The Importance of Mathematics
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that is essential to everyday life. It is critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and in the majority of employment forms. An understanding of the world, ability to reason mathematically and appreciation of maths are provided through a high-quality mathematics education.
At Leftwich, all children are entitled to access all aspects of the curriculum, enabling them to achieve confidence and competence – ‘mastery’ – in mathematics. The fundamental idea behind mastery is that all children develop a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning - this is central to the planning and provision of mathematics at Leftwich. Learning is carefully sequenced, taking into account what has been taught before, and what knowledge and skills are needed for the next stage of our children’s mathematical development. Mathematics is purposefully planned to be taught explicitly across the wider curriculum in subjects such as (but not limited to) science, history and geography.
Four key aims rest at the heart of our mathematics curriculum:
- To become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics - progressing to application of skills through complex problem solving, so that children may recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- To reason mathematically through seeking relationships between concepts and developing arguments using mathematical language.
- To solve problems so that mathematics can be applied by breaking down problems and persevering in seeking solutions.
- To be able to communicate mathematical ideas by speaking and listening, reading and writing.
By achieving these aims, our children will leave Year 6 as knowledgeable, skilful and confident mathematicians ready for the next phase of their learning.
At Leftwich we place a strong emphasis on the key skills which link all curriculum areas, particularly the development of speaking and listening. Our planning for mathematics is in line with the Early Years Curriculum and National Curriculum 2014 guidelines. Medium term plans are based on the National Curriculum for maths and the White Rose document. Each group progresses through the school with a programme of work that suits their abilities, yet challenges them. The Calculation Policy gives a clear overview of the progression of calculation strategies, however the order in which these are taught within each year group may change, depending on each cohort. For example, Year 2 children may learn the partitioning method for addition before the ‘empty number line’ method. However, other cohorts may understand these strategies in the other order. Equally, ‘back tracking’ through strategies in order to embed skills may not be appropriate. For example, not all children should return to the ‘empty number line’ method at the start of each year group if formal written methods are well understood. The progression of reasoning skills across the school is also outlined in unit specific documents.
The use of Information and Communication Technology across the Curriculum
- Good written and mental arithmetic skills are very important and ICT, e.g. calculators, should not substitute these skills. Once written and mental arithmetic are secure, ICT may be used to support pupils’ understanding of concepts and exploring more complex number problems.
- When appropriate, pupils will be given opportunities to apply and develop their ICT capability to support their learning in mathematics.