Maths is Fun

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started19th Sep 1988
ended29th Jun 1990
last rpt29th Jun 1992
4 school years
duration10 mins
age rangeAge 5-7
languageenIn English
ITV infant mathsHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious series: Let's Go Maths Next series: Time for Maths HierarchyNext.gif

Maths is Fun is an ITV schools TV series from the 1980s and 1990s, covering Mathematics for primary school pupils.

Lesley Judd

A maths series for infants in their first year of school. Lesley Judd introduces stories about two children called Kate and Ben and their everyday adventures in a small village. The stories lead to mathematical problem solving which Lesley follows-up in the studio with activities and games, using a large model of the village with wooden models of all the characters. There are also songs based on each story.

Some of the other characters in Kate and Ben's village include Mr Dunn the farmer, Mr Price the policeman, Mr Wilson the market stall-holder and Miss Roberts the school teacher. At the start of the spring term Mrs Mendis moves into the village to look after the Post Office, and her children Beena and Gopal make friends with Kate and Ben. Another well-known resident of the village is Greedy the goat, from Mr Dunn's farm.

The programmes are very similar to the earlier series Let's Go Maths, also presented by Lesley Judd and based around a model community.


# Title Broadcast
1. The Policeman's Helmet 19 Sep 1988
2. The Jumble Sale 26 Sep 1988
3. Umbrellas on a Sunny Day 3 Oct 1988
4. Friends for Tea 10 Oct 1988
5. Five Garden Gnomes 17 Oct 1988
6. The Roundabout 31 Oct 1988
7. Seven Lambs 7 Nov 1988
8. Ducks on the Pond 14 Nov 1988
9. The School Band 21 Nov 1988
10. Gingerbread Biscuits 28 Nov 1988
11. Moving In 9 Jan 1989
12. A Day on the Farm 16 Jan 1989
13. The Painters 23 Jan 1989
14. Birthday Presents 30 Jan 1989
15. The Storm 6 Feb 1989
16. Ben Builds a Castle 13 Feb 1989
17. The Magician 20 Feb 1989
18. Greedy in the Garden 27 Feb 1989
19. Mr Wilson's Magic Mice 6 Mar 1989
20. A Visit to the Zoo 13 Mar 1989
21. Holiday Time 30 Apr 1990
22. Three in a Boat 11 May 1990
23. Late for Dinner 18 May 1990
24. Short Trousers 25 May 1990
25. Sports Day 8 Jun 1990
26. Going Shopping 15 Jun 1990
27. Jam Tarts 22 Jun 1990
28. The Runaway Hat 29 Jun 1990

Theme Music

Maths is Fun had sung opening and closing theme tunes, with words and music by Derek Hilton[1]. The theme song began:

This is the village where Maths is Fun,
This is the village where maths is done.
Look for the people that you will meet,
Every time you see them walking down the street.


Stories John Chambers

Pat Baker
Lesley Ford

Adviser Des Wilson (1988-89)

David Jones (1990)

Graphics Jane Drake

Pete Beard

Singer Susan Maughan (1988-89)

Miriam Stockley (1990)

Title Music Derek Hilton
Song Lyrics Derek Hilton (1988-89)

John Chambers (1988-89)
Sally-Jane Howard (1990)

Song Music Ray Russell
Designer Denis Parkin
Director Peter Plummer (1988-89)
Producer Pat Baker (1988-89)

Richard Handford (1990)

The 1990 episodes were produced by Television Techniques Ltd for Granada Television.


Pupils' books

All 28 pupils' book covers
Sealed pack of books

Each of the Kate and Ben stories was told in a small children's reading book, with the full text of the story on the left pages for adults to read, and illustrations with simple captions on the right pages for children.

The books were sold in packs covering a whole school term's stories, initially for £4.95 for 10 books. This had risen to £6.30 per set by 1991.

Teacher's notes

Teacher's notes

A booklet of notes for teachers, covering one school term at a time. The notes included background to the series and, in later editions, links to National Curriculum attainment targets, as well as notes on the content of each episode, suggestions for follow-up work, music and lyrics to all of the songs, and photocopiable balck-and-white illustrations for children to colour in.

The notes were written by the series advisers: for the autumn and spring terms Des Wilson, primary lecturer from the Maths Education Centre at Sheffield City Polytechnic; and for the summer term David Jones, co-author of Sprint Start and Number Counts teaching booklets, and Lesley Handford, a primary headteacher.

Wall frieze

Wall frieze cover

A set of full-colour A4 sheets to be hung on the classroom wall.

The pages show 1 policeman, 2 children, 3 umbrellas, 4 mice, 5 gnomes, 6 hens, 7 clowns, 8 ducks, 9 kites and 10 windows on the children's school.

The wall frieze initially cost £2.50, rising to £3.70 by 1991.


Cassette cover

A mono audio cassette containing the opening and closing theme music and all of the songs from the series was published in 1988 to accompany the autumn and spring term programmes. It was produced by Mercury Music Company for Granada Television, catalogue number CHI 006.

A second cassette was published in 1990 to accompany the summer term programmes.


  • 1988-89: Mondays 10:21am, repeated Thursdays 9:52am
  • 1989-90: Mondays 10:21am, repeated Fridays 9:47am
    (due to the May Day holiday most summer term programmes were shown first on Fridays and repeated on Mondays)
  • 1990-91: Mondays 10:21am, repeated Fridays 9:47am
    (not in the HTV Wales area on Fridays; due to the May Day holiday most summer term programmes were shown first on Fridays and repeated on Mondays)
  • 1991-92: Mondays 10:21am, repeated Fridays 9:47am
    (due to the May Day holiday most summer term programmes were shown first on Fridays and repeated on Mondays)

Sources & References

  • Education Guardian television listings, 1991-92
  • ITN Source (Granada TV archive catalogue)
  • Jones, David & Handford, Lesley (1990) Maths is Fun teacher's notes summer 1990. Manchester: Granada Television
  • Thames (1991) ITV Schools Annual Programme 1991/92. London: Thames Television
  • Times Educational Supplement television listings, 1991-92
  • Wilson, Des (1988) Maths is Fun teacher's notes autumn 1988. Manchester: Granada Television
  • Wilson, Des (1991) Maths is Fun teacher's notes spring 1991. Manchester: Granada Television
  1. Words and music credits for the songs were given on the inner sleeve of the Maths is Fun audio cassette.


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