Why and How do we teach Maths?
Mathematics equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools to make sense of the world and solve problems. It is important in everyday life, most forms of employment, science, technology, medicine and effective decision-making.
Numeracy is valued in the world of employment, the skills our children are learning now will be needed on an everyday basis in later adult life. It is important that skills are learnt appropriately so that a good foundation is laid for our rapidly changing world.
Not only do we use maths as we get older in employment but they are also essential in our home lives. At home we use mathematics all the time, for example:
•In the kitchen, preparing and cooking food;
•Telling the time;
•Measuring how big the new patio will be;
•Using computer programmes.
At West Green pupils develop their mathematical thinking through practical activities, investigation and exploration, demonstration and discussions that encourage children to explain their reasoning. They learn about numbers and the number system and they learn the language of mathematics. As a school we have developed a Progression in Calculation document that develops strategies for mental and written calculations throughout the EYFS and both key stages.
Current teaching methods for calculation and recording appear very different from those used in the past. As a result, parents are sometimes reluctant to help their children with maths homework for fear of doing things in the wrong way. However, children do really benefit when parents take a keen interest in their mathematical learning.
You can help your child to gain confidence and develop a positive attitude towards mathematics by talking about what has been taught at school and helping them to notice and use mathematics in an everyday context.
Whilst it is important to understand how to solve problems and reason in maths, the basic skills are essential. As a school we have developed our own set of ‘Basic Maths’ skills which we feel all children should know confidently by the time they leave us in year 6.
These skills should be regularly practiced by children at home and in school. They are skills that children should not only understand but be able to use quickly and efficiently. We would strongly encourage parents and carers to regularly practice these skills with children.
To encourage children to practice we regularly provide opportunities for children to prove their fluency in these skills. If a class teacher feels a child has mastered the skill it will be celebrated in our celebration our assembly where the child will collect a certificate and a special pencil that they can use in maths lessons!
This is our Basic Maths Award. Please click the image for an enlarged version.