Learning strategies to prevent summer learning loss

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne



Tuesday 13 July 2021 8:33

Each week over the summer holidays, I will be providing tips on how to help your child's learning from home.

Last week, I discussed the importance of agreeing to an allocated time for learning (30 minutes - 1 hour per day) with your child.

Once this is decided, you may struggle with what to actually cover. My advice is to identify learning gaps by referring to the school report or by carrying out a mini-assessment.

It is always a good idea to assess and revise the core aspects of their particular age group. I am aware that this may be difficult for parents who are not teachers, which is why I have decided to write a weekly column to assist.

This week I have decided to focus on mathematics and numeracy. Unfortunately, it is factual that maths anxiety exists in some children. These children develop feelings of stress and panic towards the subject.

When carrying out assessments on pupils, I often see a face of terror set in once I mention maths. You can try and limit or remove maths anxiety from your child by not talking negatively about the subject. I often hear comments from parents that they were never good at maths etc. Unknowingly, these views can filter through to their children.

Try not to overfocus on getting maths questions done in a certain amount of time, as this can magnify stress levels. To improve confidence it is vital that you commend your child’s efforts throughout problem-solving as opposed to just praising a correct answer.

Key Stage 1 (P3-P4)

There is a lot of maths coverage to consider, so I have decided to start at the beginning of Number and Place Value expectations. Ensure that P3 children can count in steps of 2,3, 5 and 10. It is also essential that they understand the place value of each digit in a two-digit number. E.g. 24 is made up of 2 tens and 4 units. P3 children are expected to read and write numbers to at least 100 in words and numerals.

P4 children should do everything previously mentioned plus count in multiples of 4,8, 50 and 100. They should also find 10 or 100 more or less than a number using place value knowledge. E.g. 10 less than 472 would not be solved by counting back by using fingers but simply changing the tens column from a 7 to a 6, which equals 462.

Key Stage 2 (P5-P7)

There is a clear progression with P5 children as they are expected to count in multiples of 6,7,9,25, and 1000. They should use place value knowledge to find 1000 more or less than a given number. The main difference between P5 pupils and younger children regarding Numbers and Place Value is that they begin to explore negative numbers and rounding. When explaining negative numbers, I would recommend being visual. Draw a number line from 10 to -10. E.g. Start at 2 and count back 5 on the number line, which would equal -3. The little tricks to negative numbers can be taught later, but it is essential that they fully understand what negative numbers are. Relate learning to real life, and this is the perfect example, bank accounts, temperature, elevators etc. Children are also expected to be able to round numbers to the nearest 10,100 or 1000 in P5. The simple trick is to look at the number to the right-hand side of the number in question, and if it is 0-4, we round down, and if it's 5-9, we round up. E.g. What is 526 rounded to the nearest ten? 2 is in the tens column, and the number to the right-hand side is 6, so we round up, which equals 530.

In P6, there are not many new learning concepts regarding Number and Place Value. Children have to read, write and order numbers up to 1,000,000 and understand the place value of each digit. Children also have to round numbers up to 1,000,000 to the nearest 10, 100, 1000, 10 000 and 100 000. P7 children have to do all of the above to numbers up to 10, 000,000.

If you would like any additional information on the matters discussed above or the progression for foundation children, please let me know. Next week, I will look at the progression of addition and subtraction throughout the key stages.

Prevent Summer Learning Loss with Education Support Hub

Education Support Hub's summer classes have now started. The response from parents and children has been excellent. Although children must get a break over the summer, it is equally important that they do a small amount of academic work to maintain their progress, fill any learning gaps, and get a head start on the next school year.

Education Support Hub provides assistance to help primary school children reach their full academic potential. Following a free assessment, your child's learning gaps and needs are identified, which will be communicated to you. They are then placed in a small group of similar academic ability.

The small group dynamic helps mirror a classroom environment whilst encouraging some healthy competition! Each child is continually assessed throughout the session, immediately highlighting any areas of concern. I provide support for children from P3 - P7, including GL and AQE Transfer Test preparation.

I am a fully qualified teacher (Access NI cleared) and teach through the online platform Zoom in the comfort of your own home. Zoom facilitates an interactive whiteboard, visual, audio and chat features. If you would like to hear more about current clients' experiences, check out our reviews on Facebook and Google.

Daniel Guiney

Education Support Hub Founder




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