Maths is essential in everyday life. When leaving primary school, children need to have sound numeracy and the ability to reason and enquire mathematically. Curiosity and pleasure in maths drive science, technology and engineering, and are essential to understanding and development in these areas. For everyone, numeracy is critical in securing employment and managing money.
To be a mathematician at Wardley means that you will have:
• An understanding of the important concepts and an ability to make connections within mathematics.
• A broad range of skills in using and applying mathematics.
• Fluent knowledge and recall of number facts and the number system.
• The ability to show initiative in solving problems in a wide range of contexts, including the new or unusual.
• The ability to think independently and to persevere when faced with challenges, showing a confidence of success.
• The ability to embrace the value of learning from mistakes and false starts.
• The ability to reason, generalise and make sense of solutions.
• Fluency in performing written and mental calculations and mathematical techniques.
• A wide range of mathematical vocabulary.
• A commitment to and passion for the subject.
To see what maths topics and skills are taught in each year group click on the maths teaching cycle tab.
At Wardley we follow the 2016 National Curriculum, enriching and structuring it to meet the needs of our students.
The focus of our maths curriculum is on teaching to mastery by ensuring a child thoroughly comprehends a topic before moving on. Ideas are revisited in a spiral as children progress through the school, each time at a higher level. We empathises problem-solving and pupils using their core competencies to develop a relational understanding of mathematical concepts. To assist in this we use the Maths – No problem! scheme of work. This is a Singapore method of teaching mathematics that develops pupils' mathematical ability and confidence. The features of our maths teaching therefore include:
- Emphasis on problem solving and comprehension, allowing children to relate what they learn and to connect knowledge
- Careful scaffolding of core competencies of:
- visualisation, as a platform for comprehension
- mental strategies, to develop decision making abilities
- pattern recognition, to support the ability to make connections and generalise
- Emphasis on the foundations for learning and not on the content itself so children learn to think mathematically as opposed to merely reciting formulas or procedures
It is based upon nine units which the children continually re-visit within a spiral curriculum. They are: Number and Place Value; Addition and Subtraction; Multiplication and Division; Fractions; Decimals and Percentages; Statistics; Time and Money; Other Measures; Shape; and Position and Direction. Through these units we develop the following key mathematical threshold concepts:
- To know and use numbers
- To add and subtract
- To multiply and divide
- To use fractions
- To understand the properties of shapes
- To describe position, direction and movement
- To use measures
- To use statistics
- To use algebra
The children are assessed by the teacher during each unit against the age related expectations for these key threshold concepts. A termly assessment is made for each threshold concept on the school’s tracking system.
How do we teach maths?
We use the Maths – No problem! Scheme which uses the ideas from Singapore maths as a support for our maths teaching across the school. Ofsted, the National Centre for Teaching Mathematics (NCETM), the Department for Education, and the National Curriculum Review Committee have all emphasised the pedagogy and heuristics used by Singapore.
The teaching focuses on three modes of representation of mathematical ideas: the enactive, iconic and symbolic modes. Children are introduced to an idea through concrete apparatus (things they can touch and hold) and visual representations (things they can see) to help children to conceptualise and solve problems, allowing them to approach complicated problems, investigate and reason through them. Through this approach children gain confidence as independent learners who are able to use resources and show resilience in solving problems.
The daily maths lessons at Wardley have certain key features:
1. Times tables/Counting
• Learning facts by heart is key to making sustained progress in mathematics: children can use the solution to one problem to help solve others.
• Each year group has counting and times table focuses that are revised, recited and recalled in short sharp bursts every day.
2. Mental maths
• Being able to solve problems in your head helps to develop mathematical confidence, flexibility with numbers, and understanding of place value.
• Children need opportunities to rehearse, revise, and refresh mental maths.
• Each maths lesson contains at least ten minutes of mental arithmetic.
• Different objectives and areas of focus are met in line with the National Curriculum, each week.
3. Maths story
• A maths story is used to engage, motivate and focus the children on what they are learning.
• The maths story contextualises the learning and allows the children to immediately start connecting their learning with prior knowledge.
4. Modelling and practice
• The teacher demonstrates (models) how to solve the problem.
• This is modelled clearly and consistently with regular opportunities for student participation.
• The children all rehearse this core skill. Over the course of a week students will do this in groups, pairs and independently.
5. Problem Solving
- The teacher returns to the maths problem and asks students how to solve it using their new skills.
- Students link their new skills to a problem which either requires them to solve a problem, prove something, test a statement or give an explanation.
- Students often find making links from one problem to another challenging and so through our questioning and consistency we really focus on this skill. This is particularly underlined in our investigations.
The main homework task for children in years 1 – 6 is to learn their number bonds and times tables:
1. To learn their times tables (number bonds in year 1) and other number facts
• Children are expected to know all of their times tables and the related division facts by the end of the year 4.
• Children can then use their mathematical knowledge to multiply multiples of 10 and decimals.
To help support this the children use Tables Rock Stars for homework tasks from Y1 to Y4. In the upper juniors the children use Mathletics for maths homework tasks.
How can you help at Home?
Ideas about how you can support your children with their maths work may be given in the half-termly newsletters. For further information about the maths curriculum that your child is studying please contact your child’s teacher.