The new Mathematics curriculum is now statutory for all Year groups. 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 investigate) and also to talk knowledgeably about mathematical working (reasoning).
At Mount Stewart, we value the principles behind the Mastery approach to teaching Maths. We quickly identify children who need support to achieve their curriculum objectives and provide high quality support in personalised intervention sessions by Teachers and Teaching Assistants. Where there is a TA in class, they will support different groups throughout a lesson. The depth of learning principles allow children to enjoy a range of investigations, activities and games, which really consolidates their understanding and ensures they are best prepared for their next academic year. In this way, they are applying their understanding and skills in different (and often real-life) contexts.
At Mount Stewart teachers use a range of resources to support children throughout their Maths learning, including when learning new content. 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. This does not just happen during children’s early years, but throughout their Maths learning. For example, Upper Key Stage 2 children would use Base10 resources to ‘see’ calculations with decimals before being able to ‘do’ the Maths without them. Images are also a key feature of our Maths teaching and learning. They support children to understand the Maths (when it is related to real life) and indeed children are encouraged to ‘show’ the Maths by drawing their own images. (Can they draw 3 x 5 to demonstrate an understanding of arrays.) They also invent and solve their own word problems from a range of mathematically rich illustrations. The Bar Method 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.
Being able to talk about Maths, explain what is happening and use it to solve problems is a very important part of Maths at Mount Stewart. Children are encouraged to talk about their Maths every session and there is written evidence of this in books. Problem solving, activities and investigations are a key part of a sequence of Maths lessons; again, this is evident within the children’s Maths books.
For those Parents who may like to support their child in their maths work at home, why not try logging on to My Maths by clicking on the link below, which is full of support on teaching mathematical concepts, games and activities.