Welcome to the Maths page!
Maths at St John’s
“Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline which is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. ”
National Curriculum 2014
At St John’s, we encourage everyone to grow in confidence and to achieve their full potential. Mathematics has an intrinsic purpose in the development of the whole child. The mathematics curriculum is designed to develop lifelong learners and problem solvers, who are inquisitive about how mathematics impacts on the world around. We intend to develop a passion for maths through fun, engaging and challenging lessons linked to real life and cross curricular topics. We aim to develop children’s ability to:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time.
- Develop deep conceptual understanding through the effective use of manipulatives and reasoning.
- Develop a rapid recall of key knowledge and facts essential to support mental mathematical fluency, essential for later life.
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- 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.
With the introduction of the new curriculum, there are 6 main areas of learning. Ratio and proportion and algebra are only taught in Year 6.
- Number and place value
- Addition and subtraction
- Multiplication and division
- Fraction (including decimals and percentages)
- Properties of shapes
- Position and direction
- Ratio and proportion
There are three steps (or representations) necessary for pupils to develop understanding of a concept. Reinforcement is achieved by going back and forth between these representations.
- Concrete representation
A child is first introduced to an idea or a skill by acting it out with real objects. In division, for example, this might be done by separating apples into groups of red ones and green ones or by sharing 12 biscuits amongst 6 children. This is a ‘hands on’ component using real objects and it is the foundation for conceptual understanding.
- Pictorial representation
A child has sufficiently understood the hands-on experiences performed and can now relate them to representations, such as a diagram or picture of the problem. In the case of a division exercise this could be the action of circling objects.
- Abstract representation
A child is now capable of representing problems by using mathematical notation, for example: 12 ÷ 2 = 6. This is the ultimate mode, for it “is clearly the most mysterious of the three.”
Lesson Structure at St John’s
In Maths we take a consistent approach to teaching across Year Groups and Key Stages. Topics follow a termly structure; whereby each concept is revisited, so that the children’s knowledge can be extended and built upon. Lessons and concepts are adapted by the teachers; depending on the needs of the children.
Each week, lessons are taught using the structure of:
- Pre-Learning – Which enables pupils and teacher to assess the pupil’s current understanding of the concept, which means that pupils are able to begin their current learning journey at the correct level; to ensure they are meeting their full potential.
- Practice and Consolidation – This stage enables pupils to practice, consolidate and explore their learning in this concept, based on their current level of understanding.
- Deeper Learning – This stage enables pupils to challenge themselves, to apply their learning to different contexts, being able to problem solve, reason, generalise, prove, justify and make connections to other concepts.
- Greater Depth – This stage enables those pupils who are able to; to achieve their full potential. It is designed to enable pupils to Master each concept and exceed their Year Group expectations to achieve their full potential. For pupils working at greater depth; there are a range of types of problems, including: logical thinking problems; problems requiring different starting points; problems with more than one solution; problems with missing information; and evaluating a problem in context.
We have now introduced Guided Maths Problem Solving sessions, within each Year group to give pupils the opportunity to develop their problem solving and reasoning skills and to also give pupils the opportunity to work collaboratively, while developing their mathematical vocabulary against a range of different types of Maths Problems.
Pupils are encourage to apply their knowledge, to explore and reason in a variety of methods, to make predictions, use trial and improvement, make generalizations, use pictorial representations, use manipulatives, written methods or any approach their need to explore and apply their thinking.
In Upper Key Stage Two we have introduced ‘Arithmetic’ afternoon sessions, as part of Guided Math’s, to encourage pupils to explore and practice the four number operations. (This will be rolled out in Lower Key Stage Two also)
Mathematics teaching takes place every day for at least 45 minutes in key stage 1 and at least one hour in key stage 2. It is expected that counting and some form of mental maths teaching are included within each daily lesson.
Planning and Assessment
At St John’s, we follow the National Curriculum program of study (see links below) as the basis for our long term plan. Year groups organise the learning into termly plans based from Kent guidance documents. The areas of focus will be shared with parents on a termly basis via class website pages.
Children will be assessed regularly against the National Curriculum program of study for their specific year group. (see links below) More specific detail is provided in the assessment section of the website. Pupils who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will need to consolidate this before moving on. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged by being offered enriching and sophisticated problems to ensure deep understanding.
Maths homework is given weekly following the homework policy and is linked to the learning that is taking place in class. Homework can be in the form of written homework, problem solving games or online Math’s games.
Math Learning Pathways
Going for Gold