Mathematics at Pleasant Street
Mathematics is both a key skill within school, as well as a life skill, to be utilised throughout every person’s day to day experiences. Mathematics equips pupils with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is therefore not just important in our everyday lives, but integral to success in the modern world, enabling us to manage our lives effectively. At Pleasant Street we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them for life. We value every pupil and the contribution they have to make. As a result, we aim to ensure that every child achieves success and that all are enabled to develop their skills in mathematics in accordance with their individual level of ability. To develop fluency in mathematics, children need to secure a conceptual understanding. It is important to make connections between concrete materials, models and images, mathematical language, symbolic representations and prior learning. Our approach to the teaching of mathematics ensures that these aspects of mathematics are all considered when planning an appropriate, engaging and challenging curriculum for all our pupils. We also ensure that children have opportunities to practise key skills, whilst developing the understanding and knowledge to apply these skills into more complex problems and investigations.
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.
- Progression from mental and informal methods to standard algorithms, builds upon children’s developing understanding of our number system. Children are encouraged to develop ‘number sense’, and solve problems using a variety of methods, including the empty number line and the bar-modelling approach. Procedural methods are taught alongside these methods, with daily practice ‘four a day’ used to embed standard methods for all four operations.
- 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.
Daily Maths Lesson
All pupils have a daily maths lesson. The structure of each lesson is flexible and will vary depending on the needs of the children and the content of the lesson. Typically, a maths lesson will include; a learning objective, activities that provide challenge for each ability group, key questions and the use of additional adults. Other areas for consideration include; steps to success, teacher modelling, as well as a variety of teaching and learning approaches, known as ‘Learning to Learn’ which help to develop children’s enjoyment and engagement of the subject.
Big Maths – Basic Skills
At Pleasant Street we have an additional BIG MATHS session, outside the daily maths lesson. This ensures time is available for children to practice and master the basic skills, using the CLIC method. This involves; Counting along number lines, (multiples, decimals, fractions and negatives numbers), Learn its (number facts), It’s Nothing New, (related facts using place value) and Calculation. The knowledge of the basic skills is fundamental in helping pupils move towards procedural efficiency. The session gives teachers the opportunity to link with previous, current or future learning so that the prerequisite skills of an objective can be regularly practised and rehearsed. This session also includes a daily practice of the four rules of number in the form of ‘Four a Day’ calculations, increasing in difficulty as children master each technique in turn.All children have access to practical equipment for counting and measuring within the classes ‘Maths Boxes’. These provide children with concrete models provided to support their development of abstract thinking.
There is an agreed calculation policy that should be followed. For each operation there are four or five stages, starting with practical methods that support conceptual understating moving through to methods that allow children to demonstrate efficiency in procedural approaches. The calculation sequence provides an opportunity for pupils to practise the skills of calculation through a range of application activities including the use of inverse, missing box, word problems and investigations.