Approaches to Mathematics
In order to develop a Maths curriculum which meets the needs of the children at Crofton Junior School, we are focusing on developing the key areas of accurate mental skills, precise written calculations methods and the ability to apply skills in order to solve a variety mathematical problems and puzzles. In doing so, this develop children's ability to reason and explain their mathematical understanding using precise mathematical language.
Within units of work, we work through the three stages of: practice and consolidation, mastery and greater depth to move children on in their learning. Practice and consolidation is where there is a focus on the skills element and children are given time to become confident, using resources to support their understanding, as appropriate. Once children have a secure understanding of the skill, they are moved on to mastery, which provides opportunities for them to apply their learning through reasoning and application tasks.Greater depth tasks provide an opportunity for children to apply their understanding in different contexts, which link to other areas of maths.
We thereby ensure that problem solving is integrated on a continual basis within all aspects of Mathematics. The photographs above shows how the pupil has been challenged to deepen their understanding of multiplication and place value by linking it to the understanding of the symbols for more than, less than and is the same as.
In order to promote mental skills, the learning of timestables are a weekly homework task in addition to them being practiced in school. In year 3, children are expected to be able to recall the 2x, 5x, 10x from year 2, as well as 3x, 4x and 8x, with division facts too. In year 4, it is expected that by the end of year, children can recall all multiplication and division facts up to 12 x 12. Children undertake a timestable test each week which focuses on the multipliciation and division facts being taught/practised in school.
The teaching of the calculation methods: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, is taught through a progressive approach and linked closely to the development of mental skills. The Mathematics Calculation Policy is used to ensure that calculation methods are taught progressively across the key stage with children understanding what is involved at each stage. Children are also taught to be flexible with strategies using mental skills as well as jottings if they are more efficient than a formal written method. In doing so, we aim to not only develop preciseness in the calculation method but also further embed reasoning skills. Relationships between different methods are also focused on, for example, the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. The Mathematics Calculations Policy can be found on in our Parent Zone of the website so you can best support your child at home. It is important that only the child's current year group learning is focused on as the National Curriculum aims to develop understanding rather than teaching more challenging content of a higher year group.
As the National Curriculum aims to develop children's understanding of maths, being able to reason, apply skills and problem solve is at the heart of our mathematics curriculum, with opportunities for children to succeed and excel.