The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
- are able to reason mathematically
- can solve problems by applying mathematics
At St Martin’s, these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the beauty and power of Mathematics.
At St Martin’s maths is taught following the Whiterose planning framework. This ensures rigorous coverage of all areas of the new curriculum on a block by block basis, although teachers are encouraged to not adhere rigidly to the daily tasks.
Teachers adapt their planning to suit the needs of their children, and in line with our understanding of how to support children’s understanding in maths. Teaching is supplemented with other resources, for example, Hamilton Trust.
Teachers’ understanding of maths is supported by our School Calculation Policy, which has been adapted to ensure clear progression in the four key areas of calculating. At St Martin’s we know it is important to secure children's number understanding before moving children on to formal methods of calculating - and so you may see children using a variety of informal methods to calculate, which you can find within our Calculation Policy Documents. These policies can be found at the bottom of this page.
We understand, at St Martins, that children best understand maths when connections are made between four key representations, and we use the following model in all our maths training.
Our teaching of maths is underpinned by the interconnectedness of each representation – we provide children with images like Numicon, Cuisinaire and Base 10 to support their learning combined with the language and symbols of maths, alongside a contextually appropriate experience.
Teaching fractions may include the use of Cuisenaire for a visual image; the written form of fractions; the language of division, numerator and denominator, and the context of sharing between groups of children at a party – what fraction do they each receive?
Whilst your child will use many different resources in maths the following three are key across the school.
Cuisenaire Rods allow children to explore the relationship between rods, without ascribing each rod a value. The use of the rods enables early understanding of number eg greater than less than; double and half; three times bigger; it also allows an understanding of algebra from an early age where children are happy to replace a letter for a digit eg Orange (O) is double Yellow (Y) – perhaps written as Y x 2 = O or Y + Y = O.
Numicon allows children to see the one more one less value of consecutive numbers; the odd/even pattern is obvious; the tiles can be overlaid so children can explore how many 2s are in 7 and the remainder can be easily seen. Numicon also allows exploration of equivalence further up the school where children can explore the relationship between halving and doubling in multiplication.
Children across the school use this image to support their understanding of our number system, exploring the multiplicative relationship between each place value – 1s, 10s, 100s, etc. Base 10 is valuable in giving children a sense of the size of a number so that where a number has identical digits eg 222, children understand that each 2 has a different value depending on the place it holds in the number.
In addition we use Nrich materials to provide challenges to all children and TT Rockstars supports the embedding of multiplication tables.
Where children struggle we have support staff trained in Maths Interventions like Counting to Calculate, Mind the Gap and Number Stacks, which help to secure the core understanding of number needed to be able to develop more mathematical understanding.
Teachers have developed teaching to support the rapid recall of key facts through ‘fast brain’ activities, and signpost children to ‘slow brain’ thinking to highlight the need to reason mathematically. Daily Number Talks support the retention of key facts, and the development of fluency across a range of skills.
The majority of children at St Martins enjoy maths. Those who have been learning maths with us for some time are successful, have a growth mindset, can bounce back from errors and are able to reason mathematically. Secondary schools report back that children from St Martins have a secure grasp of mathematics when they join them.