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Ability with fractions and division aged 10 predicts ability with algebra aged 16

Last week we reported that the UK Government have released a draft primary school Programme of Study for mathematics for consultation. A report from the Telegraph quoted in that article mentioned that “the use and multiplication of fractions” was “a vital precursor to studying algebra”. A piece of research published in the journal Psychological Science, ‘Early Predictors of High School Mathematics Achievement‘, investigates this area. The findings indicate the importance of learning about fractions and division by showing that these “uniquely predict” students’ knowledge of algebra and overall mathematics achievement 5 or 6 years later.

Draft UK primary mathematics changes for consultation

The UK Government have released a draft primary school Programme of Study for mathematics for consultation.

The announcement was much covered in the press, which focused on the ‘back to basics’ approach. The Daily Mail reported that “times tables are to be put back at the heart of the curriculum for children’s first years at school for the first time in decades” with other details reported including learning how to calculate using decimal places and fractions, and dealing with numbers up to ten million.

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