Within the 2014 National Curriculum maths falls into two areas, arithmetic and reasoning. At Dymchurch Primary School we follow the White Rose Scheme of Work in maths to ensure that across all year groups children are being taught skills which are essential to achieve success. Arithmetic skills and fluency in calculation is key to achieving well in reasoning.
Oral and mental mathematics is essential, particularly so to aid speedy calculation; this being so, we have MOG Maths (Mental and Oral Games) daily. By ensuring children develop this knowledge we are laying the foundations of success. We provide children with a good understanding of how the four operations build on efficient counting strategies. We know the importance that a secure knowledge of place value and number facts has, so ensure that children develop these skills.
We follow the Singapore maths strategy of concrete, pictorial, and abstract understanding. ‘Concrete’ - Children use practical apparatus to give hands-on learning experiences. They may use concrete objects such as counters, dice, or cubes, as the visual and kinaesthetic ‘hook’ to help them process this their understanding of a concept. They then move to ‘Pictorial’ - drawing pictorial representations of mathematical concepts e.g. drawing circles to represent the counters they were using in their earlier learning. Students then solve mathematical problems in an ‘Abstract’ way, by using numbers and symbols to represent the calculation. Once arithmetic has been taught in this way, the children move to reasoning questions where they problem solve using the skills they have previously honed.
The ability to calculate mentally forms the basis of all methods of calculation and has to be maintained and refined. A good knowledge of numbers or a ‘feel’ for numbers is the product of structured practice and repetition. It requires an understanding of number patterns and relationships developed through directed enquiry, use of models and images and the application of acquired number knowledge and skills.
Times tables are crucial, and are learned through KS1 and into KS2. We have the Times Table Factor Challenge for KS2 children in school. The National Curriculum demands that by Yr4 children have instant recall of all multiplication facts up to 12x12. Through challenges and practice we are engaging children in achieving this target. In upper KS2 we move to mental calculation of decimals – it is challenging, but our pupils are rising to the challenges set.
By the end of Key Stage 2, the great majority of children should be able to use an efficient written method for each operation with confidence and understanding. Children will develop the ability to use what are commonly known as ‘standard’ written methods – methods that are efficient and work for any calculation, including those that involve whole numbers or decimals. They are compact and consequently help children to keep track of their recorded steps. Being able to use these written methods gives children an efficient set of tools they can use when they are unable to carry out the calculation in their heads. We want children to know that they have such a reliable, written method to which they can turn when the need arises.
We have a clear calculation policy which develops skill progression in the strategies used to makes calculations. Our curriculum has a thorough coverage of all elements of mathematics and we use the White Rose Scheme of Work to support the curriculum. Children engage daily in mental maths skills through timed papers, games paired work and challenges. The maths curriculum crosses over in to many areas of learning so children apply skills in other areas of learning such as Science and Cookery
For further information on the Maths curriculum and assessment criteria for your child(ren)s year group please see the assessment page