Battle aids for the “war on innumeracy” (February 2015)

Battle aids for the “war on innumeracy” (February 2015)

WAR ON INNUMERACY: AE Publications founder and education expert Stephen Curran launches a series of ‘how-to’ maths books to help primary school children reach higher standards.

A ‘war on innumeracy’ has been declared by the government — and one UK publisher has launched a series of ‘how-to’ maths workbooks that could help win the battle.

AE Publications (AEP), based in south-west London, has published a series of maths workbooks and testbooks aimed at accelerating the learning of primary school-aged children.

The books, written by former state school teacher and National Curriculum expert Stephen Curran, take children back to the traditional basics of education.

Stephen, who owns AE Publications and has been an advisor to the government on changes to the National Curriculum, says, politics aside, there is a growing need to improve the basic skills of primary school children, and support can begin at home.

Too many children are leaving primary school not even knowing the basics,” Stephen said.

If every child is given the basics then they can tackle all the next steps in education. It is when they don’t know the basics that they flounder at secondary school level.

Young children need structure in their learning, it is how they learn best. More traditional methods, which I passionately advocate, give them that structure and a firm foundation for learning.”

As reported in the Sunday Times, the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced new targets, which include 11-year-olds taking a test on the 12 times tables and tackling long division and complex multiplication.

AEP’s maths workbooks and testbooks take children from Year 3 age up to Year 7 on a step-by-step method of working that becomes progressively more challenging.

By the time they have reached the last book in the series they will be at Level 5 or 6 standard – above average and exceptionally above average – for Key Stage Two SATs, the national tests for Year 6 pupils.

The books, which start at £9.50, also reflect changes in the maths national curriculum, introduced last September.

That new curriculum requires all nine year-olds to know their times tables with more algebra and fractions introduced.

AEP has also produced two additional times tables books to help children learn their 2 to 12 (first book) and even their 13 to 20 times tables (second book). These include helpful progress charts and 48 flash cards to make it fun to do.

Stephen added: “I launched AE Publications because of a growing demand from parents to see their children succeed at school.

Our publications are ‘how-to’ books that equip children with all the techniques they need to excel not just in tests, but in all the school work they are given.

They are designed so that the child can work side-by-side with their parents at home.

While there continues to be a significant number of children not reaching the standard for their age, books like ours combined with support at home will play an instrumental part in helping children to succeed.”

The education secretary, Nicky Morgan, said in her Sunday Times article, that she wants England’s schools to be the best in Europe in English and maths by 2020.

Currently the UK is ranked 23rd for reading and 26th in maths in international league tables – and a third of children are leaving primary school unable to read, write or add up properly.

Schools are expected to get 65% of pupils up to a good standard – and this target is set to rise to 85%.

In addition to the maths work books, AE Publications produces a range of workbooks covering English, verbal activity and non-verbal reasoning.

All books can be ordered online at

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