Probability is the study of chance.
When your child is studying probability they will use words to describe the probability that something will happen, using words such as ‘never’, ‘likely’, or ‘certain’: for example, ‘If today is Tuesday, it is certain that tomorrow will be Wednesday’.
The next stage for your child is to express these likelihoods numerically, using a decimal or fraction between 0 and 1.
You can help your child by:
- asking them to explain to you what they are working out
- talking through their calculations, being aware of the common errors and correcting misconceptions, for example:
1.With a dice all faces are equally likely so it is not correct to say that getting a 6 is harder than getting any other number.
2.If we say that something may or may not happen, it is not necessarily true that the chance of each of them is a half. For example, it will either rain tomorrow or it won’t but the chances are not necessarily equal.
- being aware that for some situations the probabilities can be worked out exactly – for example when flipping a coin heads and tails are equally likely – but in other situations the probabilities are based on experimental evidence: for example, if Manchester United play Kidderminster Harriers the probability that Manchester United will win is much greater than it would be if they played Chelsea.