How to cope with maths anxiety

A common problem for school-going children is getting to grips with mathematics. If students start to feel they are falling behind it is not too long before this can turn into a snowballing problem that becomes maths anxiety.

The FCL programme is designed for students from first class in primary school through to first year in secondary school. Students get to grips with the concepts and skills required to feel confident and at ease with mathematics so that they can see the relevance of it in everyday life. They need to be able to adapt these skills and this knowledge to familiar and new situations and to be able to define and solve problems in all contexts around them.

The FCL programme has three broad objectives.

Firstly, it focuses on introduction and explanation of concepts which will require different approaches depending on the learner. The daily homework that students are given helps procedural fluency, where the student can accurately, rapidly, and appropriately carry out the required procedure. Finally, logical thinking and problem solving is something that needs to be fostered, and students are taught the importance of presenting their work in a structured and carefully presented format that displays the logical steps involved in solving a question.

FCL helps to identify any weaknesses in understanding or skills. Frank Murphy, FCL owner, said: “We look at each student as an individual; what they can do and what they’re not so good at. Then we tailor an individual programme for that student. Understanding is vital, so we devise ways to help the child gain understanding, bearing in mind that each student learns differently. Students are given a chance to practise through repetition and homework. Every year we devote several months of our programme to problem solving and we encourage students to think logically and present their work in a clear, coherent, way.

“We put great emphasis on giving time to the student and making them feel at ease with mathematics as a subject," he added. "We encourage them to explain their difficulties and then devise ways to make things clearer for them. We help them see that mistakes are learning opportunities rather than a sign of failure.”

There are limited places available in the Oranmore classes on Thursday and Saturday, and in Salthill on Friday. To book an assessment with Frank Murphy call 086 3724617 or email For more information see


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