Maths is a much loved subject and an area of strength at St Francis. From the moment they come into nursery, children are supported and challenged as appropriate with mathematical games, activities and problems so that by the end of year 6, pupils will be confident and competent mathematicians. Although there are SATs in years 2 and 6, each year is important in its own right and sets the foundations for the next year to build on. Mathematics in the Early Years Foundation Stage will focus on counting and beginning to calculate simple addition and subtraction problems. Shape and measure are also explored here. In Key stage 1, children develop their skills begun in the foundation stage and should leave year 2 with a strong understanding of place value. In both Key Stage 1 and 2, a strong emphasis is placed on security of mental and written calculation methods. In year 3 and 4 there is a real focus on times tables, which helps provide children with a strong base for future learning on fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.
About the curriculum
At St Francis we use FOCUS education mathematics to plan and assess our children’s work. Each week will have a different focus, which can then be revisited at other points in the year to consolidate understanding. Our curriculum is based on becoming really good at whatever area of maths the children are learning so that they become a ‘master’ of the topic. Through this approach, children can build on their original learning and take it as far as they can go to truly understand what they are doing and not to just learn a method. It may be very impressive for a year 1 child to be able to use long division, yet it is of much more benefit if they can become really adept at adding and subtracting numbers to 20 for example. Each year aims to build on previous learning: the children soon find that maths has so many links to help their understanding. A typical maths lesson at St Francis will be fun, engaging, structured and provide opportunities for collaborative learning.
Every Friday, children are given chance to practise their year group’s key objectives with a ‘Let’s Practise’ challenge. It is a session for children to get help from both teachers and their classmates alike and witness their progress as they face similar questions each week. The aim: get 10/10 and show confidence in some very key areas of maths.
The four operations
Children’s learning away from school can play a vital role in their development. The good news for the children is that it does not involve hours of work! A couple of focused activities lasting 15mins can make a real difference.
Here is a list of ideas that children can try at home:
- Use the espresso website or youtube to visit an area the children are currently working on in school to reinforce learning
- Times tables practice (particularly the division facts!)
- The four operations (see tutorials above)
- Learning mathematical vocabulary for your year group
- Go shopping and use money
- Make something by measuring ingredients
- Be in charge of reading the bus/train timetable
- Draw using shapes
- Most importantly….read! If children can read well, then they will have greater success with maths problems.
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