The new National Curriculum states: ‘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.’
At Lawn Primary School and Nursery, we aim for all children to see mathematics as a vital part of everyday life. We want children to develop a confident and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them through their education and beyond. As mathematics is such an important life skill, we aim to equip children with the skills necessary for life outside the classroom, be it helping to find employment or in the managing of finances.
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.
To achieve these aims, we follow the White Rose Scheme of Learning. This is used alongside teachers’ own creativity, a range of textbooks and online resources to produce written and practical tasks specific to each child’s learning needs.
We aim to foster in children a love of number and this is at the heart of our teaching. We also want to inspire our pupils to solve problems and plenty of opportunities are built in for pupils to experience reasoning and problem solving activities.
In the classroom, we teach in mixed ability groups, as the expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. We aim for each child to be confident in each yearly objective and develop their ability to use this knowledge to develop a greater depth of understanding to solve varied fluency problems as well as reasoning and problem solving questions. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through more sophisticated problem solving exercises within their year group’s objectives rather than moving on to new content. Those who are not fluent with work should consolidate their understanding, before moving on.
From the 2019/20 academic year onwards, schools in England will be required to administer an online multiplication tables check (MTC) to year 4 pupils to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently. To support the children with their multiplication practice we use ‘Times Table Rockstars’, a fun learning platform which offers both online games and resources and paper-based ones for the classroom.
Talking is a big part of what we do and we aim to give the children the confidence to talk about how and why they have used certain strategies.
Throughout each lesson formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children through marking, our tick system of the objective and next steps. The teaching of maths is also monitored on a regular basis through book and planning scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations. In terms 2, 4 and 6 Years 1 to 6 complete PUMA summative tests to help staff determine children’s progress and attainment.