The National Curriculum says the purpose of studying maths in Primary School should be:
At Lark Hill, we work hard from day one to try and instill in our children a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about maths. We want our learners to be engaged, independent problem solvers who apply themselves with resilience to their learning. We work collaboratively and support one another to develop our understanding. When we find things difficult, we know there are things in the classroom to help us out such as the equipment, the working wall, our books and our buddies. We only ask our teacher for help when we have tried to find our own way first.
Not all children learn things the same way, or see the world the same way. We celebrate this in maths, encouraging the children to find their own solutions and discuss and challenge each other about what is more or less efficient. We believe that all children can be successful in maths; it is our job to find the right structures, visualisations, experiences and contexts to support them to achieve that success.
We teach a mastery approach to maths and follow the same small steps of progress in each year group to help ensure consistency for the children in different classes. We chose to follow this structure of content, as it sits on a stable foundation of secure place value. Why ask a child to add and subtract 3 digits numbers, before they have mastered what a three digit number really is? Once children are firm in their understanding of place value, they will move on to applying this understanding in the context of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. These skills will be revisited and repeated throughout the other strands such as measure, money, time, fractions and decimals. There will be opportunities for problem solving and reasoning threaded throughout to broaden their understanding and to help them make links in their learning.
Although all classes are following the same small steps, teachers select appropriate strategies and resources to ensure this meets the needs of their own class, and will progress at the pace their class is ready for. There will always be the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding at each level, for those who have mastered the concepts, whilst ensuring enough time is spent to allow the class to secure and develop their understanding through concrete exposure, visualisation and mental and written calculation strategies.