Purpose of study
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.
Philosophy behind teaching and learning mathematics
Mathematics is a key subject, as it enables children to explore the patterns and structures they see in the world around them and reason with these mathematically. This should invoke a sense of enjoyment and curiosity, as children appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics to connect key ideas and solve problems. Children learn best from concrete, practical experiences linked with pictorial representations in order to reason abstractly, develop an enquiring mind and hone investigative skills. Achievement in mathematics impacts all other subjects in the curriculum and helps children to develop confidence and independence. Motivating children in maths is important to give them every opportunity to consider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers when older.
Organisation of teaching and learning mathematics
Classes in Key Stage 1 are allocated 5 hours of mathematics lessons each week, whereas classes in Key Stage 2 are allocated 6 hours. Through a mixed ability approach, children work as a class, in groups, in pairs or individually with concrete resources and pictorial and abstract representations to explore key ideas. All children are given opportunities to reason mathematically and develop their problem-solving skills. Children who rapidly grasp key ideas are given activities that deepen their learning rather than accelerating through new material.
Children have the opportunity every week to practise key skills such as number bonds and times tables using Bond Builder and Table Trainer on Number Gym. Children in Years 2 to 6 also have access to Times Tables Rockstars in school and at home to practise their times-tables and associated division number facts.