• Login
  • Register
  • Search

Primary School Mathematics Learning in the UK’s National Curriculum

Yutong Cai


Mathematical skills are important for children’s cognitive and developmental growth, and the UK’s National Curriculum plays a significant role in this process. This essay explores the impact of primary school mathematics on children’s learning and development, analyzing how cognitive development, problem-solving skills, and early mathematical proficiency serve as predictors for future academic success. The characteristics of psychological development in primary school children and effective teaching strategies are discussed, including structured approaches, co-teaching, and interactive methods. Finally, the National Curriculum for mathematics is evaluated, highlighting areas for improvement and recommending enhancements to optimize educational outcomes for young learners.


Primary education; Mathematics learning; National Curriculum; UK’s education.

Full Text:


Included Database


[1] Broadbent, D. E. (1958). Perception and communication. New York: Oxford University Press

[2] Broadbent, D. E. (1983). The functional approach to memory. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences, 302(1110),239-249.

[3] Bryant, P. (2011). Reading and mathematics in developmental psychology. An Introduction to Developmental Psychology, 407-438.

[4] Department for Education. (2013). The National Curriculum in England - framework document. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/425601/PRIMARY_national_curriculum.pdf

[5] Fadaee, E., Marzban, A., & Najafi Karimi, S. (2021). The relationship between autonomy, second language teaching styles, and personality traits: A case study of Iranian EFL teachers. Cogent Education, 8(1), 1881203.

[6] Hembree, R. (1992). Experiments and relational studies in problem solving: A meta-analysis.Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 23(3), 242-273.

[7] Hirsh-Pasek, K., Zosh, J. M., Golinkoff, R. M., Gray, J. H., Robb, M. B., & Kaufman, J. (2015). Putting education in “educational” apps: Lessons from the science of learning. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 16(1), 3-34.

[8] Hodgen, J., Foster, C., Marks, R., & Brown, M. (2018). Improving mathematics in key stages two and three: Evidence review.

[9] Hohn, R. L., & Frey, B. (2002). Heuristic training and performance in elementary mathematical problem solving. The Journal of Educational Research, 95(6), 374-380.

[10] Holiuk, O., Demchenko, O., Kit, G., & Rodiuk, N. (2019). Pedagogical conditions for creativity development in mathematically gifted elementary students. Problem space of modern society: philosophicalcommunicative and pedagogical interpretations. Part II, 580.

[11] Lee, K., & Bull, R. (2016). Developmental changes in working memory, updating, and math achievement.Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(6), 869.

[12] Lehikoinen, H., Väisänen, P., Havu-Nuutinen, S., Lappalainen, K., & Niemivirta, M. (2023). Developmental relations between mathematics self-concept, interest, and achievement: A comparison of solo-teaching and co-teaching.

[13] Lin, X., & Powell, S. R. (2022). The Roles of Initial Mathematics, Reading, and Cognitive Skills in Subsequent Mathematics Performance: A Meta-Analytic Structural Equation Modeling Approach. Review of Educational Research, 92(2), 288–325. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543211054576

[14] Long, C., & Dunne, T. (2014). Approaches to teaching primary level mathematics. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 4(2), 20-e20. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v4i2.208

[15] Machin, S., & Vernoit, J. (2011). Changing School Autonomy: Academy Schools and Their Introduction to England’s Education. Centre for the Economics of Education.

[16] Outhwaite, L. A., Faulder, M., Gulliford, A., & Pitchford, N. J. (2019). Raising Early Achievement in Math with Interactive Apps: A Randomized Control Trial. Journal of Educational Psychology, 111(2), 284–298. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000286

[17] Pedaste, M., Mäeots, M., Siiman, L. A., de Jong, T., van Riesen, S. A. N., Kamp, E. T., Manoli, C. C., Zacharia, Z. C., & Tsourlidaki, E. (2015). Phases of inquiry-based learning: Definitions and the inquiry cycle. Educational Research Review, 14, 47–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2015.02.003

[18] Pellegrini, M., Lake, C., Neitzel, A., & Slavin, R. E. (2021). Effective Programs in Elementary Mathematics: A Meta-Analysis. AERA Open, 7(1), 233285842098621-. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858420986211

[19] Skipp, C. S., & Dommett, E. J. (2021). Understanding and Addressing the Deficiencies in UK Mathematics Education: Taking an International Perspective. Education Sciences, 11(3), 141-. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030141

[20] Wei, Y., Zhang, Q., & Guo, J. (2022). Can Mathematical Modelling Be Taught and Learned in Primary Mathematics Classrooms: A Systematic Review of Empirical Studies. Education Sciences, 12(12), 923-. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12120923

[21] Westwell, J., & Ward-Penny, R. (2010). Mathematics in the National Curriculum. In Learning to Teach Mathematics in the Secondary School. 42-61. Routledge.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18686/ahe.v8i2.13011