At Downe Manor Primary School, we view Mathematics as being essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering and necessary in most forms of employment. We, therefore, provide a high-quality Mathematics education that gives children an understanding of the world, the ability to reason mathematically, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
A large part of the time that children are in school is spent on mathematical activities. These activities are concerned with fulfilling and extending the requirements of the National Curriculum (2014). All work is differentiated in order to give appropriate levels of work and children are taught in ability groups in Year 6.
The class teacher takes responsibility for working with every child at least once a week, either individually or as part of a group. Planning is based on the new National Curriculum (2014). Programmes of Study should inform medium term plans and subsequently weekly planning. The ‘Essentials’ Curriculum Learning Objectives should be used together with National Curriculum (2014) objectives to compose appropriate learning focussed lessons. Class teachers are responsible for the relevant provision of their own classes and develop weekly plans which give details of learning objectives and appropriate differentiated activities. Although planned in advance, they are adjusted on a daily basis or when necessary to better suit the arising needs of a class and individual pupils.
To summarise, it is therefore our aim at Downe Manor Primary School to develop:
• a positive and confident attitude towards Mathematics, both as a subject as well as recognising the cross curricular links with other subjects
• competence with numbers and the number system
• enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activities, investigations and discussion
• skills through the exploration of shape, position and movement, money, time, measure, data handling and problem solving in a range of contexts
• the use of mathematics as a tool for life to solve problems
• an ability to communicate mathematical methods and strategies and to use mathematical language appropriately
• lively, engaging and challenging mathematical lessons or activities with opportunities for children to use their initiative and to work both independently and cooperatively.
We have introduced two new mental maths programmes called ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’ and ‘Jungle/Rainbow/Planet maths’. The facts and skills learnt from these programmes have been identified as essential to underpinning maths at different stages and improving children’s’ mental maths skills.
Times Tables Rock Stars and Jungle/Rainbow/Planet maths is both a personalised way of learning as the children are challenged appropriately for the level they are working at. They progress at their own speed onto the next stage.
Jungle/Rainbow/Planet Maths – Years 2, 5 & 6
Each child will be given a sheet with a series of calculations and concepts set out in themes (Jungle Maths/Rainbow Maths/Planet Maths). These calculations and concepts get progressively challenging. The children will develop instant recall skills in all the objectives. For each test, pupils are given only 6 minutes to complete between 40 – 50 calculations. This encourages pupils to be able to recall facts instantly.
The aim is for children to complete all the levels by the end of Year 6. At first, it may seem that the work they are doing is easy but we want to encourage all children to develop their instant recall skills rapidly to aid their achievement in maths.
Times Tables Rock Star – Years 3 & 4
It is widely recognised how fundamental times table recall speed is to later success in maths lessons; yet it's not always easy finding engaging ways to do daily practice. Downe Manor have now subscribed to the Times Tables Rock Stars website. In either paper form or online, Times Tables Rock Stars is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice.
Each week concentrates on a different times table, with a recommended consolidation week for rehearsing the tables that have recently been practiced every third week or so.
All pupils should now have a username and password allowing them to access Rock Star maths at home. Some pupils may have been restricted by their class teacher so they are focusing on their weaknesses. The benefit of this online programme is that incorrect answers are always immediately corrected in front of the pupil so that they start to associate the correct answer to every question.
How to help at home
We would ask that you spend 10 minutes each day practising your child’s mental maths skills with them using their Jungle/Rainbow/Planet Maths sheets or the Times Tables Rock Star log in.
Each child also has a Mathletics username and password that will enable them to use https://community.mathletics.com/signin/#/student which also supports other areas of maths such as: shape, space, measure and data handling – please encourage your child to keep using this website as a self-teaching tool.
If you would like to find out more about our school curriculum, please see the class teacher or Miss Gumbs.