Mathematics is more than a school subject. A solid mathematical knowledge and understanding can be seen in the fields of science, engineering and technology but is an element in most forms of employment, as well as being a crucial part of personal financial literacy and household management. A child’s ability to calculate; apply knowledge; to communicate fluently; to reason and to solve problems mathematically, forms the backbone of their education for life. As the children implement their mathematical skills, they should be able to identify the practical relevance of this subject and be able to apply their knowledge in an ever wider set of familiar and new contexts. Yet, this will only be possible if the children’s appreciation of the subject is also nurtured, such that they gain a sense of enjoyment and a curiosity about maths.
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. (National Curriculum July 2014)
At St. Clare’s Catholic Primary School our intention is to help children:
· enjoy maths through practical activity, exploration and discussion
· understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life
· become confident and competent with numbers and the number system
· become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
· develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
· reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry,
· spot relationships across domains, make generalisations and express an opinion using mathematical language
· solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps
· keep persevering in seeking solutions and be aware that there are often many or even no solution
· develop an appreciation of the creative aspects of maths; awareness of its aesthetic appeal
· see the historic context and present day relevance of mathematics
Maths is a core subject, given significant time on the timetable, with a daily lesson in every class and a designed basic skills session. The school follows the School Improvement Liverpool scheme of work, such that in the first term of each year there is a heavy focus on number, while in the spring and summer terms, the skills that the children have learnt are revised, built upon and applied in the areas of measurement, geometry and statistics. Each area is progressive, with topics from the curriculum and skills identified and built upon year after year. The sequence of calculations in terms of size of number and complexity is also identified by year group. Children learn calculation methods, but then look at the inverse, see these applied in real-life situations, in problems including missing-box questions, and in open ended investigations.
The school uses WhiteRose, NCETM and NRICH resources, amongst others, to teach and resource the curriculum. A range of interactive number games are also used in basic skills sessions to reinforce concepts and develop the children’s mental recall of key facts.
This ensures that the children see maths in a wider context, in different formats and in increasingly complex forms. Links are made with other subjects and the maths used cross-curricular, is of an appropriate standard for the age group.
The subject is well resourced with practical materials, and children are expected to learn when and where to use these resources. Plus, they should over time, identify which calculations need a practical tool for support; which should be completed using a formal method; and which should be done mentally or with jottings. Teachers use and emphasise mathematical vocabulary, and link the teaching to real-life situations, wherever possible.
Assessment takes place during every lesson, so that children are moved on quickly; at the end of a topic; and formally each term, to ensure that the children have achieved and continue to achieve. Support and intervention for those who need it, is key in maths lessons, but the children are encouraged to work independently and strategically through their tasks.
Maths lessons are approximately 60 minutes in length, with an additional 15 minutes allocated each day to focus on basic skills. This may take place at the start of the day, at the beginning or the end of the maths lesson, or at another convenient point. Weekly plans identify the basic skills that will be targeted, based upon the SIL plans, or the identified needs of the class or year group.
The impact and success of maths teaching is seen in the monitored progress of each child; the positive outcomes of the pupil voice questionnaires and interviews; and the children’s independence in lessons. Mathematical confidence, the ability to take on new challenges and yet draw on previous experience, ensures that the children are ready to face the mathematical realities of everyday life.
As part of their shape unit in Ark Maths Mastery, Year 4 use manuplatives to work out how many 3 and 4 sided shapes they could make from a certain abount of sticks.
Year 2 - arrays using play doh and Cheerios
Year 3 Division
Times Tables Board Games Designed by Year 6 for Year 4
2D face masks made by year 2
Making 3D shapes by Year 2
Making clocks - Year 2
Key Subject Documents
Parent Workshop Sessions
Challenging negative attitudes about mathematics.
Making a difference : Top Tips
- Be aware of what you say about maths, especially around children.
- Challenge ANYONE that you hear making negative comments about maths.
- Any time you hear celebrities in the media saying that they ‘can’t do maths’, or making negative comments about maths, discuss it with your children.
- Share your own enjoyment of maths and highlight when you have used it in everyday life.
- Dispel the myth that there is a maths gene and that only a few people can be good at maths.
- Encourage everyone to be positive- share ‘top tips’ with them including praising effort with maths not just achievement!
Helping Your child at home
List of Maths Websites and Apps for Parents / Carers
- National Numeracy Parent Toolkit - has a wealth of tips and advice for parents.http://www.nnparenttoolkit.org.uk/
- Oxford Owl - includes a range of activities, top tips and eBooks to help your child with their maths at home.
- Maths 4 Mums and Dads - explains some of the milestones children make between the ages of 3-and-11-years-old.
- Nrich - A range of maths games, problems and articles on all areas of maths. Parents of Key Stage 1 children should select ‘stage 1’ and parents of Key Stage 2 children should select ‘stage 2’.
List of Maths Websites for Children
Many of the suggested maths apps on this website are free; others require a payment.