In mathematics we use a Teaching for Mastery approach which rejects the idea that many children ‘just can’t do maths’. All children are encouraged by the belief that by working hard at maths they can succeed. Children are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on everyone working together on the same lesson content at the same time. This helps children to master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, maximising the opportunities for all to make good progress.
Daily mathematics lessons are taught in each class along with an additional 15 minute oral maths session. Lesson design identifies the new mathematics that is to be taught, the key points, the difficult points and a carefully sequenced journey through the learning, using small manageable steps. In a typical lesson the teacher leads back and forth interaction with the children, including questioning, short tasks, explanation, demonstration, and discussion. Children then participate in intelligent practice that both reinforces their procedural fluency and develops their conceptual understanding.
We use high quality concrete and pictorial representations to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas enriching their learning experience and deepening their understanding. This concrete – pictorial- abstract approach helps them to cement their knowledge and truly understand what they’ve learnt.
Children need to develop a fluency in basic number facts, mental and written calculation methods. The 15 minute oral maths sessions are used to help develop this fluency by thinking about number relationships, conceptual understanding, efficient methods and accuracy. As fluent computational skills are dependent on accurate and rapid recall of basic number bonds to 20 and times-tables facts these need to be memorised. Children are encouraged to learn these with their parents through a series of maths challenges (Macs) and receive certificates to recognise their achievement as they work through the skills.
Quality talk, using correct mathematical terminology and full sentences, is also strongly emphasised in the daily maths lessons. This helps develop the children’s reasoning and problem solving skills.
Fluency in Number Facts
Children’s ability to recall and apply number facts both rapidly and accurately enables them to focus on developing other mathematical skills. Children will not gain fluency without in class teaching and help at home. At school children will be taught strategies to help them understand and learn these important facts. They need to also practise them on a regular basis at home. This practice should include new facts as well as previously known ones. Class teachers will let children and parents know which group of facts are being practised each week. Practice should be little, often and fun, preferably daily for about 10 minutes.
Key Stage 1
By the end of Key Stage 1 children should be fluent in addition and subtraction number facts to 20.
Great ways to help children with their number fluency are using the games in Busy Things and Maths Shed, playing one of the KS1 games and practising with their Numicon home packs.
Key Stage 2
By the end of Year 4 children should know all the times table facts up to 12 x 12 and by the end of KS2 be fluent in using and applying them. Children should also continue to practice addition and subtraction number facts to 20.
Completing the daily set sessions on TT Rockstars, playing one of the KS2 games, using their times tables flashcards on their own or with their family are all great ways to help children with their number fluency.