It is only too easy to view Mathematics as a jumble of numbers and meaningless symbols, but this really couldn’t be further from the truth. Soon after birth, we are already able to recognise a change in quantities and in shapes. We are all instant mathematicians! Our understanding of Mathematics is fundamental to our understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and financial literacy. With this in mind, it is clear how important Mathematics is in providing an insight into the workings of our world; fostering essential problems solving skills and equipping us with the knowledge required for future employment. At Billesley, this journey begins in the Early Years setting.
During their time in Early Years, the teaching of Maths is delivered through their family group. This is then followed by child- initiated learning opportunities and assessed through ongoing observations and learning conversations. Maths opportunities are practical, physical and hands on, in order to support children’s physical development; we take every opportunity for children to engage in their learning outdoors.
As children enter Year 1, the structure of ‘how’ and ‘what’ they learn begins to change, and they begin to follow the National Curriculum. This is the beginning of their journey into Number, Measures, Geometry and Statistics; A journey which they will remain on through to Year 6 and beyond.
We teach Maths through a 3 stage process (where appropriate), beginning by using concrete objects and manipulatives to explain new maths phenomena. This approach then evolves into pictorial methods, where children are taught ways to express their understanding using pictorial representations of key facts and processes. Only when children are secure with concrete and pictorial, do they move on to using written methods and symbols. The abstract stage. This approach ensures that children’s understanding is embedded and they gain a deeper procedural knowledge.
A typical Maths lesson at Billesley always starts with a hook; engaging children by creating excitement for learning through stimulating contexts. Teachers then begin the process of effective questioning, modelling and ongoing assessment for learning. Maths is taught daily and children are given the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and apply them independently. Their work is assessed each day and children are given steps to help address any gaps or provide further challenge, which enables children to make ongoing progress.
Children are assessed at the end of each half term. Teachers use a broad range of assessment tools, including standard tests, weekly assessment books, daily maths books and teacher assessment. These tools allow teachers to effectively monitor progress, target gaps in children’s understanding and provide a tailored approach to their daily practice.
Our aim at Billesley is for all children to have an equitable playing field in developing a passion for maths and to be the best they can be. Every effort is made so that children leave for Secondary School as fluent mathematicians; with an ability to reason and explain choices; to solve more complex problems and to achieve in maths commensurate with their full potential.