MATHS homework may not be every parent’s idea of a fun evening.
But for those whose children attend Lepton Church of England Junior, Infant and Nursery School in Station Road, the future looks a little clearer.
That’s thanks to maths workshops, which aim to teach the subject to parents the way their children are taught.
Teacher Katie Robinson explained: “The idea was initiated because of the number of parents who had mentioned how they felt maths was taught differently in school today compared to when they were educated.
“Parents felt they couldn’t support their children when they were doing their homework, because they wanted to show them the ‘old school’ method of under the doorstep and borrowing from the next door neighbour!
“We do not teach this way until the place value concepts – units, tens and hundreds – are fully embedded in a child’s understanding.
“Though the parents still say their method is quicker, they do see the reasoning behind the partitioned method.
“The pupils link their mental maths skills within daily oral and mental starters with the taught methods for written calculations.
“We stress the importance of embedding the stages of the calculations which have been agreed in the school policy and believe that once we have shown these methods to the parents, they will feel more confident to support their child with homework along with other mathematical activities at home.
“These help develop confidence, maths talk, use of correct vocabulary and see that maths has a purpose.”
During the workshop parents, watched teachers demonstrate techniques for teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, then they had the opportunity to have a go themselves.
Katie added that usually the children were faster than the parents, but the competitive streak was great to see.
Parents chose from three out of six workshops to attend.
They were: maths in early years, ICT sites to enhance maths, maths at home, investigative maths – which focused on the steps to problem solving and vocabulary – written methods in addition and subtraction and finally written methods in multiplication and division.
Katie added: “Staff were overwhelmed by the number of parents who attended our maths week.
“Parents were involved in lesson times along with the evening session workshops which ensured that parents who worked also had the chance to get involved.
“More than half of the parents in school took part in their child’s mathematical learning. That shows that parents are interested in their child’s education.
“We hope this maths week has made a difference to both the parents’ understanding and the progress the children can make with the extra support from home.”