Maths Curriculum - Purpose of study
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure 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 have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
- 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.
Maths No Problem
At St Joseph's we follow a programme called Maths No Problem.
The Maths — No Problem! Primary Maths Series has been created using the principles of Singapore Mathematics and is fully aligned to the 2014 English National Curriculum. The Programme provides all the elements that teachers need to teach maths mastery with confidence. It promotes the belief that every child can master an understanding and love of maths with the right kind of teaching and support.
Their mission is 'to improve the standard of maths education by providing world-class textbooks, teaching resources and professional development based on the transformational teaching methods developed in Singapore.'
Teaching Maths for Mastery
The whole class works through the programmes 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, there are 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.
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 to encourage pupils to think about the maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples are designed to deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.
Times Table Rockstars
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School subscribes to Times Table Rock Stars. This is a system that the children use to practise the instant recall of their multiplication and division facts.
When it comes to times tables, speed AND accuracy are important – the more facts a child remembers, the easier it is for them to complete harder calculations. Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help children master the times tables. To be a Times Table Rock Star they need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds!
Research shows that daily practise is the best strategy for children to learn these important facts. Short bursts of daily practise are much more effective than spending hours once a week. Parental support is critical in this area. For children to be fully motivated and for them to get the best out of the practice, they need an adult's help. Without a Parent's praise and reminders, without sitting down together or checking their work, practising times tables will not feel important.
Each class or group within a class will be set a schedule of times tables to work on by their teacher. The quicker a child can answer a times tables question, the higher their Rock Status.
≤ 1 sec/qu = Rock Hero
≤ 2 secs/qu = Rock Legend
≤ 3 secs/qu = Rock Star
≤ 4 secs = Headliner
≤ 5 secs/qu = Support Act
≤ 6 secs/qu = Breakthrough Artist
≤ 7 secs/qu = Unsigned Act
≤ 8 secs/qu = Gigger
≤ 9 secs/qu = Busker
≤ 10 secs/qu = Garage Rocker
> 10 secs/qu = Wannabe
Garage - the questions will only come from the times tables the teacher has set for the week. As pupils start to answer questions, TT Rock Stars works out which facts they take longer on and will give them more of these questions to answer. The Garage is best for getting quicker at a few facts. Players get 10 coins per question.
Studio - the questions in the Studio can be anything from 1×1 up to 12×12.
TT Rock Stars calculates each the mean speed from their last 10 games in the Studio and translates into a Rock Status.
They earn 1 coin per question and the Studio is the place for them to set their best time across all the tables.
Rock Arena - The Arena allows players to compete against all other members of their Band (their Bandmates would need to join the same game in order to compete together).
A new Arena game starts every 15 seconds and once the clock starts they race to answer more questions than the others. In the Arena, questions will only come from the times tables the teacher has set for the week, similar to the Garage. They earn 1 coin per correct answer.
Rock Festival - The Rock Festival games are open to players from around the world. Like the Arena, there is no limit to the number of players who can join a game; however, unlike the Arena, questions are selected at random from 1×1 to 12×12.
Pupils might choose the Rock Festival if they were playing at home (and therefore couldn't easily synchronise playing against a classmate) or wanted to compete against others not in their Band. They earn 1 coin per correct answer.
How you can help at home
There are lots of ways to help to build your child's confidence in maths. There are many fun games and activities you can do with your child that practise maths skills. Most children love playing games and it's an easy way to support their learning.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy maths:
- Point out the different shapes to be found around your home.
- Take your child shopping and talk about the quantities of anything you buy.
- Let your child handle money and work out how much things cost.
- Ask younger children to count all the coins in your purse or wallet.
- Look together for numbers on street signs and car registration plates.
- Look at house numbers and talk about odd and even.
- Ask older children to work out the best special offer.
- Look at clocks and tell the time. Talk about timings for cooking.
- Learn how to recall times tables quickly.
- Practice number recognition, numbers bonds to 10, 20 and 100
- Practice times tables including their related division facts e.g. 2 x 3 = 6 6 ÷ 2 = 3
During the Autumn term, we have been holding a series of maths workshops for KS1 & 2 looking at the different areas of maths our children will be learning at school. The workshops focus on how you can support your child with their mathematical development through everyday life, games and activities, as well as enabling you to answer any questions your child may ask and be able to recognise any misconceptions he/she may make or have.
If you could not attend the workshops some of the support materials are attached on this page.
Thank you for your continued support!