Our focus in mathematics is to ensure that all children experience success in a safe, supportive but challenging learning environment. We provide students with many opportunities to explore and develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and ideas. We build their ability to think and work mathematically, with a heavy focus on the development of essential skills and problem solving strategies. Curriculum content in Maths includes the Domains of:
- Number and Algebra (place value, counting, operations, fractions & decimals, money and financial mathematics, patterns and algebra etc.)
- Measurement and Geometry (units of measurement, shape, location and transformation, geometric reasoning)
- Statistics and Probability (chance, data representation and interpretation)
- And includes a focus on developing Understanding, Fluency (which focuses on the recall of number facts and times tables), Problem Solving and Reasoning.
Children will learn about these concepts and ideas at the level that is appropriate to them, given their needs, strengths and areas for improvement.
We are very mindful that children learn best when their learning experiences are hands-on (using a wide variety of materials and resources), relevant, linked to the ‘real world’, authentic and open-ended. We also put an emphasis on developing each child’s ability to explain their thinking, justify the strategies they use and reflect on their progress and learning goals. Consequently we work very hard to monitor the progress and learning needs of our students so that we can support and extend their learning and ensure that we are providing them with learning experiences that are just right for them—thus ensuring their success and the development of positive attitudes and higher levels of confidence.
The way we teach mathematics in 2015 has changed very much since many of us were at school. We want, and indeed teach, children to question, wonder, challenge and justify what, and how, they learn. We pose questions and set problems that often have many different answers, or different ways of finding the answers, because our aim is to explore diverse mathematical thinking and processes as much as we aim to teach them to solve problems and find answers correctly. The most current educational research underpinning our approach to Maths learning and teaching outline five desirable mathematical actions for students:
- Conceptual understanding – knowing the why and how of mathematical concepts, skills, strategies and relationships
- Procedural fluency – carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently & appropriately while having ready knowledge of facts and concepts (NUMBER FACTS & TIMES TABLES!)
- Strategic competence –the ability to formulate, represent and plan to solve mathematical problems,
- Adaptive reasoning – the capacity for logical thought, reflection, explanation and justification – being able to prove thinking and outcomes
- Productive disposition – an inclination to see maths as sensible, useful and worthwhile, along with a belief in diligence (persistence) and confidence…it is really important that we as teachers foster a positive attitude towards maths!
Everything we do in planning our Maths Program is about building these understandings and competencies.