What Maths looks like at St. Laurence
At St Laurence, we believe the purpose of mathematics is not solely to gain classroom based skills, but to develop enquiry and reasoning skills and inquisitive minds that will develop through life.
We want our children to understand, as they progress through the school, that maths is not only essential to everyday life, necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment but is also a fun and engaging experience.
We follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics and use White Rose Maths to support the planning of our maths lessons. We offer the children the opportunity to have varied and frequent practice of their maths skills with the focus on their ability to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately. Reasoning is a key area in all our lessons as our children need to be able to describe, explain, convince, justify and prove to be successful in this subject.
Our maths curriculum provides children to constantly revisit skills taught so that they become fluent in these areas, moving on to apply them in different ways. The teaching of mathematics contextualises skills so that children can relate to how they would be used in their everyday lives. Time is given, on building on a skill, to develop their own understanding of mathematics and explore patterns and different representations of number. Maths learning is challenging but is also differentiated carefully to ensure the correct manipulatives and tasks are appropriate to the learning level of the child.
Our programme of study 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.
Children are positive about maths lessons and build their resilience to be able to solve complex maths problems. Collaborative, partner and independent work allow for a range of dialogues on the maths skills taught and build a team work ethos of support and a growth mind-set.
Mathematical vocabulary is an essential part of each lesson and the children need to understand this within the area they are studying and be able to make rich connections across other areas within this subject. Each lesson provides children with the opportunity to reason through their ideas, use their mathematical language to explore a line of enquiry to solve routine and non-routine problems.
Maths support for parents
The Oxford University Press have developed this site to support parents in helping their children with mathematics. You’ll find lots of advice and support, games and activity ideas for how best to help your child develop as a mathematician. There’s also information on what is taught in primary school maths lessons, and what some of the ‘jargon’ means!
Playing Maths Games
There are lots of ways in which you can bring maths to life for your child through simple games and activities. Whether out shopping, using the context of money to help develop your child’s skills, or helping them to better understand measurement when baking or putting together the new rabbit’s hutch, there’s always an opportunity for a ‘maths moment’!
Children make progress best as mathematicians when they regularly repeat skills and practise them until they become embedded. This can be quite a long process sometimes, and so the use of the context of an exciting game or interesting activity can be highly motivating. In our experience, our children learn best when they are having fun and that’s what games are for!
Board games can be great for developing a child’s maths skills too! Playing these can be a really powerful way for young children to become comfortable with our number system, spotting patterns and literally playing with numbers.
Online Maths Activities
We make a lot of use of online maths games and activities in school, some of the other links below are our most popular.
Why not try some of them out and let us know what you think…?
Knowing times tables facts is crucially important to children’s progression in their mathematics education. Without a thorough understanding of multiplication and division facts, children frequently get ‘lost’ when it comes to do anything with fractions and any multiplication or division with larger numbers. Many mental maths activities and tests require a quick recall of multiplication and division facts. Children who are secure in their times tables knowledge are able to get to grips with trickier tasks straight away and are far more successful.
We have a big focus on times tables in school and use Times Tables Rock Stars (TTRS) to help us! TTRS is a fun and challenging programme that helps the children to master their tables.
Times Table Rock stars works on the premise that World Famous Rock musicians are the best at what they do because they have spent hours practising guitar chords, writing music or playing on the drums. It is just the same with times tables – all Times Tables Rock Stars need to do is practise and practise and practise.
Click here to read a Parents’ Guide to TTRS
Here is a Parents’ Guide to Times Tables which is packed full of other ways in which you can support your child with learning their tables!
Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFS)
To develop children’s fluency and mental maths skills, we use KIRFs (Key Instant Recall Facts) throughout school. KIRFS are a way of helping pupils to learn by heart, key facts and information which they need to have instant recall of.
KIRFs are designed to support the development of mental maths skills that underpin much of the maths work in our school. They are particularly useful when calculating, adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing. They contain number facts such as number bonds and times tables that need constant practise and rehearsal, so children can recall them quickly and accurately.
Instant recall of facts helps enormously with mental agility in maths lessons. When children move onto written calculations, knowing these key facts is very beneficial. For children to become more efficient in recalling them easily, they need to be practised frequently and for short periods of time.
Each half term, children will focus on a Key Instant Recall Fact (KIRF) in school and we share this with parents so they can be practised at home too.
We believe that – if the KIRFs are developed fully – children will be more confident with number work, understand its relevance, and be able to access the curriculum much more easily. They will be able to apply what they have learnt to a wide range of problems that confront us regularly.
Maths Curriculum Map