I have been teaching maths to primary school children for 20 years and more recently to children who struggle with the subject. It was watching the challenges faced by these children, especially later on in the primary years when their misconceptions and gaps have accumulated, that I became convinced that a strong early foundation in number would go a long way to help children who would otherwise face difficulties in this area forever.
Next came the question of why some children grasp numerical concepts and develop a strong understanding of number much quicker than others? This became my area of research during a masters degree in Educational Neuroscience.
From this, Brainy Maths was created - an Early Years programme that concentrates on not only developing a strong early number sense but also on developing the executive functions of memory, attention and self-regulation along with other essential thinking skills. These have been found to be crucial in children developing their understanding of number and calculations from a very young age.
The final part of the jigsaw was parental involvement. As a teacher, I have always been convinced of the fundamental role of parents in their child’s education but I was not aware of the extent of research that confirms this. I have ensured that parents are able to take part in the programme by developing easy to follow handbooks with games and activities requiring minimal resources and also by running parent workshops.