Origins of Optima Maths

The starting point when designing Optima Maths was to identify the mathematical equivalent of phonological awareness in learning to read, which is now recognised to underpin reading progress. We identified three core skillsets: counting, language and the equality principle. The equality principle fundamentally changes the nature of learning maths from doing sums (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division) and getting the right answer to balancing equations through a coherent and consistent strategy and being introduced to the key principles underpinning algebra. These are skills that will facilitate pupils’ long-term success in learning maths well into secondary school.