Why is Maths important?
There is not a day goes by when we do not use maths in some way. It is a fundamental pillar of thinking in our lives. It introduces children to concepts, skills and thinking strategies that are essential in everyday life, and supports learning across the curriculum. Through their understanding of maths, children begin to make sense of the numbers, patterns and shapes they see in the world around them, and they develop ways of handling data in an increasingly digital world. Children delight in using maths to solve problems, and it makes a vital contribution to their development as learners. At St. Anthony’s, we believe studying maths stimulates curiosity, fosters creativity and equips children with the skills they need in life.
When is Maths taught?
All staff nurture a true love of maths through daily maths lessons. We believe that teaching is most effective when the teacher explicitly explains concepts, giving children lots of opportunity to practise specific skills, before moving on. We encourage children to ask questions, and support discussions to ensure there is a transparent dialogue between teacher and pupil, with lessons being adapted to support children’s learning in real time. We also provide pupils with concrete resources to guide pupil practice and use scaffolds for more challenging tasks.
Maths is one of the 7 key areas of the EYFS curriculum. Children at St Anthony’s learn about maths through play and the daily routine of Nursery and Reception. Maths learning is very hands on, using lots of different apparatus and manipulatives, so pupils can link concrete experiences to abstract concepts. In Early Years, there is a big focus on the link between mathematical language, symbols, numerals and apparatus, so that pupils have firm foundations to build on throughout their school career. Our environment (both indoors and out), is full of mathematical opportunities and has exciting things to explore, sort, compare, match, calculate and describe. We support pupils and set challenging but achievable next steps, alongside developing the three characteristics of effective learning throughout the early years.
KS1 and KS2
The three main aims of national curriculum for mathematics are fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
All pupils should become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, 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.
At the point of which children have grasped basic concepts (fluency), we then explore reasoning mathematically, by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
Once children have shown they are able to reason, we then ask them to apply their knowledge and skills to problem solve in the same area of maths. Children 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.