St Mary's Mathematics Page
At St Mary's we believe that in order for children to be successful in adult life they need to have a good understanding of our number system. In Years R -6 we teach math's daily.Teachers plan their lessons from the 2014 curriculum which is direct guidance from the government. The curriculum has an emphasis on children reasoning with numbers and so we are working on including regular reasoning activities to allow the children to think for themselves and apply their skills. This means we want children not just to find answers, but to say how they find them and why it's correct - or indeed why someone else's answer is not correct.
Lots of proving, justifying and explaining pays huge dividends in children's vocabulary and understanding of concepts. The answer is just the beginning!. This is known as 'Teaching for Mastery', going into great depth on something which may appear on the surface to be rather simple.
For example - children of all ages might spend a lot of time representing numbers in different ways, proving and comparing them to others.
Or representing different ways to multiply numbers.
Lessons may focus on showing how 'quarter' can be represented in so many different ways (shape/word/line/amount/number etc.) - but then we also show what is 'not a quarter'. Showing what something 'is not' is hugely important and creates the most wonderful discussion and explanations from the children.
Here is a short video which might show what we mean about deep learning of something you might think is quite simple - you might be surprised at the advanced language used at such a young age...
There is infinite depth to go into with any strand or question in mathematics. By promoting deep discussion and plenty of opportunities to represent the maths in different ways, the children's understanding becomes so much richer and more likely to be remembered for future learning and for making connections with other areas of maths.
Miss Taft (Y5) is a Primary Mathematics Specialist Teacher and a Professional Development Accredited Leader for the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics). We are also very lucky to have an EYFS specialist - Mrs Weatherall, who is also a PD lead for EYFS. Both lead teachers work with the Shaw Maths Hub to run work-groups and CPD on Teaching For Mastery to primary teachers in this area of the country.
We value teacher CPD and share good practice with each other regularly. Below is a picture captured of our EYFS specialist demonstrating to other teachers how the concept of adding and subtracting numbers to can be taught. So as well as regular CPD through math's leads or work-groups with the local math's hub, teachers also learn from each other to better understand how to teach math's and the pedagogy of their class.
Wherever possible we try to promote mathematics and encourage children to use their understanding of number not just in numeracy lessons but in other curriculum areas - such as science with all of the data collection, geography with the mapping skills and art with shape and symmetry.This way, children develop the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts and understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life. The more experience children have to talk about numbers in real life contexts, the better they understand math's at school. Supermarkets are a fantastic way to involve your child in counting the fruit and vegetables into a bag, weighing them or calculating the cost.
We know that mental math's is a key skill that enables children to access many other areas of numeracy and so we dedicate regular time to teach the children their times tables. We use a range of strategies to learn times tables, often game based (eg Funkey Math's cards in Y3 and Y4) creating and making those number facts as well as chanting them in rote-fashion. Below we can see the older year group teaching the younger a times table using 'Funkey Maths' cards where they can be used for all kinds of games to reinforce their understanding.
Please continue to practise times tables at home - it is a vital skill. Remember, lots of these facts are already learned in a previous tables - they just need swapping around - so do draw attention to those. There are many websites and apps now for your child to have fun learning their tables so do encourage these as part of their screen-time.
As a school we subscribe to 'Sumdog' which is linked to the National Curriculum and enables the children to have tasks targeted to their log-in. The children love to play Sumdog and it keeps them engaged with practice. We know children love to learn math's through playing games, which is something that stood out in our Pupil Voice surveys...
If you would like any other information about how math's is taught here at St Mary's please come and have a chat with Miss Taft - Year 5 teacher and Math's Coordinator.
During these times, teachers are evolving and adapting to a more restricted way of teaching and grouping pupils. Nationally, the DFE also released further maths guidance which arose from the work of the NCETM, to support planning for maths at each stage. However this guidance was planned before Covid became part of our lives and so providing interventions and boosters for some pupils will be impacted. With that in mind, teachers are continuing to teach math's using the kinds of examples and strategies shown on this page. Classes are working hard to cover and revise work from the previous year. The children are seated in rows according to government guidelines, with some resources now not as readily available due to the schools Risk Assessment. Staffing to provide additional support may be subject to change, according to the needs, health and safety of each bubble.