Shakuntala Devi was an Indian writer and mathematical genius popularly known as the “human computer”. Born into an impoverished family in southern India, she was reputed to make complicated mathematical calculations in her head and effortlessly speak out the results!
Throughout the school this half term, teachers and support staff have been working hard to support all children to develop a deep sense of number, fluency and efficient calculation strategies. During our school day, 15 minutes is devoted to teaching number facts using resources from Number Sense Maths and the Mastering Number Programme. Our aim is to give children flexibility with number as this helps them understand both how our number system works, and how numbers relate to each other. Children who develop number sense have a range of mathematical strategies at their disposal.
Developing conceptual understanding
Conceptual understanding is essential for learning mathematics. It is important for all children to understand the structure of mathematics through concrete experiences before they explore maths in more abstract ways such as a written formula’s and algorithms. This is an important part of maths, which develops rich discussions, exposes mistakes and allows all children the opportunity to explore what is being taught.
This half term has seen the launch of online tutors delivered by White Rose Maths. 30 children across KS2 have recently begun two 45min sessions per week to support their maths learning. Children have been really positive and we are beginning to see raised levels of confidence back in the classroom.
Learning by Questions
The use of technology in the classroom continues to support all children with their learning. Learning by Questions (LbQ) is a learning platform that allows teachers to respond to misunderstandings and mistakes in real time. Children complete set tasks on their Chromebooks, which feeds into the teacher dashboard. From here, teachers can see which questions some children find tricky and questions where the whole class find challenging. Teachers are then able to pause the lesson and address the whole class, or focus their attention to groups of children where needed. We often use this platform for end of unit assessments, weekly quizzes, practice opportunities and fluency sessions.
Times Table Rockstar’s!
Mr. Daley has been working hard setting up competitions throughout this half term to encourage children to practice their times tables. The platform also hosts Numbots, which our KS1 children are really enjoying. Next half term there will be competitions with our local schools, so keep practicing at home.
Maths Week England is coming up in November. We will be participating through Times Table Rockstar’s and Numbots. This is a nationwide competition where schools will be competing for the most points gained. We will also set up class competitions and challenges within the school.
Children in the Nursery have been exploring mathematics in a variety of ways including problem solving and critical thinking.
Reception have recently started the Mastering Number Programme and are securing their understanding of numbers within 5. They have a structured 15 min session each day to explore, learn and apply their learning of number through subitising, using ten frames and making connections to the CBBC programme Numberblocks.
Next Half Term
We are looking forward to continuing with our maths learning and developing our fluency. Learning will continue to be supported by NCETM Curriculum prioritisation materials alongside teacher assessment. We will also begin our training for the the Mayor’s Fund for London Count on Us challenge which takes place in Spring.