Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries. 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. This is the future that we want for all of our pupils at English Martyrs; it is our role to equip children with these skills ready to embrace the challenges of growing up in the 21st century.
At English Martyrs we follow a mastery approach to deliver the mathematics national curriculum. This means that children have opportunities to explore mathematical concepts in more detail which in turn develops their confidence and enables them to apply these ideas in different contexts. We aim to teach the children to make links between different areas of mathematics, and above all to enjoy this exploration.
The national curriculum for mathematics, and our core aims as a school, are the same. They are to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. Although the programmes of study are organised into different areas of learning, for example division and multiplication, pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
We believe that every child can succeed in mathematics, and work hard to foster this ‘can do’ attitude with our pupils and teach them how to celebrate their successes, and to challenge themselves. Our approach is to break down large concepts into smaller, more manageable steps where children of all ages and abilities can use equipment and pictures to help them develop their understanding.
Encouraging your child to develop and keep their recall of number facts will stand them in great stead for all areas of their maths learning. Here are some suggested sites that you can explore together at home.
Multiplication Tables Check (MTC)
The introduction of the MTC (Multiplication Tables Check) for Year 4 children highlights the importance of children knowing their times tables, not just so that they can pass a test, but as a vital part of them developing knowledge, skills and confidence as they become competent mathematicians. Tables can be learnt in lots of different ways, not just by route. Have a look at these websites below for some fun online games that will support your child's mathematical learning. We would love to hear from your child which they found the best and why.
If you and your child prefer to practice off-line, Third Space has some great suggestions for games and ideas that go from Year 1 all the way up to Key Stage 3.