"Maths is the language with which God wrote the universe." Galileo
MATHEMATICS AT ST. WULSTAN’S
The underlying aim of maths teaching at St. Wulstan’s is to give our children an understanding of the patterns and processes of mathematics and at the same time to enable them to see the purpose and the uses of what they are learning.
Introduction to Mathematics
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.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all children:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that children 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.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which children need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but children should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
The expectation is that the majority of children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of children’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Children who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.(National Curriculum 2014)
We stress the importance of knowing multiplication tables. By the end of Year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table.
White Rose Maths
As a school, we have decided to follow White Rose Maths. The White Rose schemes of learning are designed to support a mastery approach to teaching and learning, as well as to support the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum.
The White Rose schemes have number at the heart and a lot of time is spent reinforcing number to build competency. It also provides opportunities to build reasoning and problem solving into each lesson.
Maths is a journey and long-term goal, achieved through exploration, clarification, practice and application over time. At each stage of learning, children should be able to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of the topic and be able to build on this over time.
There are 3 levels of learning:
Shallow learning: surface, temporary, often lost
Deep learning: it sticks, can be recalled and used
Deepest learning: can be transferred and applied in different contexts
The deep and deepest levels are what we are aiming for by teaching maths using the Mastery approach.
White Rose believes that all children, who are introduced to a concept, should have the opportunity to build on their abilities by following a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach.
Concrete – children should have the opportunity to use concrete objects to help them understand what they are doing.
Pictorial – alongside this children should use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems.
Abstract – both concrete and pictorial representations should support children’s understanding of abstract methods.
- Quick recall of facts and procedures
- The flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.
- The ability to recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics
A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.
At St. Wulstan's, we follow the order White Rose Maths and use the small steps to help us build up to age related objectives. Maths classes are taught in ability groups. In KS2 maths is taught in mixed age group classes. During these maths lessons, the class teacher is aware of the different expectations of the different year groups (such as in Number and Place Value, Year 3: compare and order numbers up to 1,000 and Year 4: order and compare numbers beyond 1,000). We follow White Rose Maths guidance for mixed aged classes.
We are passionate about ensuring that the learning is at the correct level for the child and allows the child to move at their own pace but always be challenged. This allows for all children to ensure they are secure in a method/concept before moving on. We ensure that all children have the opportunity to apply new methods/concepts learnt through problem solving and reasoning.
We use a calculation policy that covers the teaching of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division methods and matches the scheme we use. We aim to teach strategies that develop children’s understanding of these difficult concepts and build on this year by year so that each teacher is using the same range of methods. This policy is available from your child’s teacher and in a link further down this page.
A yearly overview, ensuring continuity and progression informs the planning for each block of learning. The small steps (sequences of learning) for each block leads into the weekly plan for each class. These plans are adapted when necessary after assessments to ensure children's learning is moving forward.
What does a typical Primary White Rose Maths lesson look like?
- The lesson will include a mix of teacher-led and student-led learning
- More exploration of maths using concrete, pictorial and abstract representations, and not just pages in books
- Fun and engaging activities and contexts
- More opportunities to further extend and challenge learners to deepen understanding
- Key questioning throughout
Teachers follow the White Rose Maths schemes of learning for EYFS. Pupils are introduced to maths concepts through whole class teaching, before moving on to teacher-led and pupil-led tasks within our indoor and outdoor provision. The emphasis is on practical mathematics experience which will often be integrated with other areas of learning. There is a designated whole class teaching session every day. The children will have experience of sorting, measures, shape and space and problem solving, and will develop their understanding of the number system, mainly working with numbers to 10.
KEY STAGE 1 (Years 1 and 2)
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in Key Stage 1 is to ensure that children 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, children 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, children 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.
Children 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 (Years 3 and 4)
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower Key Stage 2 is to ensure that children become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that children develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.
At this stage, children should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that children 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, children should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. In Year 4 children will complete the Multiplication Tables Check (MTC)
Children should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.
UPPER KEY STAGE 2 (Years 5 and 6)
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper Key stage 2 is to ensure that children extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that children make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.
At this stage, children 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, children 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 children classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.
By the end of Year 6, children should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.
Children should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.
Click here for the Mathematics National Curriculum
Click here for the St. Wulstan's Maths Overview
Click here for White Rose Maths Overviews
Click here for Key Learning in each year group
Click here for Maths Targets in each year group
Click here for Key Vocabulary in each year group
Click here for Reasoning Strategies in each year group
Click here for Calculation Policies
Click here for Maths Policy
Click here for Maths Support Booklets
Click here for DfE Ready to Progress document
HELPING YOUR CHILD
Talk to your children about what they have done at school. Don't be discouraged or alarmed if they deny having done any maths; much of the mathematical work that goes on in school is in the form of play activities, particularly with very young children, and they, or you, may not realise that by 'playing' with a box of different shapes they are beginning to develop concepts in their own minds related to measurement, area, angles, volume, and data handling.
Many activities which have no obvious links with maths can prove a rich source of mathematical conversation which will extend ideas and vocabulary.
Try to make maths as much fun as possible - games, puzzles and jigsaws are a great way to start. It's also important to show how we use maths skills in our everyday lives and to involve your child in this.
Identifying problems and solving them can also help your child develop maths skills. If you see him or her puzzling over something, talk about the problem and try to work out the solution together.
Don't shy away from maths if you didn’t like it at school. Try to find new ways to enjoy the subject with your child.
White Rose Maths have produced a series of videos called "Maths with Michael" with the TV presenter, teacher and parent Michael Underwood to help parents understand the modern teaching methods used in schools today. Click here to view the videos.
Please click on the following links for short how to guides from White Rose Maths on how you can help your child understand the following concepts.
Click here for a list of Maths Websites for Parents