How Maths is taught at our school

In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children’s learning in maths is practical with hands on experiences. These experiences are routinely taken beyond the classroom for example: lengths of dinosaurs being measured on the playground; repeating patterns spotted on the paved areas and the making of compasses to support learning about position and direction.

Throughout the school we use Numicon and Numicon Smart Board software, a research-based resource which can enrich both teaching and learning.

Numicon provides everything to create confident mathematicians throughout the whole school. Through using concrete apparatus and imagery this enables us to embed deep understanding. Also plenty of opportunities for developing mathematical language are given so that our children learn to express their thinking using the correct vocabulary. Year 1 children are provided with their own individual Numicon sets, courtesy of our very supportive FoBPS. This means children can use their own sets to continue developing their learning whilst at home.

We consider understanding of place value, fluency in mental methods, and good recall of number facts such as multiplication tables and number bonds to be essential precursors for learning traditional vertical algorithms (methods) for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Calculation strategies are explicitly taught to the children each year and children are encouraged to choose their preferred method from this bank of strategies. Our children are taught that there is more than one way to arrive at the answer.

Investigations form an integral part of our maths learning. We believe that the extensive experience of solving problems deepens children’s understanding and increases their fluency and sense of number. We particularly focus on the skills of: visualising, experimenting, tinkering, pattern sniffing, working systematically, presenting information, justifying and inventing. Childrens’ confidence, fluency and versatility are nurtured through a strong emphasis on this investigational learning and skills in calculation are strengthened through meaningful application to cross-curricular themes and work in other subjects.