At Poppyfield Primary Academy, we want pupils to have a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics. We teach our pupils to embed and reinforce the three main aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
Mathematics is essential to everyday life. Through teaching and learning in this area we aim to ensure that all pupils become confident and fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time.
Our teaching programme is based on the Primary National Curriculum and sets out what children learn on a year-by-year basis in the areas of:
- Number – place value; addition & subtraction; multiplication & division; fractions, decimals and percentages
- Geometry – properties of shape; position & direction
To ensure whole consistency and progression, the school uses the White Rose Maths scheme. New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem; which children are able to discuss in partners. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of maths in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning. In KS1, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use.
Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems. Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.
We understand the importance of maths in life and are committed to ensuring that every child leaves our school with confidence in the subject and a sound mathematical knowledge. We teach daily maths lessons in the classroom, and also outside, taking account of every type of learner and making maths fun and engaging at all levels.
Early Years Mathematics
The children in our Nursery and Reception follow the Early Years and Foundation Stage Curriculum EYFS. The focus of mathematical teaching and learning for this age group is very practical to ensure that the children are fully engaged while learning the initial concepts through role play, dressing up, storytelling etc. Children also take part in lots of singing through our link to the Number Fun Portal.
Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2)
In Key Stage 1 the children continue to build on the skills and knowledge gained in Early Years. They learn about number bonds, how to count, read, write and order numbers to 100 and beyond, where appropriate. Through practical activities children explore and gain a better understanding of shape and space and through talk they begin to grasp and use mathematical language. Children continue their maths songs through the Number Fun Portal.
Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6)
By Key Stage 2 children are becoming much more confident and fluent with numbers, calculating mentally and using written methods. They increase their understanding of the links between the four mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and how to use that knowledge to check calculations. Children are given every opportunity to link their mathematics to “real life problems.” Again, children continue their maths songs through the Number Fun Portal.
Why is Mathematics so important?
Mathematics equips children with a 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. As such, mathematics is a creative discipline. It can stimulate moments of happiness and wonder when a child solves a problem for the first time, discovers a more efficient solution to a problem or suddenly sees hidden connections.
Many life stages and skills require a solid grasp of mathematics, from entering university to balancing a household budget, applying for a home loan, or assessing a possible business opportunity. When children eventually leave education and seek out a career, they will inevitably need to call upon the mathematical skills and strategies they have learnt at school. They will soon realise that many careers require a solid understanding of maths. Doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals use maths on a daily basis, as do builders, plumbers, engineers and managers. Maths is a critical skill for many professions and opens a world of opportunity for children.