Maths is important to numerous jobs, in scientific, financial and engineering sectors, but also essential for sound personal financial management and dealing with everyday life!
There are many elements to the teaching and learning of Maths: it is not only the ability to calculate (being mathematically fluent) but also the ability to apply these skills to real life scenarios (solve problems) and also to talk knowledgably about mathematical working (reasoning). To do this, children develop a secure grasp of mathematical vocabulary (see vocabulary progression) and are provided with high quality support by both teachers and teaching assistants to ensure they are meeting curriculum objectives.
At St John’s, we use a range of resources to support children with learning maths, including when learning new content. We follow the medium term plan set out by White Rose Maths. The progressions of skills can be found here. We believe in the concrete-pictorial-abstract principle, where children need to use resources to ‘do’ and ‘see’ the maths, before using images and then being able to work independently (see the journey of concrete-pictorial-abstract in the attached document). This does not just happen during children’s early years but throughout their maths learning. For example, numicon is a key feature of our maths teaching in early years and KS1 and is used to teach early fluency and calculation skills. Diennes or base 10 apparatus are introduced in Year 2 onwards to demonstrate calculation strategies alongside place value coins. Our calculation policy shows a clear progression of the strategies used alongside concrete, pictorial and abstract examples. (see calculation policy documents).
Images are an important part of maths teaching and learning. Children are encouraged to draw images to explain their thinking of mathematical problems. The bar method is a type of image that is used to support children in understanding and solving word problems. It begins in early years where 1 symbol represents 1 unit, and progresses up the school where the bar represents a quantity (see bar method progression document).