Category Archives: Numeracy

How much support are teachers getting to improve children’s reasoning in maths?

Reasoning is now seen as the magic ingredient in maths teaching. Being able to reason enables children to justify what they are doing, make predictions, generalise and explore; in other words they will be able to make sense of mathematics.

As you are no doubt aware, the writers of the National Curriculum clearly think it is very important. Reasoning and problem solving are key elements of the new National Curriculum and this is reflected in the latest KS1 and KS2 SAT papers and the types of question asked. A typical question in last year’s paper was:

3 pineapples cost the same as 2 mangoes.

One mango costs £1.35

How much does one pineapple cost?

If children are going to be really successful in SATs then they must be able to reason and know what to do to solve problems.

But SATs are not the ‘be all and end all’ of maths teaching. In the real world, when making decisions on best buys, whether it is in the supermarket or an online mobile phone tariff, being able to reason is becoming more and more important. It is critical that children develop these skills.

Unfortunately, in the past reasoning has not been a naturally occurring part of many maths lessons; learning the standard form of written multiplication being one example where endless practice has often triumphed over understanding the processes. Teachers have had to change and adapt and they have made great strides forward in developing reasoning skills, but they need support, including an excellent supply of the right materials.

URBrainy has a special Reasoning/Problem Solving category for each year group packed full of interesting and well-tried ideas which have been developed over many years.

We are now also developing our bar modelling resources which is a great way to help children succeed with solving word problems. There is much more of this to come in the next few months.

With new resources coming every fortnight, we have a vast range of fantastic material available to help with all aspects of maths; well over 10,000 pages in total. Oh, and by the way, we also have a great collection of English resources as an added bonus!

If you would like to find out more about URBrainy Maths and English resources for use in schools just click  or email:

Why the “Deck Ahoy Primary Mathematics Activities and Games” book comes with a serious argument warning.

Parent: What did you do in school today?

Child: We played cards.  It was good.

Parent: In the lesson?  You played cards in the lesson?

Child: Yup. What’s for tea?

Parent: Put that phone away.

Child: Why?

Parent: Well if you’ve been playing all day you’ll have to do some work now.

Child: That’s so unfair.

Fortunately the above scenario has only been reported to us in one case following a lesson using our “Deck Ahoy Primary Mathematics Activities and Games” book.

But in these days of multiple legal claims against publishers for providing highly effective materials for use in the classroom which then cause an argument at home, we are now obliged to point out the dangers of such materials.

“Deck Ahoy” can result in a significant upturn in the speed at which KS1 and KS2 children come to understand addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, statistics, time, ratios, squares, and cubes and graphs.

But it can also be responsible for some distressing scenes at home involving an estimated one child in every 18,352* that experiences the lesson.

You can read more about Deck Ahoy on our website and see a whole range of sample materials from the book.

*This is an estimate** and may not be true.

** Estimates not included in the book.

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
IP14 5ND.


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 767122

Maths Enrichment workshops 2017/18

World of Maths goes into schools to host maths days. We offer your pupils interactive, exciting, hands-on, problem-solving activities.

Our Maths days comprise unique displays and activities designed by qualified maths teachers.  We run 34 different activities each year, so no two visits to your school will be the same.

Activities cover a variety of Maths topics, and most activities relate to real-life situations.  Students are kept fully occupied in small groups with worksheets to write down their answers.

All abilities are catered for and promote positive attitudes towards mathematics.

An 8 page answer/follow-on booklet supplied.

We are now taking bookings for the 2017/2018 academic year.

Should you be interested in booking please email or call me. There is also more information on our website at

I look forward to hearing from you.

World of Maths UK
Free call: 0800 6124 716

A unique and active, engaging approach to Maths

I am writing to introduce you to Numbermix – an award-winning Social Enterprise that designs innovative numeracy based interventions.  Numbermix provides schools with a unique mix of active and engaging solutions that help raise attainment and increase physical activity levels.

