Mathematics is not just a question of skills; it is a way of thinking. We aim for our children to get better at thinking mathematically, for children’s maths learning to be based on real understanding and for their mathematical skills to be firmly embedded so that they can solve problems with confidence and success.
We want our children to be actively involved in problem solving and reasoning, as well as learning the numeracy skills that are so essential in everyday life. We want them to have the opportunities to make meaning of the maths for themselves, engage in deeper thinking and find pleasure in discovering a solution. We want them to experience enjoyment and excitement in ‘finding out’, and communicating their ideas to others.
In maths lessons children are given opportunities to practise and consolidate their skills and apply their learning through a balance of practical and recorded work. A range of resources support their learning, including structured apparatus that is fit for purpose. This alongside some key models and images enables children to develop a sound understanding of the principle ideas in maths so that these can be built upon. Children are taught a range of mental as well as written strategies to help them calculate efficiently. They are supported to independently use and apply the skills and concepts they have mastered through a range of rich, problem solving contexts and they are encouraged to articulate their understanding, reason, explain, justify and reflect on their learning. Maths sessions encourage children to be curious, ask questions, notice patterns and relationships.
The children also have a ‘Daily Maths Meeting’ at a different time in the day from the maths lesson. This is a short, fast paced session that provides a further opportunity to practice and consolidate the key concepts in maths and provides additional time for problem-solving and application through routine, relevant and familiar contexts. This is an oral session with the whole class and a range of maths concepts are covered in quick succession. This helps the children to make connections and transfer their maths knowledge, skills and understanding with greater fluency and flexibility.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum; the Early Learning Goals for maths are based on: Numbers and Shape, space and measures. In line with the National Curriculum, in Key stage 1, the following areas of maths are taught: Number and Place value, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, Fractions, Measurement (length/height, mass/weight, capacity/volume, and time), and Geometry (properties of shapes, position and direction). Links between the different areas of maths are made explicit and links with other areas of the curriculum are capitalised upon.