The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics;
- reason mathematically and
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems.
At Oldfield, we want our pupils to experience these skills within maths lessons, and to build on these year on year. We want to make maths real through learning and experiences that remain with them for life, not just for the duration of a maths lesson. Our pupils should be able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge in all aspects of their lives, in a range of different contexts. We believe that mastery is not for the few but for all, and success should be enjoyed by each and every pupil, no matter what their age, background or ability level.
The majority of children will progress through the curriculum content at the same pace, having experienced formative assessment throughout each mathematical area that is taught. Teachers are expected to informally assess what pre-requisites are already known at the start of each unit through fun activities and problem solving tasks provided by our scheme of work- Abacus.
Each week, children enjoy a problem-solving lesson through STOPS, a sequenced teaching of problem solving. Children are presented with problems which encourage them to develop resilience. Teachers are encouraged to set up a culture in their class whereby the feeling of challenge is enjoyed as pupils know that they will make progress and that they will achieve success by working together to help solve challenging questions. Children are encouraged to lead discussions, based on valid strategies as well as misconceptions: pupils here understand that mistakes have value, too.
Bringing maths to life
Our pupils need to be equipped to deal with their lives, and how to apply mathematics, in the modern world. For us, we believe that our children must understand the importance of managing personal finances through financial education which recognises that attitudes are as important as knowledge and skills in shaping financial behaviour. By educating our pupils with financial skills now, we hope that they are better equipped to make positive choices around money in the future.
We have teamed up with Lifesavers, a unique programme which offers a whole-school approach to help embed financial education into the school curriculum. We also aim to set up a school savings club which will give children a practical experience of handling money, rather than the card-centred world that many of them live in today. Our aim is to work with the school community, to strengthen ties with parents, as well as using outside agencies such as credit agencies and local financial ambassadors to help our children learn about money.