Purpose of study
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
There are links to worksheets and help guides at the bottom of this page.
Dear God, May we, through your blessings, add purity to the world, subtract evil from our lives, multiply Your good news, and divide Your gifts and share them with others. Amen.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that our children:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which children need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are organised into apparently distinct domains, but children are taught and encouraged to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
The expectation is that the majority of our children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress are based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Children who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material are given help and support to consolidate their understanding, before moving on.
Information and communication technology (ICT)
Calculators are not used as a substitute for good written and mental arithmetic. They are therefore only introduced near the end of key stage 2 to support pupils’ conceptual understanding and exploration of more complex number problems, if written and mental arithmetic are secure. We use ICT tools support and extend children’s learning.
The national curriculum for mathematics reflects the importance of spoken language in children’s development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof. They are assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as other, and teachers ensure that children build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
The programmes of study for mathematics are set out year-by-year – see below. We plan children’s learning using the National Curriculum statutory requirements, and the guidance notes. Each year groups’ Mathematics skills, knowledge and understanding are taught to the children in blocks, which are revisited and built upon termly, as we believe in the importance of children consolidating their learning.
We place considerable emphasis on mental arithmetic, including times tables. Children are taught to use written calculations when they are ready and the format these take is explained in our calculations policy.
When learning new aspects of mathematics, children are given the opportunity to use a variety of learning strategies e.g. use of practical equipment, talk for learning, visualisation, independent activities, paired tasks, group work.
By the end of Year 6, our children are expected to know, apply and understand the knowledge, skills and processes specified in the Key Stage 2 programme of study.
Lower key stage 2 – years 3 and 4
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that children become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This also ensures that children develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.
At this stage, children develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching also ensures that children draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It ensures that they can use measuring instruments with increasing accuracy and make connections between measure and number.
We consider multiplication tables and related division facts to be extremely important and aim that by the end of year 4, children will have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. Children should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.
Upper key stage 2 – years 5 and 6
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that children extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This develops the connections that children make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.
At this stage, children develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, children are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures consolidates and extends knowledge developed in number. Teaching also ensures that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.
By the end of year 6, our aim is that children will be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.
Children should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.
Provision for More and Most Able Children
We plan a variety of opportunities to extend, enrich and enhance the learning of our more and most able children, so that they achieve to the best of their ability and make the best possible progress. Our approach to marking children’s work provides a further dimension of challenge.