We spend considerable time developing “mental maths” whereby pupils develop mental strategies or ‘methods’ to calculate without recourse to pencil and paper. An important part of developing these ‘strategies’ is acquiring a bank of ‘knowns.’ For example, number bonds to 20, i.e., 5+5 = 10, 7+6 = 13, 19-8 =11 and, of course, multiplication tables. Without these ‘knowns’ mental calculations become laboured, slow and frustrating. Parents can help their children by playing ‘mentals.’ Mental maths puzzles can make a long car journey pass more quickly and provide a stimulating and ultimately very valuable experience for your child.
Much work is done on an ‘investigation’ or ‘problem solving’ basis, in order to relate the theories of mathematics to the ‘real-life’ situation.