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Kidsgrove Primary School

Empowering Learners...Growing Minds


Arithmetic Skills Are Essential Building Blocks For Maths

Think of an area of Maths. Chances are that alongside a solid conceptual understanding, you’ll need good arithmetic skills to more fluently solve problems in that area.


Fractions, percentages, ratio, measures, and statistics. These are all areas where confident arithmetic skills are essential to help pupils use more efficient methods.


Arithmetic Is A Key Life Skill for Adults and Children

Arithmetic skills are used by adults and children alike throughout their daily lives., not just in maths tests! Have a think about what you have done so far today: it’s almost certain that you will have used some form of mental arithmetic.


  • Did you work out how much longer you’ve got until you need to get out the house this morning?
  • Maybe you looked at your speedometer to work out how much to reduce or increase your speed by?
  • Or you might have worked out how many children were absent from your class this morning

If you’ve done any of these things, you have used arithmetic. We constantly rely on these skills in daily life, without even realising it, and this is why it’s so important to build those skills early on.


Developing Conceptual Understanding Of Arithmetic Saves Time On Calculations

Developing a conceptual understanding of arithmetic is hugely important. After all, for pupils to confidently carry out calculations, they need to understand why calculations work, not just the steps to a successful answer.


This is why it’s important that rote learning activities such as times tables chants are combined with teaching of mathematical concepts. We want to encourage pupils to see that maths is an interconnected subject, rather than just a set of facts to learn.


When pupils have a conceptual understanding of their arithmetic skills, they are more likely to be able to work out questions mentally, saving all-important time.


Confidence In Arithmetic Helps Pupils To Flexibly Approach Maths Problems

Combined with conceptual understanding, confidence in arithmetic gives pupils the flexibility to tackle problems in different ways .

For example, if you ask pupils to double 36 in their heads, and then explain to their partner how they did it, you’ll witness many different approaches.


Some may double 30, double 6 and add the results. Others might double 40 and take away 8. Some might even double 35 and add 2.

Of course, there is no ‘best’ way in Maths. Yet, understanding the ways that Maths is connected and having true fluency in arithmetic helps children to understand and approach almost any problem.


At Kidsgrove Primary Arithmetic is important and taught as a daily discrete lesson across the school. 

Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Year 3 they follow the Number Sense scheme.  Year 4 all follow the Number Sense Times Tables fluency. 


From year 2 upwards each day pupils complete a Quick 10 Quiz.  



Number Sense Scheme of Work