Stratford deputy head teacher’s five a day solution for better maths

15:43 03 March 2014

A Newham deputy head teacher has written a book on mental maths to help parents improve their children’s performance with numbers.

The book is called Mental Maths 5 a day and follows a fact-finding trip by Maryland Primary School head Lorna Jackson to Finland and The Netherlands.

Both she and the deputy headteacher, Lorraine Cooper wanted to understand what those countries were doing for their children to be top of the attainment league tables in Europe in mathematics and what they might learn from them to bring home to improve standards at their Stratford school.

Lorna Jackson said: “We observed two important factors in both countries that we knew would enhance our teaching in our school. Firstly, the concentration in primary school on arithmetic or pure number work prepared their children to tackle more advanced maths much better. Children need to be very fast with their times tables and number bond work (quick mental adding and subtracting calculations).

“Secondly, the support children get at home from their parents is vital in this area for children to manage the maths curriculum. The secret to this is a little and often.”

The school ran a test for five months with 31 pupils between the ages of 7-11-years-old, all of whom were falling behind in maths. They were given daily practice for five minutes minutes every day, taken out of class and presented with 15 questions each day, with five seconds to answer each one. After five months, every child had speeded up and most were getting all or most questions correct every day.

Lorna said: “It was for this reason, to make home support easy for parents, that Lorraine Cooper wrote the book, Mental Maths 5 a day because she knew we wanted to provide every parent with a free copy and that would be very costly, it was important that the one book contained all the mental maths practice for every age of child in their primary years, from 5-11 years.”

The book was launched to parents in September 2013 and has received great feedback. In the February 2014 parents’ survey, the school was told that 91per cent believed the initiative to be important to their child’s progress. Other schools in Newham are showing interest and taking the book on for their parents too.


Latest News Stories

The free bookshop in the Stratford Centre is due to close down due to the head charity going into administration
Lead volunteer John Drummond with Jordan Ephraim, Shelby Wade-Gudgin, Adrian Super and Daniel Kovacs

There will be no fairytale ending for one book store after volunteers were told they have just one week to shut up shop.

Stratford Centre
A West Ham fan was stabbed on Sunday

The West Ham fan stabbed before Sunday’s match has been released from hospital, the club has confirmed.

Metropolitan Police
John Weeks, headteacher at the London Academy of Excellence

When it comes to the best state sixth form in the country, you don’t need to look much further than your own doorstep.

Members of the public supported junior doctors in Stratford at the Meet The Doctors event on Sunday

Junior doctors took to the streets in scrubs to meet with the public after an overwhelming majority voted for strike action.

Newham University Hospital

Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

Read more
You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder