Mathematics

Mathematics

Children have a mathematics lesson most days. During these lessons they learn new skills and knowledge. Subsequently teachers look to find opportunities, both within these lessons and in other areas of learning, to apply the knowledge and skills they have learnt to ‘real life’ contexts. So, for example, they will learn how to record information in charts and graphs during their scientific enquiry work. We believe that it is crucially important for children to understand the relevance of mathematics to their lives.

Mathematics lessons frequently start with children doing daily mental arithmetic exercises. This helps them learn to calculate in their heads. The aim is to develop automation so that pupils can immediately recall important facts. By the time pupils reach Year 6 the mathematics curriculum is divided into nine areas:

  • Number and place value
  • Number – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Number – fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Algebra
  • Measurement
  • Geometry – properties of shapes
  • Geometry – position and direction
  • Statistics

Earlier on there are fewer component parts. So, for example, early in the journey, in Year 1 children study:

  • Number and place value
  • Number – multiplication and division
  • Number – fractions
  • Measurement
  • Geometry – properties of shapes
  • Geometry – position and direction

Parents frequently state that they are uncertain how to support their children because ‘ they might get confused as we learnt it a different way when we were at school’.  The following four documents provide clear guidance on how we teach the four operations:

Written methods for addition of whole numbers

Written methods for subtraction of whole numbers

Written methods for multiplication of whole numbers

Written methods for division of whole numbers

Progression in the use of written calculation methods (extensive, detailed document)

Want to see how we teach it? The short videos below explain how Year 2 teachers teach some of the important skills in number. Further films will be added in the weeks to come (posted April 2016).

Number bonds to 20 – Part 2

Adding by partitioning part 1

Adding by partitioning part 2

Child demonstration – Adding by partitioning part 2

Teacher – Adding 3 single digit numbers

Number bonds to 20 – Part 1

Teacher – Finding the difference

Adding 2, 2 digit numbers using an empty number line


Some other films showing how we teach some of the key skills.

Addition by partitioning

Adding single digit numbers

Subtraction by counting back

Subtraction by finding the difference

The following document is designed for pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 who are performing below average in mathematics. It outlines key, fundamental knowledge that must be secure if further success is to follow: number bonds; odd and even number recognition; multiplication tables; halving; doubling; near doubles and other basic calculation strategies.

Mental arithmetic skills book