Ted Wragg affirms that boys are falling behind girls early on.
Taking into account the maxim "a way to man's heart ...", and at the same time reinforcing some of the national curriculum for mathematics at key stage 1, a recommended topic is "Baking biscuits for the class".
Dads as well as mums could be involved in the classroom and the level of maths is planned by the teacher. This could include counting, adding, subtracting, measuring, costing the ingredients, and timing the preparation and cooking times.
By using cutters of different shapes and sizes, and half a packet of chocolate drops, discussions about shape, size, odd and even numbers and addition of "bigger numbers" could follow.
Of course, using the data can lead to the display of simple diagrams and so relate mathematics to everyday activities.
Making sure that enough for all have been baked and eating them at the end of the day is fun. And for young children, that is what maths should be. It is all in the planning.
JULIA MATTHEWS Honorary research associate
University of Greenwich