Mathematics is essential for everyday life and understanding our world. It is also essential to science, technology and engineering, and the advances in these fields on which our economic future depends. It is therefore fundamentally important to ensure that all pupils have the best possible mathematics education. They need to understand the mathematics they learn so that they can be creative in solving problems, as well as being confident and fluent in developing and using the mathematical skills so valued by the world of industry and higher education. It is with this in mind we endeavor to ensure that children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Our aims for teaching mathematics are that pupils should:
- Have a sense of the size of a number and where it fits into the number system.
- Know by heart, number facts such as number bonds, multiplication tables and doubles and halves.
- Use what they know by heart to figure out numbers mentally.
- Calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and on paper, drawing on a range of calculation strategies.
- Recognise when it is appropriate to use a calculator and be able to do so efficiently.
- Make sense of ‘real life’ maths problems and recognise the operations needed to solve them.
- Explain their methods and reasoning using correct mathematical vocabulary.
- Judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary.
- Know units for measuring and make sensible estimations of measures.
- Explain and make predictions from numbers in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.
- Develop spatial awareness and an understanding of the properties of 2D and 3D shapes.
- Understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life.
Support your Child at Home
An easy way to boost children’s skills and motivation outside of their school environment is to show them how useful and important number skills are in almost everything they do.
The following activities will support the children’s application of their basic number skills in a fun and exciting way!
Key Stage 1
- Number hunt – noticing numbers in our environment e.g. on doors, car number plates, telephone keypad.
- Using rulers and tape measures to measure the height/length of objects in the home.
- Counting everyday objects e.g. pairs of socks in the washing basket, number of cars passed on your journey to school.
- Weighing ingredients for cooking in the kitchen and doubling/halving ingredients.
- Counting and budgeting with pocket money.
- Ordering days of the week/months of the year, plotting birthdays on the calendar.
- Drawing simple maps of your journey to school, trip to the zoo etc.
- Using a variety of mathematical words in everyday contexts e.g. more than, bigger, less than, take away, subtract, difference etc.
Key Stage 2
- Measuring and comparing heights e.g. thinking about how much taller/smaller people are in the family.
- Counting and recording objects in the environment e.g. car number plates, models, colours.
- Weighing ingredients in the kitchen. Adapting recipes for different numbers of people and reading the temperature and time in recipes.
- Budgeting with pocket money. How much more will they need, how much will be left?
- Weighing fruit and vegetables when shopping. Thinking about the relative value of different brands of objects by comparing weight to price e.g. half price, 10% off, buy one get one free.
- Using a compass/map for directions, drawing maps for favourite routes; thinking about the position of countries in relation to each other on a world map.
Maths Basic Skills
Fluency in mental methods (a good recall of number facts such as multiplication tables and number bonds) is an essential prerequisite to every child’s success in mathematics at school and beyond. We are very proud to have achieved the Quality Mark for the second time.
Children do Maths Basic Skills tests on a weekly basis. Each child is tested at his/her own level. In KS2 the whole class completes the tests during a period of up to five minutes, depending upon the time that that child needs to complete all the questions. The teacher marks the tests that week before they are fixed into the child’s planner. This provides an opportunity for the child to practise their skills at home if they made some errors or did not complete the test. When the child demonstrates that he/she is able to answer all the questions correctly, the teacher moves them onto the next test. The tests are ordered so that there is a progression from one test to the next. There are increasing levels of difficulty and an expectation that children will be at certain points along the progression as they move through the school.
Every Child Counts
We employ a specialist Every Child Counts teacher who leads two number interventions as part of a national strategy.
The first, Numbers Count, is an intensive 40+ lesson intervention taught by the specialist teacher. She starts with a detailed diagnostic assessment and then plans a tailored programme. This is to meet the needs of children who have been identified as requiring additional support. Children receive a 40 minute lesson at least three times each week, individually or in twos or threes. The lessons are fun, rigorous and active and focus on number and calculation. Children develop the confidence, skills and positive attitudes that will ensure good progress in class mathematics lessons and the teacher liaises with parents and with colleagues to help raise standards for all children.
The second intervention, called Count On at our school, uses the wider support of the Numbers Count teacher to train and support teaching assistants working with other pupils across the school who will benefit from some of the methods, activities and resources used in Numbers Count.
One of the key resources used in both interventions is Numicon. We have now successfully introduced Numicon throughout the school.
We warmly welcome parent helpers and really appreciate any time you can give to us to help support the children with the learning of their basic skills in maths. Please speak to your child’s class teacher if you would like to come in and help.
“A really exciting morning and fabulous tools to take home and play with the children.”
“It was a brilliant way of seeing maths in a practical and lively sense.”
“Delightful opportunity to contribute to and consolidate the maths learning of my child.”