Mathematics is taught every day using a range of teaching and learning styles. Mathematics teaches children to see patterns, problem solve and make sense of the world around them. We aim to help children to understand and appreciate the importance and functionality of maths in their everyday lives, from using angles in architecture to telling the time to achieving economic well-being. We place an importance on the ability to solve problems in a variety of contexts.
We aim to support children to develop a positive attitude towards mathematics. A positive mindset in maths will enable every child to succeed and enjoy success and confidence in this subject.
Teaching & Learning
Schemes of work
At Wolvercote School we use White Rose Maths resources which have been created in conjunction with the National College for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths (NCETM). The scheme promotes fluency in each area of maths, along with problem solving and reasoning skills. The school has embarked on additional training to embed aspects of 'Mastery Maths' in our teaching and learning. Our lessons include an additional focus on specific mathematics vocabulary; each lesson allows more reasoning opportunities and in-depth discussions.
Concrete, pictorial, abstract approach
We follow the ‘concrete, pictorial, abstract’ approach to learning new mathematical concepts. Across the school, teachers use concrete resources to support children’s understanding of mathematical concepts, for example, counters, Dienes, Numicon. Children will have the opportunity to use concrete objects to help them understand, explain and apply what they are doing learning. When they are comfortable solving problems with physical aids, they are given problems with pictures – usually pictorial representations. Then they are asked to solve problems where they only have the abstract i.e. numbers or other symbols . Building these steps across a lesson can help children better understand the relationship between numbers and the real world and helps secure their understanding of the mathematical concept they are learning.
Fluency, problem solving, reasoning
All our maths lessons will have elements of fluency, problem solving and reasoning.
Fluency: Children should be able to recall and apply mathematical knowledge both rapidly and accurately. Fluency can be misunderstood as just memorisation – it is far more than this. Frequent, carefully designed practice will help children to achieve a high level of fluency that will enable them to move confidently between contexts, recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics.
Problem solving: Mathematical problem solving is at the heart of our approach. Children are given a range of problem-solving contexts to give them a richer and deeper learning experience. Pupils combine different concepts to solve complex problems and apply their knowledge to real-life situations.
Reasoning: The way children speak and write about mathematics transforms their learning. A Mastery approach uses a carefully sequenced, structured approach to introduce and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. Children explain the mathematics in full sentences. They should be able to say not just what the answer is, but how they know it is correct or explain why it is incorrect. This is key to building mathematical language and reasoning skills.
Maths growth mindset and independence
We aim to encourage children to be independent learners who can select appropriate tools and strategies to solve mathematical problems.
The Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check is an annual check that Year 4 children have a good level of fluent times tables knowledge. The test is an online test with 25 questions that takes less than 5 minutes (children must answer each question within 6 seconds).The questions will be randomly selected by the testing programme from 121 different options, ranging from 2 x 2 up to 12 x 12. The test has been programmed to show children more questions from the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 times tables, as these are the times tables focused on in Years 3 and 4 ( 2s, 5s and 10s are a focus in Years 1 and 2).
Equality of opportunity
Abilities are neither fixed nor innate, but can be developed through practice, support, dedication and hard work. We aim to develop a positive mindset where mistakes are seen as opportunities for learning and perseverance is celebrated. Additional interventions are used, as appropriate, to close gaps in children’s learning.