Mr Scott is our Maths Curriculum leader. If you would like to know more about the Maths curriculum, please contact him at:
"Mathematics may not teach us to add love or subtract hate, but it gives us hope that every problem has a solution." –Anonymous
Maths is the science that deals with the logic of number, quantity, shape and arrangement. Maths is all around us, in everything we do. It helps us make sense of many of the puzzles and great questions in life – in past, present and future. It is the building block for everything in our daily lives, including mobile devices, architecture, art, money, engineering, and even sports.
It gives the Alvaston child a platform for understanding the world, and all it has to offer. It provides the tools and necessary skills to make connections, reason mathematically and bring about a sense of curiosity and enjoyment about numbers and its many connections in our lives.
Without it they would not develop their number sense. This key skill helps us to rationalise and make simple decisions necessary for many aspects of our daily lives. They would not develop the confidence to make calculated risks or to ‘aim high’ in their aspirations. Instead, they might find themselves stuck inside a comfort zone and avoid certain situations that might cause anxiety. This could also lead to a lack of financial literacy or restrict employment opportunities.
Maths lessons underpin our school’s values by providing opportunities to develop their Confidence, Motivation, Kindness and Respect.
Confidence: Developing confidence in maths in crucial. At Alvaston Juniors, we provide positive and constructive feedback to our children. We want to break down the barriers around ‘maths anxiety’. We encourage children to make mistakes, take mathematical risks and not be embarrassed by them but instead use them as learning opportunities. Our teachers model this and we encourage this methodology as part of the learning journey. Maths isn’t about being correct first time or every time, is about reasoning and problem solving and feeling a sense of pride and achievement when the solution presents itself.
Motivation: At Alvaston, we make maths purposeful, engaging and rewarding. We use a variety of platforms to express our maths. This could be working through a worded problem or calculation, using Purple Mash to develop digital literacy, Times Tables Rockstars to climb the rock ladder or using a variety of pictorial and concrete resources to compliment the learning. We understand our learners have different needs and we ensure they get a differentiated and scaffolded approach for their learning. We want our learners motivated, engaged and ready to face a challenge.
Kindness and Respect: These values are at the core of everything we do. In maths we adopt a collaborative approach to our learning. We model to our children how working in a team to problem solve creates fantastic results. Sharing or helping one another has many benefits. It is a great opportunity for children to embed and apply their mathematical concepts; it removes the stigma attached to the different rates at which our pupils learn. It creates a culture of shared responsibility on our learning journey. We respect each other’s opinions and views and investigate other lines of enquiry and thought through mathematical investigation and exploration as a community.
Our curriculum ensures that our children:
Develop fluency in facts, procedures and concepts. We ensure a varied and consistent approach to learning the fundamental skills in mathematical fluency. We ensure daily arithmetic is taught alongside our maths lessons, engage our children in Times Tables Rockstars and practise calculation strategies. This allows children to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
Can reason mathematically by exploring lines of enquiry. To be mathematical reasoners, our children will be able to reflect on solutions to problems and determine whether they make sense. This will develop the bridge necessary to problem solve more complex activities.
Can problem solve by applying their mathematical knowledge –developed through fluency and reasoning – to a range of increasingly challenging problems. They will develop links and use strategies to break down problems through investigation and perseverance.
Here at Alvaston, we reject the idea that some children ‘just can’t do maths’ and understand that many pupils have just developed –or inherited- a ‘fear of maths’. Our approach is one of positivity, embracing mistakes and a shared experience. It was important to us to develop a clear, engaging and inclusive whole-school approach. We have fully embraced and developed the ‘Mastery Approach’ here at Alvaston. We do not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach and instead draw upon a number of key resources such as White Rose, Maths No Problem and NCETM.
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) is a highly effective approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths in pupils. At Alvaston, we view CPA less as linear, but more triangular. To develop a secure and conceptual understanding of maths, pupils should be able to move between these three key areas at any point in their learning. This approach is particularly effective for both lower and higher attainers. We ensure our learners develop and practice their understanding of these three concepts.
A wide variety of strategies are used to develop children’s fluency in mathematics, increasing their speed and accuracy. Times Tables Rock Stars is one part of this. All children have a unique username and password so that they are able to access the site from both school and home on a range of devices. Multiplication knowledge is fundamental to understanding many areas of mathematics as they use multiplicative relationships. Some of these relationships are hard to grasp without fluent recall of multiplication tables.
The expectation is that all children, by the end of Year 4, should have a fluent and rapid recall of all times tables up to 12x 12.
Written practice is also a great way to learn as some children like writing things out as they learn. This involves writing the whole number sentence (3 x 2 = 6). This can be done in order, out of order, mixed up, using coloured pens or a host of other creative ways.
Another option is verbal practice. Even talking through times tables in any order will help children to develop mental strategies and increase the speed of recall. A great activity to practise in the car or even on the walk to school.
https://play.ttrockstars.com/auth/school/student/16931 - Times tables practice. Children with have their own username and password.
https://www.purplemash.com/sch/alvaston-junior - Our hub for remote learning. There are lots of maths activities and games to expore here. Children have their own username and password.
https://myminimaths.co.uk/ - My mini maths is a useful website for arithmetic practice. Organised by year group and topic. Includes teaching videos.
https://www.topmarks.co.uk/Search.aspx?Subject=16&AgeGroup=3 - Lots of fun games to play.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z826n39 - Information, videos and activities by topic.
https://nrich.maths.org/14600 - Games and activities to support math at home.
https://www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/daily10 - Daily 10. Great for arithmetic and mental maths practice.
https://whiterosemaths.com/homelearning/ - A selection of information, activities and learning videos for KS2.