Mental arithmetic works particularly well on radio: close your eyes and concentrate. For seven to 11-year-olds, the BBC is broadcasting a new series of Maths Adventure (Radio 4 from September 24).
This is a reasonably unthreatening mental maths programme in which Paul Broadbent takes pupils through a succession of puzzles and calculations, ending with a problem to work on after the broadcast has finished. Mental Maths and Megamaths return to Radio 4 on September 23 and 25 respectively, with problems for children aged five upwards.
A television series of Megamaths (BBC2) started on September 8, with five programmes on fractions for seven to nine-year-olds; and there will be repeats of Channel Four's Number Crew and Star Maths during the term, covering work for all ages in primary school.
For older students, BBC2 has a new package, The Contenders (from September 22), which follows six young people at work in a variety of jobs, and shows why key skills are important in such different sectors as advertising, catering, the media and financial services. The overall message is that maths may be a strain on the brain, but it's useful and can be very satisfying when you get the hang of it.