About CanDoMaths

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right.
- Henry Ford

All students can enjoy and improve their achievement in mathematics. It is no longer acceptable to say that only certain types of people can learn mathematics.

This site, co-founded by Dave Bowman (@Maths4UkPLC), Steve Lomax (@MaxTheMaths) and Liz Hopkins (@BuzzardPublish), provides ideas and links to resources to support teachers and parents to help children and students believe they 'Can Do Maths'.

Meet Colin the 'Can Do' Caribou

Colin believes that you can enjoy and achieve in mathematics with:

  • Understanding
  • Belief
  • Hard Work

Five Essentials for a CanDoMaths Classroom



Convincing, justifying and explaining to others.
The answer is only the beginning.



Applying to different contexts, solving problems and making connections.



Understanding what it's 'not' as well as what it is.



Drawing the concept to 'see' structures and relationships.



It's OK not to be able to do it......yet.
It's OK to make mistakes.

'Can Do Maths' Core Ideas


Hard Work

Teaching for Understanding

Teaching for Understanding

Teaching that focuses on developing secure and deep understanding, including the use of practical resources and iconic representations supports the learning and memorisation of mathematical concepts. The teaching of 'rules' and 'tricks' with no understanding and the use of only ‘standard’ examples contribute to learners feeling they 'can't do' maths.


All learners need to believe they can succeed and also believe that their teacher, and parents, believe they can succeed. Adopting a growth mindset is at the heart of a 'Can Do Maths’ approach including the use of 'yet’ and knowing that making mistakes is an essential part of learning. Parents, teachers and the media thinking it's acceptable to use phrases such as 'Don't worry, I can't do maths', 'Maths is too hard', etc all contribute to learners feeling that they 'can't do' maths.

Hard Work

Success comes from hard work. It's as simple as that! Mathematics can be difficult at times but success can be achieved through hard work. Check out the thoughts of Adam Peaty and of Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge from the Rio Olympics.

'Can Do Maths' Resources and Links

'Can Do Maths' Resources

  • ArithmeQuiz

    An infinite number of context free questions based on the structure of the KS1 and KS2 Arithmetic Papers. Click here to access purposeful practice of different types of calculations and also ideal discussion prompts - Can the calculation be done 'In Your Head', 'With Jottings' or 'Using a Written Method'?

    Click on the 'Whole Paper' button to produce an 'Arithmetic Quiz' - all 36 questions in test format! 

  • The CanDoMaths Club











    More information about how to access all these amazing resources here

    Memberships available for whole school or individuals

  • Colin's Mathematical Habits

    Nine amazing posters for the classroom to celebrate the habits of a mathematician - Pattern Sniffing, Experimenting, Describing, Tinkering, Inventing, Visualising, Conjecturing, Guessing - based on the work of Al Cuoco, Click here for Colin's special compilation poster.

  • CanDoSolveProblems: Colin's 4Cs

    Colin's 4Cs ... CONSIDER > CONSTRUCT > CALCULATE > CHECK ... is a powerful framework to support pupils with solving word problems based on Geroge Polya's 'How to solve a maths problem'

  • CanDoArithmetic: Helping students develop the Arithmetic Toolkit needed to be successful in mathematics

    Resources include: ArithmeChecks (2A, 4A, 6A), ArithmeKits (Primary, Secondary) and ArithmePractice Sample. Find out more about CanDoArithmetic by clicking here.

  • CanDo21: Helping students understand the 21 key facts of the times tables.

    Resources include Activity MatPoster and 'Knowledge Parties'. Find out more about CanDo21 by clicking here.

  • MathsOnTrack (MOT) Sessions

    In addition to Maths Lessons, 'MathsOnTrack (MOT)' sessions provide essential opportunities for

    - deliberate practice

    - consolidation

    - same day/same week 'prevent the gap' intervention

    - deepening understanding

    This calendar provides a week by week, term by term structure for MOT sessions.

  • KS2 SATs 15 Week Countdown

    Struggling how to cover the remaining content of the Year 6 Programme of Study and also address the Year 3/4/5 content of the KS2 Test Framework? Here is a suggested 15 week breakdown for Maths Lessons and Maths On Track Sessions. Supporting CanDoFractions, CanDoSATs, CanDoGeometry, CanDoTimesTables and ArithmeKits can be found here.

'Can Do Maths' Contact Information

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