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Mental Arithmetic for the new curriculum

27 January 2016

Mental Arithmetic for the new curriculum

Schofield & Sims is delighted to announce the publication of a new edition of bestselling Mental Arithmetic, now fully updated to meet the requirements of the new curriculum.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Mental Arithmetic is a highly structured maths programme designed to develop pupils’ essential arithmetic and reasoning skills for the Key Stage 2 national tests and beyond. The books are also suitable for use as preparation for the 11+, and with older students for consolidation and recovery.

The series comprises seven pupil books with accompanying books of answers and a single Teacher’s Guide to cover the whole series, as well as a range of free supporting downloads. Structured according to ability rather than age-group, the books can be used flexibly for individual, paired, group or whole-class maths practice, as well as for homework and one-to-one intervention.

The new Mental Arithmetic books have been carefully updated by a team of maths experts to meet the requirements of new National Curriculum. While many aspects of the series remain the same, including the unique three-part structure of each test, there have been some changes to the context and sequence of questions. Notable areas of difference between the new and old versions of the books include:

  • updated language and terminology to align more closely with the National Curriculum 
  • a greater range of denominations of money used in picture-based questions, including notes and £2 coins
  • more number line questions in the Introductory Book, Book 1 and Book 2
  • a wider selection of age-appropriate geometry questions, with common 3-D shapes featuring in Book 1 and translations from Book 4 onwards
  • times tables facts are introduced and practiced in the order prescribed by the National Curriculum, with tables to 12 × 12 now included from Book 2 onwards
  • Roman numerals are introduced in Book 2, including numerals beyond 1000 in Book 5
  • Coordinates in the first quadrant are now included in Book 2, with more complex coordinates questions in later books
  • negative numbers are now covered from Book 3, rather than only being included in Book 6 
  • later books now feature more complex fractions work, including scaling by fractions in Book 4 and dividing proper fractions by a whole number in Book 6
  • a greater focus on the correct order of operations (BODMAS) in Book 5 and Book 6
  • new questions on generating and describing linear sequences in Book 5 and Book 6. 

Long-time fans of the series will be pleased to know that additional assessment features such as the Progress Tests and Check-up tests remain unchanged. Likewise, each book still includes a Language of Maths Glossary on the inside front cover to develop pupils’ knowledge of key mathematical vocabulary.

As well as updates to the content, the new Mental Arithmetic books feature an improved page design with clearer text and a more user-friendly colour scheme, intended to make the series more accessible, particularly to those pupils with special educational needs. Regular customers will also notice a change to the cover, which now features a stylised representation of a brain by celebrated designer Peter Grundini.

Changes have also been made to the Mental Arithmetic Teacher’s Guide, including updated guidance on using the books as part of a whole-school approach to arithmetic and two new Entry Tests to help teachers, parents and tutors select the most appropriate book for each child. Copies of the two new Entry Tests are also available as free downloads from the Schofield & Sims website, together with a National Curriculum 2014 alignment document and updated Maths Facts copymasters and certificates.

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