At Ashley school we believe that mathematical knowledge and understanding is a vitally important life skill. Each week we start our learning with a geometry focus linked to our learning enquiries that feeds into the week's learning journey; this could be exploring patterns in nature or even the symmetry of our bodies. We are regularly challenged to apply our maths skills and knowledge across the curriculum, showing the many ways it can be applied to everyday life; this also makes our maths learning more engaging and meaningful.
In maths learning we set Challenges from which the children can choose. We trust our children to choose a Challenge that will be achievable but also stretch and push them. Through this approach, the children strengthen self-confidence and ownership of their learning; they gain greater appreciation for where they are in their learning and their next steps - learning is without limits for everyone in the classroom.
‘Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline, it is essential to everyday life. A high quality mathematics education 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.’(Mathematics National Curriculum 2014)
As with all learning, support at home is crucial in developing confident young mathematicians. We therefore encourage parents and carers to take an active role in their children’s maths learning, supporting them where possible.
Progression in Calculations
Below is a link to a document giving an overview of the progression in written calculation methods your children will learn at school.
The following points should be recognised in relation to the document:
- All children learn at a different pace. If they are not ready to move on to a new method, it is important they continue to use methods comfortable to them until they reach that stage
- It is essential that children understand the methods they are using. A child could easily be taught advanced written methods from a young age; however, they would be unlikely to develop a conceptual understanding of the process, impacting on all their future learning. For that reason, we ask that you support your child’s learning at home using the methods taught in class – the above document is there to help you understand these methods.
- Research proves that practical maths resources support children’s conceptual understanding and help to build their confidence. In school, we aim ensure children have access to these materials to embed their mathematical understanding. These resources are used throughout the school, not just with the younger year groups.
At Ashley we acknowledge the importance of children being able to apply mathematical knowledge to real life experiences; it is essential, therefore, that children develop strong mental maths skills to achieve this. To become confident in developing mental maths strategies, the children must know their times tables. Whilst we practise these every week in school, we cannot possibly put in the time needed for children to know them thoroughly, therefore they must dedicate extra time at home to rehearsing and learning them. The 2014 Mathematics National Curriculum expects that by the end of Year 4, children will know all the times tables facts up to 12 x 12.
The following are what the children are expected know by the end of that academic year:
Year 2 – 2, 5, 10 times tables
Year 3 – 3, 4, 8 time tables
Year 4 – 6, 7, 9, 11, 12 time tables
Year 5 and 6 – children are expected to know all their tables confidently
Songs or rhymes can help children remember their times tables. The following website hosts a section on ‘Times Tables’ with songs and chants that may prove helpful:
Extensive research and the 2014 National Curriculum recognise the importance of counting in developing strong mental maths skills. Consequently, at Ashley we dedicate time each day, throughout the school, to counting. This may be in a maths lesson, whilst lining up for assembly or getting changed for PE; if this practice is implemented at home too, it would further support this skill development. Counting examples include: counting on or back in twos from any starting number (e.g. 3, 7, 13); counting back in fives from 50; counting on in fours from 3; counting back in threes from 50; counting on in steps of .4 from a whole number.
Shape, Word and Number of the week
We understand the importance of our children learning facts, using and understanding mathematical language and then being able to apply that knowledge to their learning. For that reason, each class in Key Stage 1 and 2 has a ‘Shape, Word and Number of the week’. By constantly revisiting key language, numbers and shapes, we believe our children will have a stronger grasp on understanding them. Below is a link to a document highlighting all the shapes the children will learn during their time in Ashley school.
The following websites are useful tools for embedding mathematical understanding, improving mental maths skills, supporting parental understanding and making maths fun. Please use them to support your children’s learning:
http://www.mathletics.co.uk/ – an online learning resource to which Ashley School subscribes. Your child will have their own usernames and password details to access designated tasks from teachers or to play online (please ask your child’s teacher if you do not have this information).
http://www.adamup.co.uk/ – fun videos and songs explaining everything across the curriculum.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ – activities and explanations across the curriculum.
http://www.crickweb.co.uk/ – a variety of games and activities across the curriculum.
http://www.funbrain.com/ – American based website with fun games on a wide variety of mathematical themes with different levels of challenge.
http://nrich.maths.org/ – more challenging investigations for the very keen mathematician.