Maths

Mathematics teaches children how to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to calculate, reason and solve problems.

Mathematics 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.

We aim to support children to achieve economic well-being and equip them with a range of computational skills and the ability to solve problems in a variety of contexts.

 

Aims

The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including the varied and regular practice of increasingly complex problems over time.
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, understanding relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
  • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

At Sacred Heart we have been delivering the new mathematics curriculum since September 2014 with exception of Y2 and Y6 who are continuing to following the old curriculum until September 2015 on advice of the government. The new style SATs tests will not be in place until May 2016. In order to support the children’s development in numeracy, we use a variety of exciting resources to help motivate, support and challenge pupils in mathematical concepts.

Mental Maths

At Sacred Heart pupils practise mental maths on a daily basis. We have a strong emphasis on counting, tables and connecting ‘known facts’ across all key stages. In Foundation and KS1 teachers have short, fun sessions to embed mental maths concepts, and in KS2 ‘Quick Warm Up’ activities are used to ensure they have a solid bank of number facts.

Numicon

Numicon is a multi-sensory approach, built on a proven pedagogy that raises achievement across all mathematics ability levels. With problem-solving, reasoning and conversation at its heart, Numicon perfectly embodies the aims of the Primary National Curriculum 2014 for mathematics as it:

  • Develops fluency by using a visual, practical base to develop conceptual understanding and fluent recall.
  • Helps children to reason mathematically through the use of concrete objects and spoken language to explain and justify.
  • Develops children into confident problem solvers.

Sumdog

All children in KS2 have a login and password for Sumdog. The school has invested in buying this resource to support the development of the children’s mental maths, speed of response and fluency. As teachers, we are provided with in depth reports on how individual children are performing and receive pinpointed areas for the children to work on. Home Learning is often set through sumdog to support areas being covered in class. These may be assessment tasks, competitions or just targeted questions, differentiated for individuals.

KS1 pupils also have a login and password but not the full subscription package. They are able to access a selection of activities and practice skills through fun games at their level but they will not have targeted home learning through this resource.

Our Maths Lessons

Learning Objectives and Success Criteria

At the beginning of each lesson the learning objective is shared. Children discuss what they need to do to be successful in their learning. Being aware of what they are learning to do keeps the children focused.

Learning

Children learn using objects, pictures and images. Then they move on to the abstract – working with numbers. Children say that working with images first helps them to understand what the numbers represent.

Talk time

All children talk with a partner with whom they bounce ideas off, discuss key concepts and problem solve. Children find the opportunity to talk and discuss their mathematical thoughts a valuable part of the lesson and their learning.

Self Assessment

Children are asked to make thoughtful assessments of their learning. They constantly assess their learning to ascertain whether they need support or are ready to challenge themselves. Children take ownership of their own learning and our classrooms are full of independent learners!

Problem Solving

The plenary usually consists of a problem solving task or word problem which involves using and applying what they have learnt during the lesson; however, this may take part mid lesson to change the pace or support the mastery of the concept. Children enjoy applying what they have learnt to real life situations which helps put their learning into context and makes it purposeful.

Intervention Groups

In all our classrooms at Sacred Heart we have amazing teaching assistants who support children with their learning. Children who have gaps in their knowledge are supported through our intervention groups, which take part in addition to the daily maths lesson. These may consist of a number of session over a blocked period of time or as one offs to ‘plug’ the gaps. The  number of children in the intervention group is also flexible depending on the need; it may be delivered 1:1 or as a group of 2-5 depending on the need.

Times Tables

We expect all children at Sacred Heart to have a secure grasp of the multiplication tables. Just like learning to walk before you can run, learning multiplication and memorising the times tables are building blocks for other maths topics taught in school – higher learning such as division, long multiplication, fractions and algebra. Students who do not memorise the times tables will find these levels of maths much more difficult than they need to be. Students who have not mastered their tables will very often fall behind in maths (and other subjects that use maths) and begin to lose confidence. We ask parents for support in helping their children to learn the multiplication tables.

Below are some useful links to help your child practise their times tables.