At De Beauvoir, we are passionate about our children being confident mathematicians and that this can change our children’s lives; they are able to problem solve in the real world. We are committed to equipping our children to be savvy shoppers, efficient with their time and able to question figures put in front of them. As teachers who are passionate about maths, we know the doors that can be unlocked with mathematics such as designers, engineers and architects is open for them.
Our approach to teaching mathematics enables children to think more deeply about mathematical concepts. Pupils begin by using concrete resources, move on to pictorial representations and gain a strong understanding of mathematical concepts before moving onto abstract / written methods. It also allows them the opportunity to practise, consolidate and apply their learning and understanding to solving problems with confidence. Children are encouraged to use a range of manipulatives as physical representations of number, with dienes, place value counters and Numicon so that they have a deep understanding of the structure of numbers.
Along with this Singapore maths model approach, we also teach for mastery through embedding fluency, reasoning and problem solving into all lessons so that everyone masters mathematics. We teach mathematics in mixed ability classes so that all children can contribute to and benefit from class discussion and receive both the support and challenge they need.
We teach children to be efficient and fluent mathematicians and each lesson focuses on this. Having key facts at their finger tips, like number bonds to 10 and multiplication facts allows more thinking time for the children on reasoning and problem solving. We ensure fluency practice is varied and engaging within lessons and homework links to these fluency facts.
In addition to teaching fluency within mathematics, we also encourage our children to reasoning mathematically with what they know. We use partner talk for children to justify their reasons for answers, drawing on key mathematical vocabulary and discuss why some answers are correct or incorrect. Reasoning also involves children looking for patters and making connections within mathematics. Questions and conjectures are explored and celebrated together as we moved towards a shared understanding.
Problem solving is a key element in our mathematics teaching. It allows children to apply their mathematics in real-life contexts and discussion is a key part of this process. Children begin to understand that there is no ‘one way’ to solve problems and that multiple representations can be used for the same answer. Through problem solving, children begin to become ‘flexible’ with their mathematics and develop their reslience.
Learning for the Long Term
As part of our school’s assessment procedures, we ensure learning has ‘stuck’. This is done through daily ‘Beat Its’ to assess speed and flexibility in fluency and ‘Check Its’ whereby we assess whether the children can recall things they have learned last lesson, this week, last week and last month. These are ‘low stakes’ and form part of each maths lesson. We use dialy assessment for learning to inform our next steps in learning for the children and revisit core content when needed.