At St Ignatius we encourage a positive attitude towards Mathematics as fluency in all aspects of the subject is an essential life skill. We try to provide real life experiences for children to use their maths skills, embed their understanding and deepen their learning.
The maths curriculum aims to ensure children:
- Are fluent in all areas of mathematics
- Can reason mathematically
- Can problem solve.
As part of our maths curriculum Key Stage 1 and 2 are taught:
- Number – Place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals (Y4,5 & 6), percentages (Y5 & 6) ratio and proportion (Y6)
- Geometry – Properties of shape
- Geometry – Position and direction
- Statistics (excluding Y1)
- Ratio and Proportion (Y6)
- Algebra (Y6)
All children are taught maths through a ‘concrete – pictorial – abstract’ process (CPA). The children start their maths journey by exploring ‘concrete’ maths by manipulating physical objects such as counters, beads, weights and shapes to investigate a problem. While in this process, the children are encouraged to draw diagrams or pictures to support their ‘concrete’ experiences. These may take the form of informal jottings and images or the more formal pictorial representations of a part-part-whole model or bar model. The next stage in the learning journey is the ‘abstract’ in which children make the connections between the concrete and pictorial to find solutions. Children are encouraged to make connections in all areas of maths and to reason about these connections.
‘Real things and structured images enable children to understand the abstract.
The concrete and the images are a means for children to understand the symbolic so it’s important to move between all modes to allow children to make connections.’
Morgan, D. (2016)
As children progress throughout school, they are encouraged to be more independent learners and to access their own chosen manipulatives to aid their CPA mathematical journey. We believe it is important that all children have access to concrete resources, no matter of ability or year group.
In our school we focus on the importance of making connections to support mental calculations and in turn, reasoning and problem solving. We have had a focus on the use of Times Tables and the learning of other number facts such as number bonds and doubles in order to help and support problem solving.
Where possible, children will be given opportunities to apply their skills in real life situations and in other subject areas across the curriculum.
In Years 2 – 6 the children use Times Table Rockstars to develop their understanding of multiplication and division up to 12 x 12.
What can you do to help and support your child with developing their mathematical skills?
In order to become fluent in maths, children need regular practice. They also need to understand the value of learning maths by engaging in practical mathematical activities with positive attitudes.
Below are a few ideas of how to engage your child in maths at home and how to support them on their mathematical journey:
- Allow children to take part in baking, including measuring with a discussion of weights, measures and scales.
- Measure your child’s and their sibling’s height on a chart. They can see how they are growing and it would be a lovely keepsake.
- Have a clock face in your house and discuss the time with your child e.g. when the minute hand gets to 12 and the hour hand is at 5 it is 5 o’clock, this is dinner time etc. They can also be given time limit games to understand how long a given time is.
- Play board games, battleships, card games, dominoes etc. so children are counting and seeing numbers regularly.
- Encourage your child to use apps suggested by school such as Sumdog and Times Table Rockstars.
- Allow your child to see money and give them the opportunity to ‘buy things’ either in a make believe shop in your home or in a real life situation.
- Going up the stairs – counting in 1’s, 2’s 3’s etc. according to their year groups expectations.
- Playing with lego/duplo to create structures or junk modelling and talking about the shapes used.
- Creating art work, talking about the different shapes, colour and patterns. Could they make a symmetrical pattern?
- Shopping – children to work out how much something will cost, how much change they will get etc. They could also discuss the items bought, which is the heaviest, lightest etc.
White Rose Maths have created some useful parent videos explaining how maths is taught now. They can be found at https://whiterosemaths.com/for-parents/maths-with-michael/