The national curriculum for England and Wales indicates that mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. At Parkwood we agree that a high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason, and a broader understanding of the rules that govern the way in which the world works.
The key skills of fluency, mathematical reasoning and problem solving lie at the heart of our work with children, which follows the Primary Advantage Maths framework and addresses all the requirements of the national curriculum.
Children need to be able to quickly remember key number facts, such as number bonds for all numbers to ten and their times tables. They should also be able to see where they need these facts in calculations and problems and draw on this knowledge rapidly and accurately. Most addition and subtraction facts and understanding of place value should be completely secure by the end of year 2. All times tables should have been learned by the end of year 4.
They should be able to use mathematical reasoning to solve investigations and be systematic when looking for problems. They should recognise when answers do not make sense, either because numbers are too large/small or because they do not follow rules e.g. odd/even. Children also need to be able to use reasoning to apply one set of knowledge to a different area of mathematics e.g. using times tables knowledge to help work out the areas of shapes.
When solving problems, children need to apply the right methods to find answers, work efficiently and understand what answers might look like. They need to use formal methods (column addition/ subtraction, long multiplication/division) to solve problems involving large numbers and they should know when to fall back on known number facts to save time. They need to understand the way in which the â€˜real lifeâ€™ elements of some problems (distance, time, money) might be represented in their final answer and may affect their working out (e.g. dividing time into shorted equal periods will be affected by the fact the time does not work in base ten) or might need them to convert between larger and smaller units of measure.
Mathematics in the wider world
Children will need to recognise the way in which maths appears in many subject areas and affects their broader lives. They should be given opportunities, at home, to experience work with money (when shopping for instance), understand how long journeys are taking or know some key times at home. They should also be involved in counting activities on a regular basis and have the chance to practice their key skills such as times tables.
For more information on our approach to maths and the teaching of numeracy, please come to see us in school.