The Numbermix offering includes:

  • – An exciting mathematics course designed to revolutionise the way that students (aged 3 – 14) are taught numeracy in a manner that actively engages young minds.  Numberfit delivers active sessions with a fun blend of mathematics, energetic physical activities and team games.  The Numberfit sessions are designed to challenge, motivate and encourage students of all ability levels.  They follow the National Curriculum and EYFS and will be tailored to match your calculation policy and priorities. The dynamic format and team games that used to teach numeracy and problem solving are always well received by students.  Numberfit also runs innovative and immersive story-led Maths Day programmes.
  • Numberprep – A successful mathematics and science tuition centre run by a professional team of Oxbridge tutors.  To support schools, Numberprep helps students who have missed periods of time at school and those that have transferred mid-year to a new school, to catch up by offering tuition that follows their schools’ calculation policy and focuses on areas that the teacher has highlighted.  Numberprep can also run group sessions for all ability levels with extension activities for the gifted and talented set or going back to fundamentals with the lower ability groups should their teacher not have time to focus on these groups.  A personalised learning plan is designed for each tutee and we are able to cater for SEN, home-educated, G&T students and all ability levels in between.  We have an extensive bank of resources and cover all exam boards.  Numberprep also offers revision courses, holiday courses, a STEM Club and workshops for parents.
  • Numberbundle – The mathematics activity box that enables parents to become their child’s favourite maths teacher.  With at least seven different numeracy based activities in each monthly box, children will have fun whilst learning key topics from the National Curriculum.  The guided discussion points will help parents lead the learning and the ‘I can’ checklist will encourage children to complete the activities and take pride in what they have learned.

Tried, tested and piloted by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s LEA, and most recently across Buckinghamshire, the Numbermix results have been remarkable.  Numbermix aims to educate students, promote exercise, increase engagement, create enjoyment and encourage teamwork whilst delivering impressive results.

From Maths Days to Numberfit classes, we have various offerings to allow all schools to reap the benefits of the Numbermix programmes. Allow us to help you find solutions to your unique challenges with a tailor-made programme.


If we have spiked your interest, please get in touch for a bespoke proposal for your school.

For more information, please visit or email us at

Yours sincerely,

Merritt House, Hill Avenue
Amersham, Buckinghamshire

When a really clever question asked at the start of the lesson didn’t quite work as intended.

“What would happen,” I asked, “if we didn’t have numbers?”

The answers from the class were rather predictable.  A few puzzled looks and then the notion that we wouldn’t have clocks so playtime could be longer – which met with approval.

“But would we have any problems if we didn’t have numbers?” I asked.

And another answer emerged: I wouldn’t be able to count the class to make sure everyone was here.

“But I could ask everyone to sit at a desk, and then see if there were any empty desks,” I replied.  And yes, they agreed that would work.

There was puzzlement. Until the suddenly excited answer came, “Money.”  And we agreed we wouldn’t know how much we had, and how much anything cost without numbers.

But still I wanted more, so I gave a hint.  “You are all in this room and you can all sit down, and I know this room can take 35 children.  And we have ten classes in the school.   Which means we have…”

They got that of course – 350 children in the school.  There were surprised looks – they had no idea there were that many.

“But supposing we couldn’t count – lots of children might turn up and we wouldn’t have enough spaces.”

“You’d have to say that the first ones in would have a desk,” said the class’s official Bright Spark.

And that’s when my carefully evolved lesson plan fell apart.  Because the next voice added, “And everyone else could go home,” came the call.  And thus the fact that a lack of numbers would be a jolly good idea was born.  Because turning up late would mean the school was full, and late comers could go home.

Maybe instead I should have stuck with the Sum Fun Maths Assessment series pack of Maths Assessment Puzzles.  You will find more information on our website.

You can order

  • by visiting the website
  • by phone on 01449 766629
  • by fax on 01449 768047
  • by email to
  • or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
IP14 5ND.


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

Something to consider ahead of the new times tables test

What is perhaps the most important factor to consider when preparing lessons ahead of the new primary times tables test?

