Here at St Jude’s we have a passion for high quality teaching and learning of mathematics. We believe that every child can succeed in maths and we aim to instil this belief in the children themselves.
The national curriculum for mathematics requires that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
The principles of Teaching for Mastery, a product of extensive research into the highly successful teaching practice in Singapore and Shaghai, are used consistently throughout the school. A whole class teaching approach is adopted, keeping the class working together, with no acceleration to new content. This is to avoid superficial, surface learning and foster a deep, secure understanding of all the concepts taught. The learning needs of every child are addressed through skillful questioning and appropriate, immediate intervention – this provides the necessary scaffolding or challenge for all.
The curriculum focuses on four areas: number, measurement, geometry and statistics across the year. Within these areas, concepts are taught slowly and at great depth to ensure the learning is secure and sustainable. Included in every lesson are fluency, reasoning and problem solving tasks, giving the children the opportunity to explore the concept being taught extensively before moving on to the next. Questions are designed carefully by the teachers to provide intelligent practice, developing and embedding conceptual fluency. We believe in exposing the children to multiple representations of a concept, using concrete, pictorial and abstract examples simultaneously to support the children’s understanding.
At St Jude’s, we place high importance on mathematical talk. As a result, lessons include regular opportunities for the children to discuss their understanding and explain their thinking, both with the adults and their peers. Accurate use of vocabulary and terminology features prominently in our lessons, with teachers both modelling and expecting it from the children. We believe this will support our children when faced with a range of mathematical problems.
Children are given homework weekly at St Jude’s – a mathematical activity will be provided, linking to the learning done in class that week and encouraging the children to practise and embed their skills further.
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