Why is Maths important?
Mathematics introduces children to concepts, skills and thinking strategies that are essential in everyday life and support learning across the curriculum. It helps children make sense of the numbers, patterns and shapes they see in the world around them, offers ways of handling data in an increasingly digital world and makes a crucial contribution to their development as successful learners. Children delight in using mathematics to solve a problem, especially when it leads them to an unexpected discovery or new connections. As their confidence grows, they look for patterns, use logical reasoning, suggest solutions and try out different approaches to problems. Mathematics offers children a powerful way of communicating. They learn to explore and explain their ideas using symbols, diagrams and spoken and written language. They start to discover how mathematics has developed over time and contributes to our economy, society and culture. Studying mathematics stimulates curiosity, fosters creativity and equips children with the skills they need in life beyond school.
How is Maths taught?
In EYFS, Maths is taught throughout all topics, covering the following skills from the EYFS Curriculum;
*Shape, Space and Measure
From Years 1-6, Maths is taught through the Maths No Problem Schemes of Work. The Primary Series is recommended by the DfE for schools on the Teaching for Mastery Programme and is fully aligned with the 2014 English national curriculum. MNP textbooks and workbooks are designed using decades of research to ensure a deep, secure understanding of maths in learners of every attainment level.
The Maths No Problem Scheme:
- Is fully aligned with the 2014 English National Curriculum for maths
- Complies with the UK’s High Quality Textbook guidance published by the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM)
- The Maths — No Problem! Primary Series was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high quality textbook to support teaching for mastery
Teaching maths for mastery
The whole class works through the programme of study at the same pace with ample time on each topic before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years.
Tasks and activities are designed to be easy for pupils to enter while still containing challenging components. For advanced learners, the textbooks also contain non-routine questions for pupils to develop their higher-order thinking skills.
Lessons and activities are designed to be taught using problem-solving approaches to encourage pupils’ higher-level thinking. The focus is on working with pupils’ core competencies, building on what they know to develop their relational understanding, based on Richard Skemp’s work.
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach
Based on Jerome Bruner’s work, pupils learn new concepts initially using concrete examples, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations before finally using more abstract symbols, such as the equals sign.
The questions and examples are carefully varied by expert authors to encourage pupils to think about the maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples are designed to deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.
MULTIPLICATION TABLES CHECK (MTC) for Year 4
The Department for Education will be bringing in a Multiplication Tables Check for Year 4 pupils from June 2020. The purpose of this test is to determine whether Year 4 pupils can fluently recall their multiplication tables.
The current Year 4 cohort will be taking part in a trial this year between June 10th-28th 2019 and the first statutory test will involve the current Year 3 cohort during the Summer Term of Year 4 (June 2020).
The test will be digital and will consist of 25 random multiplication questions such as 7 x 4 = ? on a screen. The children will be expected to answer the question using either a keyboard (if using a computer/netbook) or touchpad (if using an ipad). They will have 6 seconds to answer before the next question appears. All multiplication tables may be tested up to 12x12, which is the national expectation at the end of Year 4. Therefore, the children need to be learning and practising all times tables and working on fast recall. The Year 3 & 4 teachers will be dedicating some class time every week to this and will be getting the children used to the speed and appearance of the questions on a screen in order to ensure they are fully prepared.
Further information for parents can be found at:
We would ask for your support in ensuring that the children in the current Year 4 class are fully prepared for the trial test this June and the children in Year 3 for the first statutory test in June 2020 by using a range of games and activities at home to encourage fast recall of facts up to 12x12.
Please find below some links to online games that may support fast recall:
(This activity exactly mirrors the 'Multiplication Tables Check' that will be given to children at the end of Year 4 so is a great website to use!)