A child’s ability to transmit information from the short-term memory to the long-term memory depends largely on the format in which the information is received, making this perhaps the most important factor to consider when preparing lessons ahead of the new times tables test.

However, there is often a misconception that a single lesson cannot respond to the learning needs of all pupils simultaneously, which is why we have produced a number of free activity materials that you can use with your class in order to quash this misconception, including:

Ups and downs – an activity for learning 2x table

Mind the gap – an activity for learning 5x table

Either way – an activity for learning how to find factors

Count up and count down – an activity for learning 10x table

You can find more stimulating and imaginative activities like this in the volume: Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables, which has been especially designed to help you to prepare your pupils for the new times tables test.

Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables will ensure that your pupils are fluent in the times tables, not least so that they can rapidly and accurately recall and apply them at any given time.

You can order Fun Games and Activities for Teaching Times Tables on our website either in PDF for £12.99 or as a hardcopy book for £17.99. There is also the option to buy both the hardcopy and PDF together at a discounted price of £21.89.

For more information, please do visit Alternatively, you can contact us by phone on 01449 766629 or by email at

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
IP14 5ND.


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

Could we be seeing a rise in mixed ability classrooms?

Why it is more important than ever to ensure that you are using teaching resources that are suitable for mixed ability classrooms

An increasing number of school leaders have reported that replacing teachers is becoming less viable in the light of the recent budget cuts to education. Thus, not only could we be seeing an overall increase in class sizes, but we could also be seeing an increase in the number of mixed ability classrooms.

Which is what makes it so important to ensure that you are using teaching resources that can readily be adapted not only to an array of abilities, but also to an array of age groups.

Brilliant Publications has published an extensive range of resources which are ideal to use in mixed ability classrooms, including The Maths Problem Solving Series Pack which contains differentiated and progressive maths problems for your pupils to solve.

The Maths Problem Solving Series Pack is not only split by year group with six books covering years one to six, but each book is also split into three ability levels for further differentiation.

Furthermore, The Maths Problem Solving Series Pack covers the ‘solving problems’ requirements from the Mathematics programmes of study for KS1 and KS2 in the National Curriculum. The flexible format of the series means that it can easily be integrated with other schemes of work.

For more information or to order the Maths Problem Solving Series Pack, visit

Alternatively, you can place an order:

  • by phone on 01449 766629
  • by fax on 01449 768047
  • by email to
  • or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
IP14 5ND.


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

Free sign up for a year to KS1 and KS2 Numeracy Education Quizzes

Our library of KS1 and KS2 Numeracy Education Quizzes is free for a whole year and covers an extensive range of topic areas including: Shapes, Addition and Subtraction, Odd or Even, Number Bonds, Time, Multiplication and Division, Patterns and Sequences, Ratios, Fractions, Decimals and more!

To see our full range of Numeracy Education Quizzes for KS1, click here.

And to see our full range of Numeracy Education Quizzes for KS2, click here.

Would you like to be able to offer Education Quizzes as home revision or homework to your pupils? Our Education Quizzes can be accessed by pupils on their home computers, tablets, and smartphones.

For free sign up for a year to our library of KS1 and KS2 numeracy Education Quizzes, please visit  If you would like to know more, please do email or call 01406 371799.

Colin King


What is the one classroom activity that will enhance your pupils’ confidence in, and enjoyment of maths more than any other?

There are only a limited number of activities around that are designed specifically to increase children’s enjoyment of maths.  And yet the more children do see maths as an enjoyable subject the more confidence they will have in the subject – and the more rapidly their studies will progress.

Which is why we created Magical Maths.

Magical Maths is a school based workshop aimed at either KS1 or KS2 students.  It is taught on a class-by-class basis with up to five classes being taught during the course of the day, with each class session lasting 45 minutes to an hour.

The sessions are based around the notion of magic, and indeed the practitioner who leads the sessions is a member of the Magic Circle.  Children practice and perform the magic tricks that are taught during the workshop – magic which is all based on National Curriculum maths.

As a result the children gain new mathematical insights and revel in their new-found positive relationship with mathematics.

