Supporting your child with maths can sometimes be a bit tricky. Methods that teachers are using in the classroom now can look very different to they way we parents learnt maths when we were at school. Sometimes parents worry that they may confuse their child if they try to teach their child at home especially if they are aware that teaching methods have changed. Being willing to have a go with a positive attitude is the first step! It’s not unusual to hear parents say, ” Oh, I was hopeless at maths when I was at school.” Perhaps the methods that were used to teach us when we were young just simply didn’t help us understand as well as they could have. Perhaps we had the potential to be good at maths but that potential never came to full fruition leaving many of us feeling like we never really got there in the end. With our child at school we have a chance to revisit maths through their experiences and many parents tell me that they are surprised at how when listening to their child and working alongside them, they finally get it all these years later.

If you are interested in being involved with your own child’s mathematical journey and perhaps revisiting the things that you loved or never really grasped, then you might like to look at the website below. Simple copy and paste into your browser. It has a wealth of ideas and videos, games and activities for you to explore as parents and with your child.

Good luck everyone! Have a happy and restful half term break.

Welcome to the Canterbury Students

On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week we welcomed our students. They will be gaining their experiences in Class 1, Class 2, Class 4C and Class 6 initially. They are aiming to become maths specialists in the future and are at the beginning of their journey to become teachers. After just 4 weeks at Canterbury University, they are placed in schools with a good reputation for maths, to learn from excellent classroom practitioners.

We welcome them again next Tuesday and Wednesday before they settle into a weekly Tuesday routine.

It was pleasing to see how eager they are to learn and how well received they were by our fabulous staff. It is exciting to part of their training and help to grow a new generation of teachers.

Maths straight from Shanghai

This week, Sam Temp and I visited St. Matthews in High Brooms as part of our work in the Teacher Research Group (TRG). We were extremely lucky to observe a Year 3 maths lesson which had been brought from China to Britain by Debbie Morgan (Professional lead at the NCETM) when she visited Shanghai to observe the teaching of maths. She adapted the lesson for the British classroom and the result was an amazing lesson on fractions. It involved maps, journeys, swans, kittens and shapes. Not once was the word fraction mentioned, nor denominator, nor numerator, nor half or quarter. It was real food for thought. Thank you to the brave Year 3 teacher who taught so well so the 16 of us could observe!!!!

Want to practise your mental maths?

In Class 4P we have been using a website called Top Marks to practise multiplication facts (times tables) . We played ‘Hit the Button’ and had such good fun! The children asked me to write this down for them as they liked it so much they wanted to practise at home!

Great work Year 4P.

Here’s the link, have fun!

Exciting project comes to St. John’s

Back in May I applied for St. John’s to be part of a Teacher Research Group (TRG) with the Kent and Medway maths hub. The aim is to support schools in their development of maths teaching.

In July, we found out that we were successful and last week it all began! Sam Temp and I met with our TRG leader, Rosemary – a lovely teacher from St Matthew’s in High Brooms- to evaluate where we are as a school and how we can incorporate maths mastery principles further in our teaching. It was a productive meeting and we are very excited to have this opportunity to develop practice and to be at the cutting edge of latest research developments.

In two weeks, Sam and I are off to St. Matthew’s to meet the other six schools involved in the project and watch a teacher delivering a lesson after which we will discuss mastery principles in action and how we can take this back to our own school.

I will keep you updated on our progress.

Jane Gillhouley

Want to know more about maths hubs? Copy and paste the web address below.

Maths news!

Maths has started with a leap and a bound in all our classes at St. John’s. The children have been working hard on place value and understanding that the value of a number depends on where the digits are placed.

If we have the digits 3, 4, 7, 9. What is the biggest number we could make? How do we know it is the biggest? We explore questions like,

True or False

9743 is smaller than 9347.

Tell me how you know.


Well done St. John’s. Keeeeeeeeeeep calculating!


Maths, maths maths!

Well what a week it has been for maths at St John’s. Wednesday morning saw 60 parents attend the maths meeting that Sam Temp and I facilitated. It was a very successful meeting and we would like to thank you for such useful and positive feedback. The parent help sheet and the slides of the presentation are available on the website if you were unable to attend. I would like to thank all the staff and children who demonstrated so successfully the way we teach and learn maths. You were fab-u-lous!

Later that day, I set off to Chevening School to co-facilitate maths training for teaching assistants, with their Assistant Head teacher, Vicky. The teaching assistants from Chevening and St John’s worked together on two key concepts: partitioning and bridging through 10. We created maths on a broomstick and all went away with ideas for developing maths in our own school.

Tomorrow I will be heading off to Joseph Williamson Mathematical School in Rochester for my first day on a Primary Development maths course with the Kent maths hubs. How exciting! Watch this space.

Jane Gillhouley

Maths rocks!

Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. There is a range of views among mathematicians and philosophers as to the exact scope and definition of mathematics.

Mathematicians seek out patterns[9][10] and use them to formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures bymathematical proof. When mathematical structures are good models of real phenomena, then mathematical reasoning can provide insight or predictions about nature. Through the use of abstraction and logic, mathematics developed from countingcalculationmeasurement, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity for as far back as written recordsexist. The research required to solve mathematical problems can take years or even centuries of sustained inquiry.

Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in Euclid‘s Elements. Since the pioneering work of Giuseppe Peano (1858–1932), David Hilbert (1862–1943), and others on axiomatic systems in the late 19th century, it has become customary to view mathematical research as establishing truth by rigorous deduction from appropriately chosen axioms and definitions. Mathematics developed at a relatively slow pace until theRenaissance, when mathematical innovations interacting with new scientific discoveries led to a rapid increase in the rate of mathematical discovery that has continued to the present day.[11]