“The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.” – Paul Halmos
At our school we believe that Mathematics is critical to everyday life and therefore, every lesson and day counts. We have developed a high-quality, creative mathematics curriculum that provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to problem solve and reason mathematically and nurtures a sense of curiosity and excitement about the subject. Mathematics is taught discretely, however it is linked and included into our projects subtly and creatively when possible to ensure children are motivated and see the relevance of the learning involved. We encourage children to solve problems practically as well as mentally and using written methods, all the while being able to talk about and explain their thinking. Through combining these approaches, our children are exposed to a rich curriculum, enabling excellent teaching and learning.
“Every lesson counts”
The children in Bishop’s Waltham Infant School love their learning. They have told us this is because we use active and involving teaching approaches. We give children plenty of opportunities to use and apply the skills they have learned in different contexts in order to gain a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.
At Bishop’s Waltham Infant School, we believe that all children should learn together. We believe in a “keep-up”, not “catch-up” ethos, using rich questioning to identify misconceptions to give children targeted support daily to ensure all children move forward together. We respond to the needs of the children, intervening with extra support, or extending the challenge to ensure all children are confident and motivated learners.
“Learning for Life”
Our mathematics curriculum correlates and compliments our integrated curriculum, therefore although maths is taught discretely, we ensure all learning ties in with our projects. For example, when learning about the New Zealand, our maths lessons may involve visiting a a tourist shop and buying souvenirs using money. During Down in the Jungle, the children will use measuring to discover and visualise the actual height of animals.
We believe that by teaching maths through our projects, the learning undertaken is more relevant and children are enthusiastic and motivated.
We focus on three main areas of mathematics – fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
Fluency: We aim to teach our children, through varied and frequent practice, to develop the ability to recall and apply knowledge quickly and accurately. This is applied to stimulating challenges of increasing difficulty.
Reasoning Mathematically: Children not only solve problems, but develop their knowledge through explaining and justifying their answers. This encourages all learners to begin making connections across different areas of mathematics, and indeed across the curriculum.
Problem Solving: We aim to give children frequent opportunities to apply their knowledge to a variety of routine and non-routine problems. These sometimes require being “broken down” in a series of simpler steps, and are not always “straight-forward”. This area of mathematics develops children’s’ resilience and confidence using trial and error, and “outside the box” thinking in pursuing an answer.
In order to master these skills, across the Foundation Stage and Key stage 1 our children will practise the different areas of mathematics using the CPA approach. They will first use concrete materials and learn the skill practically. Then they will progress onto using pictures to solve problems, and finally they'll be able to use the learned skills and apply them to abstract problems, using a formal written or mental method to solve them.
Using this approach gives each child a rounded and secure skill base, increases confidence and allows children to solve problems using a wide range of techniques and methods, improving the chance for success and overall understanding.
During Key Stage 1, children will cover and build on their knowledge in:
Number: Place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions
Measurement, Fractions, Statistics
Geometry: Position and direction, properties of shape
As the children progress through Key Stage 1, they will revisit each of these areas regularly in a variety of contexts to ensure they can master the skills involved and apply them across different types of problems.
Taken from the National Curriculum, below is a brief break down of the curriculum we deliver at our school.
Using materials and a range of representations, pupils practise counting, reading, writing and comparing numbers to at least 100 and solving a variety of related problems to develop fluency.
Pupils extend their understanding of the language of addition and subtraction to include sum and difference. Pupils practise addition and subtraction to 20 to become increasingly fluent in deriving facts. They check their calculations, including by adding to check subtraction and adding numbers in a different order to check addition, supporting commutativity.
Pupils are introduced to the multiplication tables. They practise to become fluent in the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables and connect them to each other. Pupils work with a range of materials and contexts in which multiplication and division relate to grouping and sharing discrete and continuous quantities, to arrays and to repeated addition.
Pupils use fractions as ‘fractions of’ discrete and continuous quantities by solving problems using shapes, objects and quantities. They connect unit fractions to equal sharing and grouping, to numbers when they can be calculated, and to measures, finding fractions of lengths, quantities, sets of objects or shapes.
Pupils use standard units of measurement with increasing accuracy, using their knowledge of the number system. They use the appropriate language and record using standard abbreviations. They tell the time accurately using an analogue clock and become fluent in recognising and counting coins.
Pupils handle and name a wide variety of common 2-D and 3-D shapes and identify their properties. Pupils use the concept and language of angles to describe ‘turn’ by applying rotations, including in practical contexts (physically giving and completing given instructions) and programming robots using instructions.
Pupils record, interpret, collate, organise and compare information in a variety of different ways.
At BWIS, we use the Hampshire Assessment model. The learning is divided into phases; Phase 1: Sept-Nov Phase 2: Dec-Feb and Phase 3: Mar-Jul. Use the links below to see what is covered in each phase.
If you would like to find out more information about the current National Curriculum for maths, you can access the full curriculum here.