Somebody came up to me after a talk I had given, and said, “You make mathematics seem like fun.” I was inspired to reply, “If it isn’t fun, why do it?” - Ralph P. Boas
Here at St Matthew’s we have been fully engaged in creating a vibrant, challenging and engaging environment while ensuring that the high expectations of the learning objectives are met, as stated in the National Curriculum 2014.
Throughout their time with us, children will:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including the varied and regular practice of increasingly complex problems over time.
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, understanding relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
The programmes of study are organised into distinct areas, but pupils will make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. We aim to use practical resources to secure and deepen understanding of concepts and these are supported by pictorial representations. They will also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
Here are our aims and priorities for Mathematics this year :
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content.
Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will consolidate their understanding, including through intervention, before moving on.
Our Maths' Curriculum at St Matthew's Primary School
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
There are six main areas that collectively underpin children’s early mathematical learning, and which provide the firm foundations for the maths that children will encounter as they go up the years in primary school.
- Cardinality and Counting: understanding that the cardinal value of a number refers to the quantity, or ‘howmanyness’ of things it represents
- Comparison: understanding that comparing numbers involves knowing which numbers are worth more or less than each other
- Composition: understanding that one number can be made up from (composed from) two or more smaller numbers
- Pattern: looking for and finding patterns helps children notice and understand mathematical relationships
- Space and Shape: understanding what happens when shapes move, or combine with other shapes, helps develop wider mathematical thinking
- Measures: comparing different aspects such as length, weight and volume, as a preliminary to using units to compare later.
Throughout EYFS, you will see a range of practical and concrete skills being built upon in all areas of the curriculum. We incorporate a range of practical equipment and small group teaching to consolidate and deepen previously taught concepts whilst using our prior skills to move learning forward at a suitable pace for our children. This coupled with constant teacher assessment allows children to grasp mathematical concepts and develop fluency and reasoning skills. Maths is seen as a holistic subject and is embedded across the whole curriculum wherever possible, giving it a real purpose. Furthermore, we have a stimulating outside learning environment and maths is incorporated into this heavily. There are main purposeful activities and mathematical stimulus that allows children to grapple with maths and link any previous learning to a context for play. There is a range of practical equipment that the children can use in their every day focused activities and play to ensure maths' skills are deepened and deepened. Staff use precise mathematical language when discussing maths with the children and this coupled with an engaging and practical approach to mathematics allows our children enjoy their maths throughout their early Years of education.
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 [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools].
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 - Year 3 and 4
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. 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. We use TTRockstars to support the learning of their tables in a fun and vibrant manor whilst checking children's table knowledge every half term.
Upper Key Stage Two – Year 5 and 6
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.
From Year 1 to 6 we complete weekly arithmetic tests to check the arithmetic ability of the children. We align these with our Calculation Policy to ensure progression for each year group. After completing and self marking the arithmetic tests, we discuss the methods used to solve the calculations. We aim to develop fluency skills using the correct method for each calculation whilst teaching efficiency in methods and offering a range of solutions to each calculation. This allows the children to develop lifelong mental skills and written methods of calculation to support them through into Secondary school and further in the work place. As a school, we feel that arithmetic should support our classroom teaching and it underpins all mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills.
At St Matthew's Primary School, we use working walls to supplement the learning that takes place in class. Working walls are used to provide children with a visual stimulus supporting calculations or assisting development of concepts while providing opportunities for children to absorb mathematical vocabulary. our working walls provide children with independence and necessary challenge to move learning forward. Take a look at some of out Maths Displays from our School.