‘Arithmetic is about being able to count up to 20 without taking off your shoes.’ Mickey Mouse
Mathematics is important in everyday life and, with this is mind, the purpose of Maths at St Catherine’s Primary School is to develop an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately. All children at St Catherine’s are challenged and encouraged to excel in Maths. New mathematical concepts are introduced using a ‘Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract’ approach; enabling all children to experience hands-on learning when discovering new mathematical topics, and allowing them to have clear models and images to aid their understanding. Arithmetic and basic math skills are practised daily to ensure key mathematical concepts are embedded.
We use the White Rose Scheme of Learning to ensure comprehensive coverage and progression throughout the school. We use this scheme as a planning tool, in addition to other high quality resources, and we adapt these resources according to the needs of our pupils. This adaptation is based upon summative assessment gap analysis, ongoing formative teaching judgements and pupil feedback, and means pupils receive a bespoke curriculum matched to their needs; one which nurtures an enthusiasm and love for Mathematics.
Counting and Times Tables Skills
Good counting skills and times tables knowledge are key to helping pupils get to grips with the rest of the primary maths curriculum. At St Catherine’s, we put a lot of time and effort into ensuring pupils reach their national curriculum milestones in these areas, giving them solid foundations to move on to more challenging mathematical concepts in Years 5 and 6, and beyond. We have developed our own strategy to ensure pupils acquire these skills successfully and are then able to apply them to more challenging problems as they move through the school. Time is allocated in class to develop these skills, starting first with counting in EYFS before moving on to times tables in later year groups.
To support the development of these skills further, we use Times Tables Rock Stars from Year 2 onwards. We hold special Times Tables Rock Stars assemblies to raise the profile of these important maths skills further. These consist of presentations of certificates to those racking up the best scores or making the biggest improvements online, live battles and even air guitar competitions. On these days, pupils are invited to come to school dressed as rock stars and staff also take part making it a real highlight of the year.
Maths at home
At home, pupils have access to Numbots to support KS1 (this is a fun and friendly platform where the children can play Maths games), Times Tables Rock Stars (Years 2-4) and Mathletics to support Year 5 and 6 homework.
Parents can also visit our recommended websites:
This academic year, we intend to create ‘Maths at St Catherine’s’ videos to help parents support their children's learning at home and these will be available on the individual class pages.
Bringing Maths to life
This year, as part of our collaborative work with St Oscar Romero School, three of our Year 5 pupils went to the World Mathematics Championships which were hosted there. It was a fun-filled day, showing that maths is an exciting and energetic subject when passion and creativity are combined.