At Buryfields Infant School, we strive to inspire pupils with a love of mathematics. Setting a positive example, we work to develop their confidence in and awareness of the subject. Wherever possible, we relate the children’s mathematical learning to meaningful real life experiences. Pupils are encouraged to see maths in the world around them and given practical opportunities to apply their developing knowledge and skills. Enjoyment and understanding are key, as is the solid foundation of a bank of skills and the confidence to be able to use them.
Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
We have been part of the planning group with Hart maths leaders group who have created maths planning for local schools. This has been well structured and planned to incorporate the new and challenging learning objectives within the National Curriculum 2014. We also use The New National Curriculum which provides detailed guidance for the implementation of the National Curriculum for mathematics. This ensures continuity and progression in the teaching of mathematics through Key Stage 1. The New National Curriculum states the importance of children learning to be fluent, reason mathematically and apply their skills in a range of problem solving contexts. In the Early Years Foundation Stage the curriculum is guided by the Early Learning Goals.
Mathematical experiences are provided every day in the form of lessons, group activities, mental and oral sessions, resources, games or displays. Lessons may incorporate whole class teaching, flexible group work, independent learning or problem solving. Varied tasks include both open ended and closed questions which probe and encourage deeper thinking skills. Progression will be carefully planned, constantly evaluated and appropriate to each individual.
To develop qualities important in young mathematicians, the children are motivated and supported to be organised, open minded, persevere and think ‘outside the box’. They are given a toolkit of skills, practical and personal resources, understanding and vocabulary to use and explore. This toolkit is added to as children progress throughout the school. Practical maths resources are always available for children to select and use independently.
Staff ensure all pupils are provided with a wide range of experiences to use and apply maths across the curriculum. These may include practical data collection and handling, use of measurement in cooking and Design and Technology, positional language and measurement in Physical Education, practical problems to solve from a geographical or historical topic being studied. Starting points can come from a variety of stimuli, such as stories, pictures, items in the sand or water trays, resources in the outdoor area, letters from a character or a practical problem needing to be solved. Children are encouraged to assume the mantle of the expert.
The introduction of playground activities during lunchtime promotes the use of maths at playtime, with skipping, hopscotch and clapping games each providing opportunities to use maths skills and vocabulary. This is supported by all adults in school, including lunchtime supervisors.
Teachers continue to make the maths curriculum relevant and accessible to all. As a staff, we are working to build upon our provision of real life experiences and purpose for learning, making use of our grounds and the local area to enhance mathematical development.