As we transition back into school life, it is more important than ever that children get back to grips with how to approach certain topics. After six months of school shutdowns, they will need to get back into the practice of mental and written calculations to get them settled back into a mathematical learning environment. As well as this, they will need to practise their recall of number facts so they can be fluent once again. LbQ has a wealth of mental maths resources, and is here to get your pupils back on track when it comes to mental maths! ## Number fact fluency ![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/d529b11d-f62a-4a67-aedf-a5a4ebafbef7/0cdec818-5cea-4892-8079-ec7f37f8edbfmentalmaths2.jpg "") Virtually all questions on the 2019 SATS paper required the use of basic number facts. Many questions included a mixture of operations. Children needed to be able to instantly recall all addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Of course, it isn’t just paper 1 where children need to be able to use these key facts instantly. Quick recall and use of all number facts are required in the majority of questions across all three papers if children are to achieve well and complete each paper. Our subject matter experts at LbQ have developed many recall-based Question Sets designed to help children become – and stay – fluent in these key facts. All these sets include constructive feedback for the most likely mistakes and misconceptions. ## Key mental strategies to develop The curriculum does state that mental calculation should be taught. however, the exact methods used are not stipulated. Learning by Questions has developed mastery and practice sets covering a range of mental strategies: [Partitioning](https://www.lbq.org/search/mathematics/multiplication-and-division?years=4,5,6&keywords=practise%20partitioning&hide=true//) [Compensation](https://www.lbq.org/search/mathematics/addition-and-subtraction?years=4,5,6&keywords=practise%20compensation&hide=true///) [Near-Doubles](https://www.lbq.org/search/mathematics/addition-and-subtraction?years=4,5,6&keywords=practise%20near-doubles&hide=true//) [Number Bonds](https://www.lbq.org/search/mathematics/addition-and-subtraction?years=4,5,6&keywords=practise%20number%20bonds&hide=true//) [Related Facts](https://www.lbq.org/search/mathematics/multiplication-and-division?years=4,5,6&keywords=practise%20known%20facts&hide=true//) These sets typically feature image support in Level 1 to model the strategy, before the children attempt to use the strategy independently in Level 2. ![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/d529b11d-f62a-4a67-aedf-a5a4ebafbef7/f6a8e755-9eba-46bd-b569-ee174d7213f2mentalmaths1.jpg ""){: .center } ## Mental Maths is Essential to Exam Success What is the secret to being able to score high marks on Paper 1? Choosing the most efficient strategy every time. On the 2019 arithmetic paper, a child who is confident in mental calculations did not have to use a formal written method for any of the first 22 questions. Question 1 of this paper is a great example of where the child needs to be able to identify that this can be done mentally within a matter of seconds. ![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/d529b11d-f62a-4a67-aedf-a5a4ebafbef7/0cdec818-5cea-4892-8079-ec7f37f8edbfmentalmaths2.jpg "") Making the mistake of setting out this question using a formal written method takes up valuable minutes, and a place value additive strategy is much more efficient. Children have to perform approximately 110 individual mental calculations in the entire SATS paper. Choosing a written method each time more than doubles the number of individual calculations a child has to do, so they are much less likely to finish the test. Being able to quickly identify which questions should be answered mentally is vital. Learning by Questions provides children with these opportunities as part of National Curriculum Test style Question Sets, which guide children towards efficient methods in the instant feedback. ### LbQ has created content that really helps your children improve their understanding of mental strategies (and improve their test scores). You can access our sets [here](https://www.lbq.org/search/mathematics/assessment?keywords=sats&hide=true//), or click [here](https://www.lbq.org/TryLbQ//) to give LbQ a try.