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Parents learn the language of maths

9 March 2021

If COVID lockdowns taught parents anything, it’s that teaching maths can be hard.

But if English is not your first language, understanding the language of mathematics education could seem overwhelming.

At Cowandilla Primary School and Children’s Centre, the solution is a project to help parents from all cultural backgrounds learn the language used by teachers when teaching the number system in the early years of school.

“About 70 per cent of our school community is from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,” said Principal Katrina Sexton.

“But the language of maths – such as the difference between digits, numerals and numbers - and the concepts used can be difficult regardless of the language you speak. We want to share it with families so they are able to reinforce that learning at home.”

The school’s governing council requested an investment in helping parents understand the metalanguage used to teach maths, and the school was recently awarded a $5000 Parents in Education grant.

Sessions for parents and caregivers will be filmed and translated where needed so they can learn more about the language of maths. They’ll also be shown activities and games they can use at home to support children who are learning to count and calculate.

A total of $83,000 in this year’s grants scheme has been shared between 26 schools and preschools to help parents play a greater role in boosting educational outcomes for their children.

The grants help parents and caregivers to understand what their children are learning, how they can support their child’s education at home and to build positive relationships with their child’s school or preschool community.

More information on how to engage in your child's learning at home can be found on the Parent Engagement page.