Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. 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.
(National Curriculum, 2014)
The aims of the National Curriculum are for our pupils to:
The National Curriculum sets out year-by-year programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2. This ensures continuity and progression in the teaching of mathematics.
The EYFS Statutory Framework (2017) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old and supports an integrated approach to early learning. The aims of the EYFS Framework, in relation to mathematics, are as follows:
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.
(EYFS Statutory Framework, 2017)
AIMS OF THE MATHEMATICS POLICY AT ST MARY’S
At St Mary’s, we encourage children to think mathematically by giving them a variety of different practical, ICT based and paper based maths activities. As well as ensuring that children are competent and confident at calculating mentally and with written methods, we give children opportunities to carry out investigations and solve problems.
Children in Key Stage Two are expected to practise and apply their multiplication facts by giving them weekly homework based on multiplication facts. To further support children with improving their ability to know and apply knowledge of multiplication facts, children are given regular opportunities to be a ‘Times Tables Rock Star’ by rapidly recalling their multiplication and associated division facts against a timer whilst listening to various rock music – the children enjoy this and are all keen to improve their ‘Rock Status’, which is based on their average speed per question.
To ensure that children can calculate accurately and efficiently, we use a range of written calculation strategies (which can be viewed on the school’s website). The main aim of our written calculation strategy is that each strategy progresses from one year group to the next, with the intention being that children understand each strategy, rather than simply showing them how to use each strategy. We feel that this will help the children to use, apply and remember each strategy successfully. Children practise each written strategy frequently to ensure that they can use them fluently and efficiently.
Practical mathematical equipment is used in all year groups to reinforce children’s understanding of a range of mathematical concepts. Eventually, when children have a more secure understating, the aim is that children can then move on to forming visual representations based on the practical equipment they’ve been using previously. Through this, we aim to ensure that children at St Mary’s have a deeper understanding of different mathematical concepts, rather than simply being ‘taught’ how to answer questions for different areas of mathematics.
Children do lots of activities to improve their fluency with26 mental arithmetic techniques, so that they can calculate quickly and accurately. We also place a high emphasis on the importance of understanding place value and the counting system. In addition to this, children across the school are encouraged to learn their number bonds and multiplication / division facts securely to apply these in a variety of areas of maths.
We feel that having opportunities to solve problems and investigate by working collaboratively with other children really helps children’s mathematical understanding. Thus, we place a very high emphasis on giving children numerous problem solving and reasoning challenges. We use a lot of activities and resources from White Rose and nRich to give children opportunities to reason and solve problems.
The children have loved being challenged through 'Times Tables Rock Stars' to improve the rapid recall of their multiplication, and associated division, facts. They are all desperate to improve their 'Rock Status', with the ultimate aim of being a 'Rock Hero' - answering each question in less than one second per question!!!
Children's mathematics work for this academic year (2019/2020):