We are teaching maths to children in and for the 21st century. We teach so that children are numerate but that they can solve problems. We now teach in a more “hands on” way, using more practical resources. Children’s own methods to solve problems are valued. By using their own methods, often using jottings, children can solve real life mathematical problems beyond their formal mathematical knowledge. Real life problems provide a purpose for mathematics. We tend to take longer in teaching the initial stages of a concept to develop understanding. Children are then moved onto effective methods as their understanding becomes evident. Where there are different effective strategies to use, children are encouraged to find the best strategy for them to solve a particular problem. This may mean that different children will have used different methods and all effective methods are valued.
Every child is taught maths for about an hour every day. Generally, the lesson starts with a mental/oral session. This may be in preparation for the main part of the lesson or may be reviewing previous work. Each lesson is differentiated to accommodate different abilities. The targets for each lesson are created and discussed with the children under the headings “must, could and challenge”. The main teaching part happens next, with activities for the children to complete either individually or collaboratively. At the end of the lesson, there is a plenary, to discuss the targets of the lesson or review ready for the next lesson.
Marking is rigorous. Younger children have books marked with the child alongside where possible. This means work can be discussed and questions asked orally. As they progress through the school, comments are made to which the children do respond. A short target question is sometimes set individually for the child to complete before embarking on the next lesson.
As all children progress though the school, we hope they will be able to share their enthusiasm and enjoyment of maths with their parents!