What is maths?
Yes, it is arithmetic and calculation skills, but it is far more than that. It is a creative and highly inter-connected subject that has been developed over centuries. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.
At Dale Hall children will develop secure conceptual understanding of the subject by being introduced to new ideas through the use of concrete materials (for example Numicon, base ten equipment and place value counters) and will then develop their understanding through the use of pictorial images (such as bar models). We will help them to develop the ability to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately, encouraging them to make connections between different aspects of the subject.
We want our pupils to develop the ability to reason mathematically, to make their own conjectures and generalisations - using mathematical language accurately to explain their thinking, to tackle a wide range of rich and varied problems and to persevere when faced with more challenging tasks. Most importantly we want children at Dale Hall to develop an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
How can I help my child with maths?
1. Be positive!
More than any subject success in maths can be affected by children's attitudes and confidence towards the subject. It's not unusual to hear adults say things such as "I was never good at maths when I was young." Whilst this is an understandable attempt to reassure children we can inadvertently send a message that maths is 'hard' and that it is okay to not do well at it. It's not something we often hear said about reading or writing, so we should try to treat maths the same.
2. Practise makes perfect.
We do not set regular maths homework at Dale Hall, but practising knowledge and recall of key facts at home will provide a huge boost to children's confidence. It will also be much easier for them to focus on the increasingly demanding new concepts they encounter as they progress through the school if the ydo not need to spend a long time counting or working out multiplication facts. Children in Key Stage 1 should focus on bonds to 10 and then 20 and begin to learn multiplication facts for the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. Year 3 pupils focus on learning the multiplication (and associated division) facts for the 3, 4 and 8 times tables, Year 4 the 6, 7, 9, 11 and 12 times tables.
As with many aspects of learning, little and often is usually the best way to learn these facts, better 5 minutes practise most days than a one off longer session.
3. Look for maths in everyday life.
Give children (of all ages) plenty of opportunities to use maths in real contexts. Look for opportunities to play with money and pay for and check change in shops, let them weigh the ingredients when cooking at home, estimate and measure lengths and so on.
Telling the time can be an area many children struggle with, especially with analogue clocks so this is another area where practise at home is essential.
Below you will find our calculation policies for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. Each shows expectations for relevant year groups and the methods that will be used.
At Dale Hall we have adopted some elements of a 'mastery' curriculum, principally the Concrete Pictorial Abstract elements of teaching.
Concrete refers to the use of manipulatives, objects which represent mathematical concepts and can be physically picked up (such as base ten equipment, Numicon, bead strings, etc.)
Pictorial, as the name suggests, is the use of carefully selected pictures, diagrams, etc to represent concepts.
Abstract is the stage when, having developed a secure conceptual understanding, children are ready to use 'just' numbers and symbols.
Children of all ages and abilities will move freely between concrete, pictorial and abstract representations of mathematical concepts. Below please find our 'mastery' policy, which gives examples of the above. With thanks to Cliffe VC Primary School.