“Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics.
Everything around you is numbers.”
Shakuntala Devi, Indian writer and mental calculator
“Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.”
— Shakuntala Devi, Indian writer and mental calculator
Mathematics is present everywhere, it is an integral part of everyday life and will play a vital role in our children’s futures. At New Milton Infant School, we provide our children with a foundation for understanding the world and prepare them for the next stage in their learning. We deliver a carefully and coherently planned maths curriculum that engages and excites, whilst ensuring all children, irrespective of background and starting points, acquire a deep, secure and adaptable understanding which they can apply to various contexts and problems. Our high quality mathematics education enables all of our children to become confident and enthusiastic mathematicians who are able to problem solve, reason, explain and justify, applying their fluency knowledge and understanding, whilst appreciating the power and importance of maths.
At New Milton Infant school, in Year R, we use 'White Rose Maths' as a structure for our long term planning. Children are introduced to maths through a range of structured and exploratory mathematical activities including teach led groups and 'Lets Learn'. This continuous and varied fluency aims to develop a secure understanding whilst exposing children to a variety of mathematical domains.
Across Key Stage One, we follow the National Curriculum Programmes of study to teach mathematics. Children take part in regular maths lessons where they learn from high quality models and representations, practise and exlpore with new and existing skills, apply what they know, share their reasoning and solve problems. Outside of maths lessons, there are also opportunities for children to develop their retrieval and instant recall of key facts, helping them to develop their mental strategies whilst revisting previously taught learning.
Throughout Key Stage One we have adopted a cyclical approach to maths teaching and learning (following the Hampshire schemes of learning), where there is ample opportunity for children to revisit previously learned knowledge, concepts and procedures. This ensures that mathematical knowledge is embedded so children can work with increasing independence, apply their skills to increasingly more complex concepts, and gain confidence in their abilities as a mathematician. Our mastery approach develops procedural fluency through high quality modelling, meaningful activities, exploration and practise. This allows children to make sense of their world and make important connections. A highly effective Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach is used throughout our maths lessons, building on children’s existing knowledge and developing a deep and sustainable understanding of maths. It involves linking concrete materials that bring maths to life in real contexts, to pictorial representations that help children to make mental connections, to abstract symbols and calculations.
Within our school, high quality interactive teaching and purposeful, collaborative learning underpin all lessons, with everybody aspiring to be the best mathematician they can. We have adopted a 'I do, we do, you do' approach to teaching maths. In the 'I do' part of the lesson, a new skill or problem is modelled to the children by a teacher using various models and images. The lesson then moves onto the 'we do' whereby the children work collaboratively on a very similar problem, allowing adults to oversee the children's learning and identify their next steps in learning. This knowledge then informs the 'you do' part of the lesson, where children are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge in their own carefully planned activity. At our school, we have high expectations for all and therefore activities are varied slightly in lessons so they can be accessed by all the children. This may be by providing support or scaffold to a task, or by extending children's thinking by adding extra steps or asking deeper questions to challenge our higher attaining children.
As oracy is an important focus at New Milton Infant School, we also adopt a dialogic approach to teaching which enables all children to develop their fluency and conceptual understanding whilst making connections between their mathematical thinking. Teachers' effective use of questioning, vocabulary and immediate feedback, alongside ongoing assessments, ensure than children achieve the best possible outcomes and have many opportunities for challenge, including children who speak English as an Additional Language and those on the SEND register. All children are encouraged to use a wide range of mathematical vocabulary, enabling them to articulate their reasoning with confidence. Teachers use their excellent subject knowledge to delivery lessons that inspire curiosity and allow children to build on previous skills. Adults are skilled enough to grasp spontaneous opportunities to embed knowledge further, and enabling maths environments in every classroom support children to become independent learners and persevere when presented with challenges. We encourage our children's natural curiosity by allowing them to explore their ideas, spot patterns and make links, helping to develop their competence, understanding and appreciation of the fundamentals of mathematics.
Our inclusive and engaging maths curriculum means all children at New Milton Infant School make very good progress and achieve well. Our keen and curious mathematicians use their flexible thinking skills to find different ways to solve problems and are able to communicate their ideas effectively. By promoting the value of perseverance across the school, our children are keen to take on challenges and are able to work independently and in a team in order to achieve. Our collaborative approach to learning allows adults and children to progress together, exploring, discovering, and deepening the knowledge of key ideas needed to access more sophisticated learning in the future.
As a result of the high quality education we provide, our children leave our school with a fluency in the fundamental mathematical domains, the ability to reason effectively and the positive mind set to solve unfamiliar and challenging problems, helping them to be successful in the next stage of their learning and beyond.