The Teaching and Learning of Mathematics
at White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts
White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts we strive to ensure that children receive the best possible grounding in mathematics during their primary school years. We embed mathematics throughout the curriculum and daily school life. We want children to be as comfortable and articulate with the language of mathematics as they are with the English language.
Practical, hands-on experiences of ‘doing’ mathematics with Numicon equipment is a key part of how we develop children’s skills in communicating, exploring and reasoning mathematically throughout the College.
In Key Stage 2 we continue teaching children to visualise mathematical scenarios and problems, and to support their learning with appropriate physical resources. Maths activities are routinely used to stretch children’s concentration spans and resilience, and to develop their metacognition skills.
Children are tested weekly on their times tables, according to the Government’s expectations of each year group. Practical activities and Learning for Life contexts continue to be used to introduce and explore mathematical concepts.
Deep understanding of place value, fluency in mental methods, and rapid recall of number facts such as multiplication tables and number bonds are crucial for secure learning of mathematics. They underpin the confident use of traditional written methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Investigation activities are an important part of learning in mathematics. They are often carried out in mixed ability groups to enable children to both lead each other’s learning, and to appreciate and utilise each other’s different skills and understanding. Collaboration in problem solving is an important Learning for Life skill to nurture and develop in our children – it requires them to demonstrate patience, communication skills, logical approach, reasoning and evaluation. It is also a wonderful way of highlighting and celebrating the different strengths of different children.
The College has invested heavily in a wide range of mathematical resources to support children’s learning and teachers’ planning and delivery of lessons. Numicon is a multi-sensory mathematics teaching programme that utilises highly physical resources to reinforce patterns and relationships and develop confident mathematical thinking. We also use Mathletics, which is an international, web based resource, to set targeted homework activities. Mathletics also provides the children with a safe games-based platform to compete against other players world-wide in timed mental arithmetic challenges.
Our teachers will always tailor their planning and lesson delivery to the specific needs of the children and their learning styles. We use a wide variety of resources, and are always looking for innovative ways of delivering the College’s mathematics curriculum.