Fractions come early in the new primary maths curriculum

September 2014 saw a new primary maths curriculum introduced in England - here's my previous article summarising the changes.

One change is that fractions are to be introduced earlier - in year 2. This makes sense since children have a pretty intuitive understanding of fractions by age 6.

As our "Introduction to Fractions" video suggests, children become aware of fractions at the dinner table - so don't miss this opportunity to discuss them. Of course if there are always four of you sharing the pizza it can get a bit predictable - so mix it up and ask some "what if" questions such as "what fraction would you get if there were five of us?"

Update: Read our comprehensive "Introduction to Fractions" article for ideas of how you can help little learners with this sometimes tricky to grasp concept.

Welcome back Roman Numerals

Another quirky addition to the curriculum is Roman Numerals up to "XII" in year 3 and "M" in year 6.  The rationale is to help preparation for algebra because we have letters representing numbers - however Roman numerals have a pretty unique pattern. Let's see if you can remember or guess some of these:

MCXII

Answers at the bottom of the page.

Fluency and Number Sense

The new curriculum has a welcome emphasis on fluency and frequent practice in maths. This is something we also see as essential for success in maths.

Here's what the new curriculum says:

"AIM:

become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately"

It's worth remembering that the changes to the curriculum aren't everything. More significant is their teacher, the school and last but by no means least, home and family support for learning. Meanwhile, here at Komodo we're incorporating the relevant changes to the curriculum to ensure we continue to complement classroom maths.

And the Roman Numeral answers are:

• IV (4)
• VII ( 7)
• IX   ( 9)
• XI  (11)
• MCXII   ( 1112 )  the primary curriculum goes up to 1000  ( M) but most Y6 pupils will be able to work this out.

I'm Ged, Co-founder of Komodo, ex-maths teacher and dad. If you have any questions please get in touch.

About KomodoKomodo is a fun and effective way to boost primary maths skills. Designed for 5 to 11 year olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning maths (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy routine. Komodo users develop fluency and confidence in maths - without keeping them at the screen for long.

Find out more about Komodo and how it helps thousands of children each year do better at maths - you can even try Komodo for free.