Mathematics At Westward
INTRODUCTION AND AIMS:
Mathematics equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways.
Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. With this in mind, we endeavour to ensure that pupils at Westward develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them throughout their further study and into adult life.
At Westward we have high expectations of all our pupils.
Mathematics is an ongoing everyday occurrence and we aim to help each individual pupil to build confidence, understand, enjoy and apply at each level of progress, mathematical concepts and language.
Practical activities will be followed by consolidation in the form of written activities where appropriate, investigations, discussion, the use of rhymes, songs and stories and web based resources such as Purple Mash.
Numeracy is a proficiency which involves confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It requires an understanding of the number system, a repertoire of computational skills and an inclination and ability to solve number problems in a variety of contexts. Numeracy also demands practical understanding of ways in which information is gathered by counting and measuring, and is presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.
We aim for all our pupils to become numerate and to;
- Have a sense of the size of the number and where it fits into the number system.
- Know by heart, number facts such as number bonds, multiplication tables, doubles and halves.
- Use what they know by heart to figure out answers mentally.
- Calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and with pencil and paper, drawing on a range of calculation strategies.
- Recognise when it is appropriate to use a calculator and be able to do so effectively.
- Make sense of number problems, including non-routine problems and recognise the operations needed to solve them.
- Explain their methods and reasoning using correct mathematical terms
- Judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary.
- Suggest suitable units for measuring and make sensible estimates of measurements.
- Explain and make predictions from the numbers in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.
- Develop spatial awareness and an understanding of the properties of 2D and 3D shapes.
Pupils are provided with a variety of opportunities to develop and extend their mathematical skills in and across each year group of the primary phase.
Lessons begin with a mental/oral starter followed by a main teaching activity and a plenary session. The teaching of mathematics at Westward provides for:
- Group work
- Paired work
- Whole class teaching
- Individual work
Pupils engage in
- The development of mental strategies
- Written methods
- Practical work
- Investigational work
- Problem solving
- Mathematical discussion
- Consolidation of basic skills and number facts
In the years leading up to the senior school exams, pupils in Years 5 and 6 (Spring Term onwards) are streamed in ability groups.
At Westward we recognise the importance of establishing a secure foundation in mental calculation and recall of number facts before standard written methods are introduced at the top of the Lower School.
Mathematics contributes to many subjects and it is important the children are given opportunities to apply and use mathematics in real contexts.
Time is also found in other subjects for pupils to develop their numeracy skills. E.g measuring in Science and collecting and presenting data in History and Geography.
We endeavour at all times to set work that is challenging., motivating and encourages the pupils to talk about what they have been doing.
Each class has a Maths Challenge area where pupils can access a variety of mathematical extension activities and challenges. For Year 5 & 6 the Maths Challenge area is situated in Year 5.
( See individual Schemes of Work for each year group for curriculum coverage.)
Assessment is regarded as an integral part of teaching and learning and is a continual process. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to assess all the pupils in their class.
At Westward we are continually assessing our pupils and recording their progress. We see assessment as an integral part of the teaching process and strive to make our assessment purposeful, allowing us to match the correct level of work to the needs of the pupils, thus benefiting the pupils and ensuring progression.
Information for assessment will be gathered in various ways:
- By talking to the children
- Observing their work
- Analysing test results and end of term PUMA tests
Teachers will use these assessments to plan further work.