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 important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Assessment For Learning in Maths
As a school we have recently piloted, and now put in place, a new way of working in maths based on work done on a system called "Assertive Mentoring".
The system works by firstly assessing the children in the class each term on the areas of learning for their year group. From these assessments areas of strengths and weaknesses are identified and this forms the basis of the teacher's planning - aiming to target the areas where there is the most need.
As a school we have gone a step further and pre teaching assessment sheets are produced by the teachers for each new area of learning. These are underdertaken prior to the teaching of this area of mathematics. These sheets have four or five progressively differentiated questions (Stations) on the specific area of mathematics to be covered. Incorrect answering of a Station 1 question would identify a low level of understanding of the mathematical area and correctly answering Station 3/4 questions would indicate a higher level of understanding. From the resulting analysis of the pre test the class teacher will group the children so that they start working at the station that is most appropriate for their own learning. For different topic areas in mathematics a child may start on different stations depending on their prior understanding of that area. This way of setting the groups is called "Fluid Grouping" and it targets learning needs in all areas of mathematics very well.
At the end of the unit of work the same pre assessment is undertaken as a post assessment - the children love doing these as they can then usually answer more questions due to the learning that has taken place. For example a child who could only do a Station 1 question before the unit of work may now be able to do a Station 3/4 question.
Aims and Objectives
We aim to give every child the opportunity to be successful and confident with mathematics. They should be provided with rich and enjoyable experiences related both to their individual needs and to the wider requirements of society. Each child should be able to think and solve problems mathematically by using the appropriate skills, concepts and knowledge. In order that children grow up appreciating the relevance of mathematics, we feel it is important to explain why and when mathematics is used in everyday life. Without constant reference to real life situations, mathematical concepts remain abstract and disjointed which at the very least runs the risk of ideas making little sense and, at worst, seeming pointless.
We aim for each child to:-
1. Have a positive attitude towards mathematics.
2. Have self-confidence in their ability to deal with mathematics.
3. Be able to work systematically, co-operatively and with perseverance.
4. Be able to think logically and independently.
5. Experience a sense of achievement regardless of age or ability.
6. Understand the appropriate underlying skills, concepts and knowledge of number, measurement, shape, space and handling data.
7. Be able to apply previously acquired concepts, skills, knowledge and understanding to new situations both in and out of school.
8. Understand and appreciate pattern and relationship in mathematics.
9. Be able to communicate with peers and adults, ideas, experiences and questions, clearly and fluently, using the appropriate mathematical language.
10. Be able to explore problems using the appropriate strategies, predictions and deductions.
11. Have equality of opportunity regardless of race, gender, or ability.
12. Be aware of the uses of mathematics beyond the classroom.
13. Encourage the use of mental calculations and efficient trategies to work out the answers.
For parents to:-
1. Be actively involved in their children’s mathematical learning both in school and at home.
2. Understand and support the school’s mathematics and homework policy and scheme of work
The maths calculation policy may hopefully help you to support your child at home. If you need any further help with this don’t hesitate to come in and ask your child’s class teacher for assistance.