To enquire about a possible booking please call me on 07870 215675 or email with the words MAGIC MATHS in the subject line.


By manipulating numbers using mathematical operations, they can be used to serve a variety of purposes in everyday life

Children who handle numbers regularly have a greater understanding of their meaning and are thus quicker to appreciate that numbers can be manipulated using mathematical operations to serve a variety of purposes in everyday life.

However, there are very few teaching resources on the market which exercise such an approach to number (which is surprising when we consider that the majority of children are thought to be kinaesthetic learners).

As a result, we have developed Deck Ahoy! – a resource containing over 100 games and activities where the only equipment you need is a deck of cards.

Suitable for pupils in Years 1 to 6, the resource is designed to support the teaching of number and the mathematical operations that appear in the mathematics programmes of study.

The games and activities therefore do not only explore the main operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division – but also fractions, statistics, time, ratios, squares, and cubes and graphs.

What’s more, the ‘Deck Ahoy!’ card games and activities have proven to work exceptionally well as homework tasks, particularly when you are stretched for PPA time as there are no worksheets to issue or marking to do.

Further information and free sample activities can be found on the website.

You can order Deck Ahoy! in any of these ways:

  • On our website By phone on 01449 766629
  • By fax on 01449 768047
  • By email to 
  • Or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND

Brilliant Publications,
Mendlesham Industrial Estate,
Norwich Road,
IP14 5ND.


phone: 01449 766629
fax: 01449 768047

Methods of Teaching Maths to Pupils with Dyscalculia

Research in recent years has shown that children with dyscalculia can be taught maths if certain specific points in their understanding of maths are addressed. If this approach can be followed by the adoption of particular methods of teaching by the teacher and methods of learning by the pupils, then these children can readily reach the average standard of the class.

What’s more the techniques that are known to work well with dyscalculic pupils also work well with pupils who have an average ability at maths.

The book outlines a series of individual methods of teaching maths, which is followed by a series of methods of learning which will benefit all pupils, irrespective of their levels of mathematical achievement. It also contains information on enhancing pupil memory and pupil ability to handle sequences. The methods can be adapted and used with all age groups. The approaches can be used by special needs teachers in small group or individual sessions, and can also be used within full class lessons.

Methods of Teaching Maths to Pupils with Dyscalculia also contains information for parents as well as information on how homework can be structured to the maximum benefit of dyscalculic pupils.

Methods of Teaching Maths to Pupils with Dyscalculia: ISBN: 978 1 86083 688 6; Order code: T1630emn

Sample pages can be found on

The volume is available as:

  • A photocopiable book, price £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery inclusive of VAT.
  • On CD, price £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery inclusive of VAT.
  • Both book and CD at special price of £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery inclusive of VAT.

You can purchase the book:

The Dyscalculia Centre
Hamilton House Mailings
Earlstrees Road
NN17 4HH


Exercising a unique approach to teaching the four basic functions of maths (plus decimals, fractions and percentages).

It is a fact that some pupils grasp mathematical concepts more readily than others while at the other end of the scale there are some pupils who fail to grasp them, no matter how many times they are revisited and revised.

Of course, the problem for pupils who are unable to grasp the four basic functions of maths is that moving on to the more advanced mathematical concepts that will feature in their exams is quite simply not a viable option.

Such pupils are said to be dyscalculic, or to have maths dyslexia, which can only be overcome if they are taught using a unique approach known as multi-sensory learning.

Which is why we produced Maths and Dyslexia.

Maths and Dyslexia offers a wide range of information on methods of teaching, study skills, placement and progress tests, and worksheets for teachers working with pupils who experience difficulties with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Much of the information in this volume is based on research that suggests that many pupils with dyscalculia fail at maths because they have not understood a basic concept required for the more advanced topics.

Once the four basic functions of maths have been understood by your pupils using the methods outlined in the volume, it is then possible to move on to teaching more advanced mathematical concepts, such as decimals, fractions and percentages, in the same way.

