An Introduction to the Maths Coordinator, Mrs Spiller
I feel that we need to teach our children that Maths is part of our everyday lives and is an invaluable tool as we grow up. It is important that our children enjoy Maths and that we aim to build true mathematicians; children who can look for links between numbers, whether this be identifying related multiplication and division facts, noticing near doubles when adding or being able to split numbers, into easier to work with values, when solving problems.
Why is Maths Important here at Winnersh?
We asked the children of Winnersh why Maths was so important. Here are some of their responses:
Maths is important because we use it in everything we do, every day.
When you have to catch a train and need to read the timetable.
When you get a job you will need to know your times tables, division and decimals.
If you work, you need to know what time to get there so you aren’t late. When you are driving, you need to know the speed limit.
Because you need to pay for things.
You need to know about angles for scoring a goal.
If you wanted to be a scientist, you need to know halves or sixths or you’ll make your experiments wrong.
If you buy something expensive, you will know how much change you need to get instantly.
At Winnersh, our curriculum has been designed to make mathematics relevant and challenging. It helps to develop true mathematicians who are ready to move on to the next chapter of their lives with resilience, confidence and self-belief. Through the teaching of well planned, creative and engaging lessons, our children develop their mathematical skills and knowledge at their own pace, in a safe and supportive environment. Rich connections are built up over time to ensure that our children develop fluency, are able to reason with number and solve increasingly sophisticated mathematical problems. A ‘can do’ attitude and a fostered curiosity of mathematics ensure that children find their adventure through Mathematics enjoyable and rewarding.
How do we Teach Maths at Winnersh?
A ‘mastery’ approach has been adapted and implemented at Winnersh for planning, delivery and engagement with mathematics. At Winnersh, a concept is deemed mastered when learners can represent it in multiple ways, can communicate solutions using mathematical language and can independently apply the concept to new problems.
To ensure that all children have the opportunities they need to master a concept, we think clearly about the steps we use to teach skills and build knowledge, ensuring that links between previous learning are made. We react quickly, reviewing the progress of the children and adapting our planning where needed. This ensures that all children have the knowledge and skills they need to complete mastery challenges. Using a range of problem solving resources including ‘Oxford Owl Mastery and Beyond’, ‘Busy Ant – Stretch and Challenge’ and ‘Maths Mastery with Greater Depth’, children apply their skills in a range of contexts.
When planning for objective coverage, teachers are expected to take the following mastery strategies into account:
- Small steps
- Interactive style of delivery that creates engagement and purpose
- Consider key questions and the progression of mathematical vocabulary
- Implementing the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract approach (CPA) approach to introducing, exploring and applying mathematical concepts
- Modelling all skills and approaches
- Modelling and sharing of efficient and accurate application of methods
- Opportunities for verbal, drawn and written reasoning
- Opportunities to explore mathematical concepts at greater depth
- Include all learners, providing relevant support for those with additional learning needs.
As a teaching staff, we make sure that we have asked ourselves:
- Why am I teaching this lesson?
- Where does it fit into the bigger picture?
- How can we relate this to previous learning?
- Why is it important to know this and master it?
The exploration of Maths should be interactive and engaging, with content made relevant to children’s real world experiences. Through real world experiences, we aim to build a context for seeing mathematics as a life skill, understanding why we need to consolidate and retain our knowledge and skills, and not just a subject we need to get right.
Children approach mathematical learning with confidence and enthusiasm, and view tasks as challenges that call for them to apply their varied knowledge in range of different contexts. They select the skills they need, understanding how staged multiple approaches will lead them to a solution.
Need help explaining mathematical concepts to children? Follow these links to find videos explaining maths in a fun and enjoyable way
Links for Parents and Children
Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) for Year 4 Children
All state-funded maintained schools and academies (including free schools) in England are now required to administer an online multiplication tables check (MTC) to Year 4 pupils.
The National Curriculum specifies that pupils should be taught to recall the multiplication tables up to and including 12 × 12 by the end of Year 4. The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It will help schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that additional support can be provided.
Please have a look at the links below. These websites can help to make learning times tables fun.
This is a site that can be used to practise all times tables facts as well as number bonds, halving and doubling. We have used this very successfully in school to build up children’s skills and speed when answering questions.
A fun, interactive site where children identify the multiples of a given number. This can be adapted to suit children at all stages of their times tables learning.
A game where children have to use their knowledge of factors and multiples to solve challenges.
A variety of games that will improve children’s skills of multiplication.
Mr. DeMaio has created a selection of songs in which the children learn times tables facts as part of the lyrics. I have found this to be a highly effective way of learning multiplication facts for lots of the children I have taught.
The Quick Brown Fox TV is also another YouTube channel with songs dedicated to learning multiplication facts through song lyrics.
Please make sure that children are supervised when finding these channels.