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Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
Every pupil should be given the opportunity to think about and solve problems mathematically by using appropriate knowledge, skills, concepts and understanding. As a school we follow the National curriculum which aims to ensure that all pupils:
[Mathematics Programmes of Study for Key Stages 1-2 2014]
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
Daily maths direct teaching is planned for with continuous provision activities linked to this for children to further develop their mathematic skills through exploration. Build it, draw it, say it, write it is used as a tool to teach number and mental maths strategies. Additionally, the Creating and Thinking Critically section of the Characteristics of Effective Learning supports children's learning in maths.
Key Stage 1 and 2
The programmes of study for mathematics are set out year-by-year for key stages 1 and 2, although schools are only required to teach the relevant programme of study by the end of the key stage, allowing for flexibility within a key stage to introduce content earlier or later than set out in the programme of study. In addition, schools can introduce key stage content during an earlier key stage, if appropriate.
Key Stage 1
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money. By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency.
Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Lower Key Stage 2
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number. By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.
Upper Key Stage 2
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them. By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.
Teachers work towards independent learning, and plan for different working groups e.g. whole class/small group/paired/individual.
The national curriculum for mathematics reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as others and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
To provide adequate time for developing mathematical skills each class teacher will provide a daily mathematics lesson. This may vary in length but will usually last for about 50-60, with an additional daily counting activity built in to another area of the day to reinforce number sense.
Links will also be made to mathematics within other subjects and throughout the curriculum, so that pupils can develop and apply their mathematical skills in real contexts.
As a school, in order to support the development of conceptual understanding and mastery, we use an approach known as build it, draw it, say it, write it which runs alongside and supports all aspects of the Primary Maths Curriculum. In this way pupils can understand Maths in concrete, pictorial and finally abstract terms to give them a deep and secure understanding of concepts.
Additional adults are used to support the teaching of Mathematics. They work under the guidance of the teacher with different small groups or individuals.
Teachers employ a range of teaching strategies which include:
In a typical daily mathematics lesson, you would expect to see or hear a range of resources being used and a range of opportunities for discussion and practice.
This is incorporated into all mathematics lessons and is done in various ways for all pupils:
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Fun Maths activities to do at home - Dear Parents and Carers, Please have a look through some of these short, simple maths games and activities that can be played anytime, anywhere. If you could play an activity a day with your son/daughter, it would greatly improve their mathematical abilities. The year group is merely a guide – if you need to dip into a higher/lower year group’s activities, then please do. Find games that are challenging enough for your own child. Have fun!
Parents Guide to Primary Maths - A Parent's Guide to Helping your Child with Maths
Make your child a Maths Star KS1 - A Parent's Guide to Helping your Child with Maths