they measured the dimensions and calculated the surface area of their models. Then they worked out the ratios of different gears and finally the speed of each axle in the mechanism (rotations per minute). This is an example of an easy STEM project (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

In Year 3, students needed to estimate, then measure the weight of a range of objects, using the scales and different size weights. Estimating length, mass and capacity is a very important life skill. 


Given the size (but not shape) of different areas, the students in Year 5 needed to plan a zoo. This project required calculating the area and perimeter of different shapes as well as rearranging shapes to fit them in a specific area.

In Year 6, the students have learnt to represent 3D shapes made of cubes in isometric drawings. They also made their own problems involving the shapes, from finding the lines of symmetry, working out the dimensions to calculating volumes and surface areas.