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Dundonald Primary

Teaching & Learning Maths

We teach Maths through daily lessons focussed on equipping children with the skills and abilities they need to understand and solve a range of problems in different mathematical contexts.

In Key Stage 1 these are number, statistics, geometry and measurement with the additional areas of ratio and proportion and algebra by the end of Key Stage 2.

There is a strong emphasis on calculation, reflecting the demands of the new National Curriculum, which states that children should:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • 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.

In maths lessons, just as with other subjects, children can choose their challenge, allowing them to select from several differentiated tasks set by the teacher, according to their confidence and abilities in a particular area of the curriculum. Our experience in the school is that this encourages children’s self-awareness as learners and makes for much more accelerated learning. In the Upper School, children in Years 5 & 6 who require additional help are taught in a smaller group.     

Another innovation of the new curriculum is the concept of ‘mastery’. Rather than progress upwards through the curriculum and move on to the next year’s content, children in each year group are taught within their age-related curriculum. Those that show themselves able to perform all the tasks expected of them competently then need to show they can apply their understanding across a range of situations to be working at ‘greater depth’ within their age group.    

Maths Challenge

Our monthly Maths Challenges are a series of colour-coded, timed calculation tests which check children’s understanding of the mental maths concepts needed at different ages under the National Curriculum. Once they have achieved 100%, children can progress onto the next colour. We give out certificates at special assemblies by class, but without stating the colour each child has achieved.

As part of our Growth Mindset philosophy, children are encouraged to rise to their own challenges rather than measure their ability against others.

Maths Challenge Practice Papers

Any opportunities you can provide at home to practise with your child will be greatly appreciated and practise sheets for each challenge can be found here:

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