We have developed some simple support to improve maths progression in KS1 mental skills and here are our top ten tips to bear in mind when planning for mental maths:

  1. Mental maths is at the heart of the KS1 curriculum
  2. Every day must provide lots of opportunities for mental maths
  3. From time to time, explicitly teach a new mental strategy
  4. Use representations and models to develop understanding 
  5. Provide opportunities to explore and practise any new strategy using hands-on learning
  6. Ask children to suggest calculations where the new strategy could be used
  7. Focus on mathematical language by clarifying and refining thinking through talk 
  8. Learning from mistakes is a positive stage, use it to build children’s confidence to ‘have a go’
  9. From time to time, offer a variety of examples where children need to choose ‘which strategy?’
  10. Ask children justify their choice and explain their method to the rest of the class