Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy. A high-quality maths 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. (DfE 2014)
A high value is placed upon maths within the curriculum at Grove Road. Through a structured daily Singapore maths session, teachers make full use of the interactive whiteboards and children are able to answer questions and play maths activities that help stimulate their learning.
In the Foundation Stage, children make full use of classroom resources to develop their mathematical understanding. They use the water and sand trays to work on number skills and work on a range of child initiated activities.
Through Years 1 to 6 we use a coherent programme of high-quality materials and exercises, which are structured with great care to build deep conceptual knowledge alongside developing procedural fluency.
Our KS1 and KS2 teachers use textbooks and workbooks from the ‘Maths – No Problem!’ series, which is based on the principles of how Mathematics is taught in Singapore and aligned with the National Curriculum 2014, to support their planning and delivery of Mathematics teaching.
The ‘Maths – No Problem!’ textbooks and workbooks are arranged in chapters and, over the course of the academic year, all units of the National Curriculum 2014 are covered.
The short term planning is done weekly, with teachers planning learning objectives, identifying possible misconceptions, key vocabulary and ways to challenge pupils. If the needs of the children are best met following an alternative plan, which deviates from the National Curriculum 2014, then the class teacher and the SENCO discuss this and decide on a way forward.
- Lessons last approximately 1 hour and are taught daily.
- Pupils start the lesson with an ‘In Focus’ problem, which they discuss and then record their thoughts in their Maths Journal – this is called Journelling. This is a problem solving activity, which prompts discussion and reasoning. In Key Stage One, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Pupils in KS2 are also encouraged to use manipulatives. Teachers use careful questions to draw out pupils’ discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads pupils through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. The strategies may be displayed on sheets of paper in the classroom.
- The class then try some questions in ‘Guided Practice’. Carefully designed variation in these questions builds fluency and deep understanding. When they are ready to apply their learning independently, the children answer questions in their own workbook. If some children are not ready by this point, they will continue ‘Guided Practice’ with the teacher in a small group. If some pupils are advanced in this area of mathematics and have completed the questions independently, they will be given extra tasks to consolidate and deepen their learning, which they will complete in their ‘Maths Journal’.
The use of Mathematics resources is integral to the concrete – pictorial – abstract approach and thus planned into our learning and teaching. We have a wide variety of good quality equipment and resources, both tangible and ICT based, to support our learning and teaching. These resources are used by our teachers and children in a number of ways including:
- Demonstrating or modelling an idea, an operation or method of calculation, e.g.: a number line; place value cards; Dienes; money or coins; measuring equipment for capacity, mass and length; bead strings; the interactive whiteboards and related software; 3D shapes and/or nets; Numicon and related resources and software; multilink cubes; clocks; protractors; calculators; dice; number and fractions’ fans; individual whiteboards and pens; and 2D shapes and pattern blocks, amongst other things.
- Enabling children to use a calculation strategy or method that they couldn’t do without help, by using any of the above or other resources as required Standard resources, such as number lines, multi-link cubes, Dienes, hundred squares, shapes, etc. are located within individual classrooms.
Mathletics is used across the school to consolidate understanding of those concepts covered in class through purposefully set homework. Children have access to this both at school and home for independent study if they wish.