How We Approach Maths at Georgeham

Mathematics is all around us; it underpins much of what we do throughout our lives. At Georgeham, we provide experiences and learning activities that give opportunities for a deep understanding of maths.

Children use things they can manipulate, and visual representations, before they move on to abstract numbers and signs. Practical, hands-on experiences and the development of mental methods are of crucial importance in establishing the best mathematical start in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

Following on from the manipulation of objects and pictures, children improve their ability in maths by using the correct mathematical language. Our calculation policy uses a carefully sequenced, structured approach to introduce and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. Most lessons include opportunities for children to explain or justify their mathematical reasoning and their learning buddies (or similar) are expected to ask questions to make sure they understand, or to gain a better explanation!

Working at a mastery level in maths means that a child can apply their skills in solving a wide range of problems independently, applying them to cross-curricular themes and work in other subjects.

We’ve also been working through current research about Growth Mindsets in Maths and the way that mixed ability groupings can help all children in their understanding (more information below).

Maths and the National Curriculum

Year  Number Calculation and Key Skills Applying and Problem Solving Geometry and Statistics
Yr 1 Yr 1 Count, read and write numbers to 100. Know 1 more and less. Count in 2s, 5s, 10s. Understand* ½ and ¼. Add & subtract 1 and 2 digit numbers to 20. Understand + – = inc missing numbers. Use number bonds and related facts within 20. Measure and begin to record length, mass, capacity. Know value of different coins. Tell time to ½ hour. Recognise and name common 2D and 3D shapes. Describe position, direction and movement inc whole, ½ , ¾ turns.
Yr 2 Understand numbers to 100. Count in 2,3, 5 and 10s. Recognise odd and even numbers. Understand* ½, ¼ , ¾. Add & subtract 2 2 digit numbers. Add 3 1 digit numbers. Understand x ÷ = within tables.  Know number bonds to 10 and 20, related facts to 100. Know 2,5 and 10 x table. Know related facts for + & – . Estimate and measure appropriately temperature, mass, capacity, length. Calculate with money. Tell time to 5 mins. Solve missing number problems. Sort and describe common 2D & 3D shapes. Describe position, direction & movement mathematically. Create and interpret pictograms, tallies, tables.
Yr 3 Understand numbers to 1,000 and tenths. Understand simple fractions and adding same denominators within 1. Add & subtract 3 digit numbers using written methods* + estimate. Multiply 2 digit by 1 digit numbers. Divide 2 digits with no remainder. Know and use number bonds to 100. Know 2,5,10, 3,4,8 x table. Calculate with measures. Calculate with money & give change. Know 24 hour time. Solve correspondence problems. Draw and make 2D & 3D shapes. Identify right angles. Understand vocabulary of lines. Create and interpret bar charts, pictograms and tables.
Yr 4 Understand numbers to 10,000 and tenths and hundredths. Understand decimal equivalents to ¼, ½, ¾ and any 1/10, 1/00. Add and subtract fractions with same denominator. Add & subtract 4 digit numbers using written method*s + estimate. Multiply 3 digit by 1 digit numbers using written methods* + estimate. Divide 2 digits with no remainder. Know all x tables to 12. Know related facts for x & ÷ . Find factors of numbers under 30. Calculate with measures and money. Convert between simple units of measure. Find the perimeter of rectangles. Convert time from digital to analogue. Solve correspondence problems. Compare and classify 2D shapes inc quadrilaterals and triangles and find lines of symmetry. Understand vocabulary of angles. Plot position in the first quadrant. Create and interpret bar charts and time graphs.
Yr 5 Understand numbers up to 1 million and with 3 d.p. Use negative numbers in context. Understand simple equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages. Add and subtract fractions. Add and subtract 4 digits inc decimals using formal methods + estimate. Multiply 4 digits by 2 digit formally + estimate. Divide 3 digit by 1 digit formally. Be fluent in all tables to 12x . Identify multiples and factors, prime and squared numbers up to 50. Calculate with measures and money converting between units.  Calculate area & perimeter of rectangles. Use a timetable.  Use simple formulae and describe number sequences. Compare and classify regular and irregular polygons. Draw and measure angles. Calculate simple missing angles. Translate and reflect a shape. Create and interpret line graphs.
Yr 6 Understand numbers up to 10 million and with 3 d.p. Understand negative numbers. Understand equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages. Add and subtract fractions including >1 Add and subtract large numbers inc decimals using formal methods + estimate. Multiply 4 digits by 2 digit formally + estimate. Divide 4 digit 1 digit using short and by 2 digit using long division. Be fluent in all tables to 12x and related facts. Identify common multiples and factors, prime and squared numbers up to 100. Know the order of operations. Calculate with measures and money converting between units including simple metric/imperial and using ratio. Know and use formula  for area & perimeter including in compound shapes and triangles. Find pairs of numbers for an equation with 2 unknowns and all possibilities of 2 variables. Compare and classify 2D and 3D shapes and know parts of a circle. Draw 2D shapes given angles & sides. Calculate missing angles on lines and in shapes. Plot, translate and reflect shapes in 4 quadrants. Create and interpret line graphs and pie charts.

We recently held an evening for parents outlining our approach to maths, focusing on four core ideas:

  1. Everyone can be good at maths
    – for a great insight into this approach check out this short video by Jo Boaler How to Learn Maths for Students
  2. Encouraging a Growth Mind-set in maths by praising effort not achievement
    – check out the work of Carol Dweck:  Praise Effort not Achievement
  3. Promote challenge and see mistakes as valuable learning… in contrast, things that are easy are often a waste of learning!
    Check out Jo Boaler’s film Mistakes and Brain Growth
  4. Undertaking work in mixed ability maths groups to avoid fixed ability labelling
    – for evidence on the positive impact of trying mixed ability groupings in lessons see Jo Boaler’s film Maths Ability Setting

Much of our classroom work in maths is done in mixed ability groups – we encourage children to learn from each other and believe that being able to explain a maths concept to another children demonstrates that they have a really secure understanding of that concept.  Children are stretched in their maths by deepening their understanding of concepts rather than moving onto the next topic – by applying their understanding to a range of tasks and knowing how to use a maths concept in different ways to solve problems or answer questions.