The Aims & Objectives of Primary School Mathematics


Throughout a child's education, mathematics is one of the subjects he will encounter time and time again. It is important for educators to understand the aims and objectives of teaching mathematics each year at the primary school level so they may have additional context in which to plan activities within the classroom. These themes should also carry on throughout a child's primary school education and beyond.

Be comfortable with basic mathematical concepts

  • Students should achieve a basic level of numeracy and competence in dealing with numbers. Students should be taught the basics of numeracy, including counting, addition and subtraction, in both a formal, abstract level (equations) and through the use of real-world problems, such as counting objects. At each level of primary mathematics training, students should use their previous knowledge of mathematics as the basis of their new-found knowledge, like in using addition as the basis for learning multiplication.

Problem solving and analytical thinking

  • Due to the rigorous and analytical basis upon which it is founded, mathematics serves as an ideal platform for the development of problem solving abilities as well as an avenue to develop analytical and logical thinking within students. Given that most problems in mathematics that need to be solved are subject to many logical constraints (e.g. two plus two cannot equal five, objects cannot simply disappear), mathematics serves as a training ground for this type of reasoning.

The importance of mathematics in the real world

  • The applications that mathematics has in the real world should be emphasized. This is especially true at the primary school level, where the mathematics a student is taught will serve as the foundation for all mathematics the student will use for the rest of his life. Relating all concepts learned in the classroom with real world applications the students can understand is a crucial component of any primary school mathematics curriculum.

A love of learning

  • A primary school mathematics curriculum, much like any subject curriculum at the primary level, should engender students with a love of learning. Learning comes in many forms, and mathematics at this level should take advantage of a child's natural tendency to explore, play and discuss newly discovered ideas to help students master concepts. By introducing mathematical topics in different ways, it is also possible to reach students who may have different preferences for learning and encourage the student to continue learning long after his formal education is complete.


  • Photo Credit maths mark image by Bram J. Meijer from
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