Primary maths

Educator's summary

As a PDF document

As web pages:
- Key findings
- Top-rated programmes
- Programmes with limited evidence
- Other programmes
- Review methods

Full report

As a PDF document (113 pages)

What works in teaching maths?

Report summary as a PDF document

Mathematics is central to primary education. Indeed, Key Stage 2 assessments in mathematics at age 11 are considered one of the main indicators of primary school success. With a range of materials and training available, it is essential that teachers know which programmes are most likely to be effective.

This review summarises research on primary mathematics programmes.

  • We looked at all available evidence on programmes designed to improve primary maths achievement, in order to establish what we know works for pupils aged 5-11.
  • We examined all studies of primary maths programmes from all countries, as long as a report was available in English. (NB Most studies took place in the US).
  • We were then able to assess and compare the effectiveness of these programmes.

Descriptions and ratings for all the programmes are included in this summary.

The results of the review show that:

  • the programmes with most promise focus on changing daily teaching practices, such as the use of co-operative learning, classroom management and motivation programmes, and supplemental tutoring programmes.