Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected 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.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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
Maths at Biggin Hill Primary School
Children at Biggin Hill School are taught Maths daily as a whole class and in a variety of styles. The expectation is that the majority of children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils' understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. As the children progress through the school, they develop their skills in: number, properties of number, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, decimals and percentages, ratio and proportion, Algebra, measures and geometry, properties of shapes, position and direction.
The Children in the Foundation Stage are beginning to build mathematical concepts, skills and knowledge. They are curious about their world, and are motivated, enthusiastic and engaged by the mathematical experiences they are offered and those they initiate for themselves. Home-school mathematics links are an important part of Foundation Stage children's experiences.
At Biggin Hill School we provide opportunities to link mathematics to practical experiences and play, and to their everyday lives, helping children to see mathematics in the real world. Children's mathematical experience is a combination of child-initiated activity and systematic adult-directed mathematics teaching, which they receive every day.
Children's mathematics is developed through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. Children become involved in planned experiences that are mostly based on real-life situations. They have time for sustained concentration. They learn mathematics in a context that promotes their personal, social, emotional, physical and intellectual development.
Key concepts in EYFS
Early learning goal - Numbers
Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number.
Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer.
They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
Early learning goal - Shape, space and measures
Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems.
They recognise, create and describe patterns.
They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
Key stage 1 - Years 1 and 2
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money. By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency.
The children are taught a variety of strategies to record their calculations including: partitioning, using an empty number line and arrays.
Lower Key Stage 2 - Years 3 and 4
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in Lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number. By the end of Year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. Pupils 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 to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.
Pupils should 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, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure 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, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.
Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.
To Enrich the Curriculum
Biggin Hill School provide many ‘real-life’ contexts for the children to develop and apply their maths skills. Pupils are encouraged to solve problems, both collaboratively and independently, and are provided with a rich learning environment that allows them to experiment with different mathematical ways of thinking. We believe children benefit from a wide range of enrichment activities using their mathematical skills; these include interpreting data during Science lessons and using grid references in Geography lessons. The Children have also taken part in problem solving activities whilst celebrating World Maths Day.