A good understanding of mathematics not only enhances learning in science and technology subjects, it is also a fundamental skill relevant to many aspects of everyone’s working and social life. This is why Mathematics at Cumnor House is of extreme importance.

From Reception the children learn that mathematics is all around us. From counting the stones in a bucket or the branches on tree to estimating how long a car journey will take, mathematics underpins much of our daily lives and our futures as individuals and collectively. As the Secretary of State for Education said in 2012:

‘… mathematical understanding is critical to our children’s future. Our economic future depends on stimulating innovation, developing technological breakthroughs, making connections between scientific disciplines. And none of that is possible without ensuring more and more of our young people are mathematically literate and mathematically confident. Mathematical understanding underpins science and engineering, and it is the foundation of technological and economic progress. As information technology, computer science, modelling and simulation become integral to an ever-increasing group of industries, the importance of maths grows and grows.’

It is therefore of fundamental importance to ensure that children have the best possible grounding in mathematics during their time at Cumnor House. Number, or arithmetic, is a key component of this. Public perceptions of arithmetic often relate to the ability to calculate quickly and accurately – to add, subtract, multiply and divide, both mentally and using traditional written methods. But arithmetic taught here at Cumnor gives children so much more than this.

We have a number of specialist maths teachers in the prep department who are all inspired and excited about giving children this fundamental stepping stone. Understanding about number, its structures and relationships, underpins progression from counting in nursery rhymes to calculating with and reasoning about numbers of all sizes, to working with measures, and establishing the foundations for algebraic thinking. These grow into the skills so valued by the world of industry and higher education, and are the best starting points for equipping children for their future lives.

Will Fuller

Head of Maths

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