At KS, we employ a child-centred approach to teaching Mathematics, as we know the learning requirements for each pupil is different from one pupil to another. We combine the more conventional and traditional teaching methods with the new ideas adapted from the Government's National Strategies. From the Reception right through to Year 8, every effort is made to help the children realize that the subject is a lot of fun where games, projects and practical activities encourage pupils to use imagination and initiative. It is not just about working through exercises in a book. We believe this provides a more stimulating environment and provides the children with a more relevant outlook in their understanding of other curriculum areas and the outside world.
Mathletics and MyMaths is used as a valuable tool, both to supplement teaching and as a homework resource. After-school clubs and logic tests also help to further the children’s understanding and engagement. We also use the Fun Roadshow Investigations and Puzzles to develop more creative thinking and problem solving.
In the EYFS and Junior School, Mathematics is taught by the form teachers but if it is a large year group, we will create a small group to enable some children to keep pace and then two mixed ability classes. Where possible we will use as many practical activities to explore and explain the topics. The main focus in these formative years is to develop their confidence in using number. This will be introduced as recognition, sequencing and then starting to use the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). Other areas such as Shape, Space and Measures, Handling Data and basic properties of number will be included in this introduction and, as we work on a spiral curriculum, each topic area will be covered in more depth in its following cycle. Mental arithmetic games play a large part in the children’s learning as this is vital to build self-confidence.
In the Senior School all the pupils are taught in ability groups. In Year 4 and 5 the spiral curriculum comes in to play again whereby the pupils’ knowledge of the four operations are consolidated and extended. This is exercised both mentally and written as a large emphasis is placed on problem solving, especially using real-life examples. The pupils will show their workings set out in their books as an emphasis is placed upon the forthcoming requirements for tests. Again, mental arithmetic plays a huge part in their learning and a daily recap of a mental exercise alongside a weekly test to develop problem solving.
From Year 6 onwards the curriculum is heavily biased in preparation towards the 11+ and 13+ examinations. Children are introduced to lots of algebra, patterns and sequencing, geometry as well as consolidating and enriching the previous number work and extending the main topic areas.
We enter competitions such as the UK Maths challenge and the Primary Maths challenge and receive visits from the Happy Puzzle Company, Architectural Workshop and the Quantum Theatre to bring maths to life in real contexts throughout the school.