At River we ensure that children experience a rich coverage of the Mathematics curriculum. Prior to teaching a subject area, teachers complete an assessment activity in order to gain knowledge of children’s current levels of understanding. This assessment is used to inform planning so that new learning is built from the current point of the child’s understanding.
When revisiting an area of study such as number and place value, assessment remains important, to establish how well the children have retained learning and to explore any misconceptions they may have from previous learning. This is vital in enabling teachers to move learning forward and promote maximum progress.
Integral to learning are opportunities to problem solve and to use and apply learning in different investigations. Such activities are used on a regular basis to help enhance children’s skills in mathematical communication and reasoning and to considered whether they have mastered a skill enough to apply it in a ‘real life’ context. This also serves to allow children to fully understand the purpose of their learning and its relevance to their lives.
The four calculation areas - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are covered in every year group, each term (Year 1 cover multiplication and division through counting in 2’, 5’s and 10’s). The methods taught can be found in the school’s Calculation Policy.
The National Curriculum for Maths tells us:
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. Aims The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
· become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
· reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
· can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects. The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.