Too many people have not been able to see ‘the poetry of logical ideas’ during their own learning of maths at school. Too many people say they cannot do maths or they hate it. I am one of those people- now leading maths. The satisfaction of seeing patterns and mathematical connections has been lost. The desire to ensure that ALL children are confident, competent mathematicians who enjoy maths is our goal on our mathematical teaching and learning journey, here at Fairburn.
The diagram above aims to show how our current approach to mathematical teaching and learning is structured although it is a process we continually refine.
More recently, we have incorporated the Number Fun approach to teaching and learning across school.
Please see the link below to Number Fun, written by Dave Godfrey- a consultant and practising maths teacher who is loved by all children
What does teaching and learning actually look like?
All children have a taught, daily maths lesson. This starts as 15 – 20mins in Foundation Stage in the Autumn Term but increases over the year. Maths teaching is reinforced through independent challenges within the classroom.
In the link below, Dave Godfrey talks to parents of Foundation Stage children about preparing to come to school.
Here is a link to information about four key maths ideas taught in Foundation Stage.
Years 1 – 6
Y1 children are taught separately to Foundation Stage. Y2 & 3 children have lessons lasting 60 minutes and are also taught in discreet year groups. Y4 & 5 & 6 have hour long lessons and are taught in a combination of whole class, single and mixed 4 – 5 or 5 – 6 groupings depending on the concept being taught and the needs of the children. Additional time is allocated for pupils in all classes who have struggled to understand a concept and need additional support so that they do not fall behind their peers.
All teaching is based on a song/story/context to help pupils’ understanding as well as a Concrete- Pictorial- Abstract approach. Manipulatives (equipment) are used alongside visual imagery to learn a new skill/concept. They practise using the equipment before progressing to drawing it and then finally, they can work without it. The equipment acts as a scaffold that is gradually removed. Throughout, the emphasis is on the pupil working independently and logically, gaining strategies to check their own work. Pupils’ understanding is consistently checked by staff through questioning and by the children themselves being able to explain their working and reasoning. End of unit assessments feed into the assessment process. Parents receive termly progress reports and books go home for parents to look prior to termly parent consultations.
Through this process, we believe that children learn to systematically see patterns in numbers and the relationships between the different areas of maths, drawing connections which lead to a deeper level of understanding. They can see the ‘poetry’ of ideas.
Please see below for information about your child’s learning. This is an overview of the topics taught in each year group.
Discussions with children show that they enjoy maths and think that it is fun. In maths lessons, all children are engaged and keen to explain what they have learnt. They say they enjoy the Number Fun songs and stories because they help with their understanding.
Here are some of their thoughts:
“We have lots of equipment and we can choose from the shelf to help us with our maths problems”. (Charlie-Y2)
“I like times tables troopers because it helps me to learn my tables and it is fun!”. (Amaya- Y2)
“I have used Numicon to learn how to divide and now I can do it in my head”. (Max- Y2)
We want all children to know their tables because they are an important foundation of mathematical learning along with number bonds. Children in Class 1 and 2 have dedicated weekly lessons, learning times tables and homework is preparation for a tables test each Friday. As well as associating each times table with a context/song, children also spend time understanding the visual representations using arrays.
For children who struggle to learn times tables through memory, we strongly encourage drawing the answer using an array. The picture below shows this and details some activities we would do in class.
If your child, is struggling to learn their tables, please have a chat with us so we can suggest resources and strategies. Please also see the section on ‘Times Tables’ in the Parent Information section as well as the section about Dyslexia.
Here is Dave Godfrey talking to parents about learning times tables.