School planning for mathematics

School planning - part 3


Access to an adequate supply of suitable teaching materials is essential for the development of an investigative approach to the teaching of mathematics. Decisions will have to be made about the purchase, storage and availability of equipment. Some class levels will require daily access to certain materials, while other items may only be required on an occasional basis. It is important that access to such equipment is clearly defined so that maximum use can be made of it. It is also useful to have a policy on repair or replacement of damaged materials.


Homework should be seen as reinforcement, as it offers an opportunity to widen experiences begun in the classroom, for example work with capacity or finding the area of a room. It encourages organisational skills and the ability to work independently. In developing a school plan consideration must be given to a policy on homework.

Homework creates a link between home and school. It is important to communicate with parents about the correct terminology and methods being used by the children and to make homework assignments realistic, practical and relevant.

Home-school links

Communication between teachers and parents about the content of the mathematics programme and the methods being used is important. Parents should be informed of the mathematical methods being used in the school – a workshop evening for parents should be considered. Homework activities can be suggested and the importance of the child’s readiness for new topics explained. Parents can help their children informally by encouraging the correct use of mathematical language and the use of number, estimation and mental strategies in everyday life. The importance for young children of play and exploration with, for example sand, water, bricks or blocks can be highlighted.

Parents can provide useful information for the teacher about the child’s early number or mathematical experience. They will also be able to help the teacher’s understanding of the child’s attitudes to mathematics and his/her use of mathematics in daily life.