Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics 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.
Early Years Foundation Stage
By the end of EYFS, children should be able to:
• Challenge their mathematical thinking by explaining how they know.
• Count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20 orally and by 1-1 using objects.
• Add and subtract using objects up to the value of 20.
• Solve problems including doubling, halving and sharing using tangible resources.
• Use language around size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to solve problems.
• Use mathematical language to describe characteristics of everyday objects and shapes.
Key Stage 1
Our principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This will involve working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools]. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching also involves using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.
By the end of Year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Lower Key Stage 2
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching ensures that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number. 2 By the end of Year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12- multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work.
Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.
Upper Key Stage 2
Our principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching ensures that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.
By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.
Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.
Assessment opportunities, both formative and summative, are routinely built into lesson planning at all key stages. Starter tasks regularly check understanding of prior learning, reinforce key vocabulary, and provide pupils with opportunities to apply learning. Individual information is collated half termly and monitored by Maths Lead and SLT.
In every Mathematics lesson you should see the following:
• ‘Quality first’ teaching; tailored to meet the needs of the learners in each class, and immediate intervention to address gaps in learning where necessary,
• Resilient learners with Growth Mindsets and a ‘We Can’ attitude to Mathematics, whatever their previous level of attainment,
• Teachers using high-quality questioning to explore children’s understanding and develop it further.
• Teachers making use of misconceptions through Feedback Marking to further understanding of key concepts,
• Teachers using a range of methods to explore key Mathematical concepts which appeal to pupils’ different styles of learning, employing concrete/pictorial/abstract representations of Mathematical concepts.
• Learners being given the opportunity, through careful planning, to ‘go deeper’ in mathematical concepts,
• Pupils learning together.
• Development of fluency, oracy in reasoning and solving problems through the use of correct mathematical vocabulary.
Why are times tables so important?
Secure and confident knowledge of times tables is vital to children’s success in Maths. They are the building blocks of Maths and with multiplications mastered, the doors to many other areas of Maths become unlocked.
Here are some ways which memorising times tables can benefit your child:
- Most importantly, knowing their times tables will give your child confidence in their ability in Maths. We aim for all children to be able to mentally recall their times tables, moving away from counting on their fingers as they become more confident, as this confidence will help them solve a range of tasks at primary school and ease their transition to secondary school.
- Times tables can help your child to grasp other mathematical concepts, such as fractions, division, ratio and percentages to name a few. Children who do not know their times tables will not be able to access more complex procedures.
- If a child is confident with their times table skills, then this can reduce the cognitive load when learning a new method. An example of this is when learning the long multiplication method; if a child is already confident with their times tables then they can solely focus on the new skills with the method, e.g. where to carry numbers, when a place value holder is needed, estimating and checking that their answer is correct. This will not only help to ensure that their calculations are accurate, but speed up the process of learning a new method and also boost their confidence as they see that they have been successful.
How do we teach times tables at St Cross?
Some children thrive on learning their times tables, others may find the experience more challenging and stressful, especially if put on the spot. We use a range of different teaching strategies to make learning times tables engaging and fun. Teachers accommodate different learning styles. They strive to create games to build children’s confidence in learning times tables in a way that is age appropriate for the children within their classes. TTRS is a great homework resource and is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice.
MyMaths is a whole-school interactive resource for use at home that is easy to use alongside any other maths resources to consolidate learning.