A child’s ability to calculate, apply knowledge, to communicate fluently, to reason and to solve problems mathematically, forms the cornerstone of their education for life. As the children implement their mathematical skills, they should be able to identify the practical relevance of this subject and be able to apply their knowledge in an ever-wider set of familiar and new contexts. However, this will only be possible if the children’s appreciation of the subject is also nurtured, such that they gain a sense of enjoyment and a curiosity about maths.
At St. Benedict’s Catholic Primary School our intention is to help children:
- enjoy maths through practical activity, exploration and discussion
- understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life
- become confident and competent with place value, numbers and the number system
- develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry
- solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps
- persevere in seeking solutions to mathematical problems and be aware that there may be a number of solutions
- see the historic context and present day relevance of mathematics
Our planning is sequenced in such a way as to ensure key mathematical skills are revisited and consolidated, e.g. place value and the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Long-term planning and the calculation policy evidence the progression in difficulty of mathematical topics and skills.
Maths is a core subject, given significant time on the timetable, with a daily lesson in every class.
At St. Benedict’s Catholic Primary School we do not follow one particular Maths scheme. We believe that using a variety of resources and teaching styles, which can be adapted to suit the way different pupils learn, is going to give our children a greater breadth of mathematical experience. This ensures that the children see Maths in a wider context, in different formats and in increasingly complex forms. Links are made with other subjects whenever possible.
The subject is well-resourced with practical materials, which enable the children to gain a concrete understanding of new mathematical concepts. When they are confident in using these resources, the children move on to using pictorial representations. Over time, and with improving confidence and competence, the children will move on to more abstract representations. They will learn how to use formal methods to calculate but also to recognise when mental methods are appropriate. Teachers use and emphasise mathematical vocabulary, and link the teaching to real-life situations, wherever possible.
Informal assessment takes place during every lesson, so that children are moved on quickly. Support and intervention for those who need it is key in Maths lessons, but the children are encouraged to work independently and strategically through their tasks. Formal assessments take place at the end of each half-term which show what the children have achieved and how they have progressed.
The impact and progress of St. Benedict’s children in Mathematics is monitored formally every half term. We measure and celebrate their attainment and achievements in Times Tables and Arithmetic. The results are shared with parents and monitored carefully by teachers to ensure continuing progress. Results are also celebrated in special school assemblies where attainment and hard work are recognised. The Maths team also ascertains the children’s attitude to mathematics through book scrutiny on a termly basis and informal interviews.
Twice annually, formal SAT-style assessments take place where the children’s progress in a wider range of mathematical skills and knowledge can be determined. Teachers use the results of these assessments to inform future teaching and to compare data with other similar schools.
Mathematical confidence, the ability to take on new challenges and yet draw on previous experience, ensures that the children are ready to face the mathematical realities of everyday life.