Here at Blakesley we pride ourselves on providing our pupils with a rich understanding of Mathematics providing them with a secure foundation for the future.

Our main aims for Key Stage One and Key Stage Two are for our pupils to:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
  • reason mathematically
  • solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems and investigations

These vital skills to success begin in Reception where our pupils are encouraged to play, experiment and discuss their learning in number, shape and measures both in and out of the classroom and at home. This continues all the way to Year 6 where our pupils are taught to use a more formal approach in readiness for secondary school.

To enable our pupils to fully grasp each aspect of Mathematics we favour the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract approach.  This means that for each new skill taught for example, adding 2 numbers within 20, your child will have the opportunity to experiment and practice it using concrete materials which might be plastic teddies and paper plates, pebbles, Numicon or base 10 equipment. They will then have an opportunity to practise trying to record this pictorially using pictures or marks on a page and only when they have mastered and fully understood a concept will they be introduced to recording it in an abstract form eg: 12+3=15. At any point if a child is unsure, they will be encouraged to check their thinking using a previous way of working until they have a secure understanding.

It is important that our pupils are able to count and calculate mentally as well as using written methods. Our mental starters are often the perfect opportunity for pupils to learn and reinforce these skills. We encourage our pupils to be able to partition numbers before calculating to find the easiest way to answer a question eg: 63+ 34 can be broken down to 60+ 30 and 3+4 which makes the calculation much easier to solve.

Number lines are used as a vital part of counting on and back and adding and subtracting.

Older pupils learn to use blank number lines as a tool to all calculations. They then select which numbers and “hops” are most useful to them to solve a problem.

Using reasoning and thinking to practise skills is a vital part of each Maths lesson. This might take the form of a 2 step word problem, or an investigation. It might require pupils to move around the school eg: Calculate the perimeter of the playground so we can help Mrs Hall order the new fencing? What fraction of our pupils are having a hot lunch today? We believe that our pupils benefit from practising skills in a variety of meaningful ways either in a small group or individually as it really helps them to understand and make sense of their learning.

From approximately Year 2 onwards (or when your child’s teacher says your child understands the concept of multiplication) our pupils need to start learning their times tables both at school and at home. The government recommendations are:

Year 2

2s, 5s and 10s

Year 3

3s, 4s and 8s

Year 4

All tables should be mastered up to 12x12

Here at Blakesley we regularly practise and test times tables and your child’s teacher will inform you which times table your child is learning, and which aspect they need to focus on. There are 3 steps to learning each times table pattern:

  • Be able to recite it all the way through up to 12x _ etc.
  • Be able to answer spot check questions eg: 5x3=, 8x3=,  10x3=
  • Be able to answer division questions on the same table eg: 33÷3=, 12÷3=

By upper key stage 2 and into secondary school, fluency in times tables is vital to all areas of Mathematics.  Your support with this at home is invaluable and is really appreciated.  Each child from Year 2 upwards has a TT Rockstars log-in; this is a fun way to practise and compete against their friends. Finding the way your child prefers to practise is the key to success. Some children like to use foam numbers against the bathroom wall, others like to sing their times tables in the car, some like a poster to look at in their bedroom. Further ideas of websites are listed below.

At Blakesley, our pupils are encouraged to practise and reinforce their mathematical skills in other areas of the curriculum eg: Science, DT and Computing.

A step by step guide to how your child is taught the 4 calculations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division is available in our Calculation Policy.

While Number and Calculations are key to success in all areas of Maths, we also teach a broad Mathematical Curriculum as outlined below:

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2

Number and Place Value

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

Fractions

Measurement

Geometry: Shape and Position and Direction

Statistics

Number and Place Value

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

Fractions, decimals and percentages

Ratio and Proportion

Algebra

Measurement

Geometry: Shape and Position and Direction

Statistics

For more detailed information and expectations for each year group, please see the National Curriculum website. A link is included at the end of this page.

Regular monitoring of your child’s progress is tracked using pre-assessment tests (to assess the right starting point for your child at the start of a new Maths topic) and Rising Stars Puma tests which inform staff of any gaps or weaknesses to be filled using interventions where necessary.

Useful websites we use to help the children at school:

The National Curriculum

TT Rockstars (Pupils from Year2 to 6 have a log in so they can practise their times tables regularly at home.)

Hit the Button (a fun way for Key Stage 2 children to practise mental calculations)

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