You can order Maths & Dyslexia for £29.99 (VAT free) in a variety of ways, including:

30 weeks of carefully graded written arithmetic questions for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

Although it might initially seem as though your pupils have understood a mathematical concept, it is not always easy to know which pupils have understood it to the depth that is required for the written arithmetic tests.

And so it is for this reason that we have produced the Weekly Written Arithmetic Questions series, offering 30 weeks of written arithmetic questions for your Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils to work through.

By ordering the resources in the series together, you can benefit from the Special Bundle Price which is naturally much less costly than buying the resources separately.

Therefore, even if you aren’t responsible for teaching written arithmetic to all year groups, you may want to see if your colleagues are interested in using the resources too – perhaps you could suggest creating a whole-school written arithmetic strategy.

This way, progress can be readily tracked as your pupils progress through the levels.

However, if you’d prefer you can order the resources in the series individually by clicking on the website link below. Here you will also find more information and sample pages.

As always, you can order any of our resources in the following ways:

Joining the DfE’s war against innumeracy.

The BBC and other well-known news’ services report that the DfE has declared war on innumeracy with upcoming policies that will result in pupils in England being tested on their times tables up to 12×12 at the age of 11 using an “on-screen check”.

According to the BBC the checks will be piloted to about 3,000 pupils in 80 primary schools this summer, before being rolled out across the country in 2017.

Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, commented: “Since 2010, we’ve seen record numbers of 11 year olds start secondary school with a good grasp of the three Rs. But some continue to struggle.”

“That is why, as part of our commitment to extend opportunity and deliver educational excellence everywhere we are introducing a new check to ensure that all pupils know their times tables by age 11.”

“They will help teachers recognise those pupils at risk of falling behind and allow us to target those areas where children aren’t being given a fair shot to succeed.”

Our Written Arithmetic Questions for Years one to six each provide thirty weeks of written arithmetic questions and will support you in joining the DfE’s war against innumeracy.

What’s more, times tables feature frequently throughout the question books which will support your pupils in their preparation for the upcoming on-screen times tables tests.

This volumes contain carefully graded arithmetic questions, each with their own full page answer sheet, and covers topics such as number, calculations and fractions.

The price for the books depends on the format required: paper book (£17.95) or a download from our website (£13.95 + VAT).

As always, you can order any of our resources in the following ways:

BBC article link:

– See more at:

Teaching maths to pupils with dyslexia

What is the most surprising finding from research in teaching maths to pupils who have dyslexia?

“Maths and Dyslexia”, first published in 1998, is probably the most ground-breaking maths volume ever produced.

It is ground-breaking because it faced up to the biggest mathematical conundrums of all time.

It has long been known that the most effective way of helping pupils who are poor at maths is through a multi-sensory method of teaching. 

But research has also revealed that self-esteem enhancement programmes will often raise maths achievement more than remedial maths teaching.

In its introductory pages “Maths and Dyslexia” asks how this can be the case and, for the first time ever, not only provides an answer, but also provides a way of combining the teaching of maths through multi-sensory means and a way of raising maths ability through enhancing self-esteem.

Indeed, it is not too much of an exaggeration to say that the opening six page section of “Maths and Dyslexia”, which reviews the research relating to maths teaching and self-esteem, is one of the most important reviews of remedial maths teaching written.

After this the volume offers a wide range of information on methods of teaching maths, methods of learning maths, and associated study skills.

It then goes on to provide a wide array of placement and progress tests and worksheets for pupils who experience difficulties with the four basic functions of maths, plus decimals, fractions and percentages.

There are also sections on motivation, memory, and ways of working with parents.

This publication also comes with 400 blank cards in various colours to be used with the activities given.

The resource is available as a set of copiable pages so that the pages which detail the research findings can be shared with colleagues and the worksheets can be copied and given to pupils.

The price, including full copying rights for use within the school, is £29.99.

You can find more information on our website.

You can order Maths and Dyslexia in any of these ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone on 01536 399017
  • By fax to 01536 399012
  • By email to  
  • By post to Multi-Sensory Learning, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby, NN17 4HH