Our Vision for Maths

At St. Alphonsus’ Catholic Primary school, we believe that…

All children can succeed in mathematics. We don’t believe that there are individuals who can do maths and those that can’t. A positive teacher mind set and strong subject knowledge are key to a child’s success in mathematics.

Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract

As a school we believe that all children, when introduced to a key new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking this approach.

Concrete – children should have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.

Pictorial – children should then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems.

Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, students should be able to move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.

What maths looks like in our school.

We will teach in flexible mixed ability groups, where children can talk about their mathematical ideas and reason with each other. Through reasoning and discussion, more confident learners will raise the status of maths with children who find certain concepts in maths challenging.

Differentiation will occur in a way that does not limit a child’s achievements. All children will be working towards a same goal, however questions and activities will be differentiated with children allowed the opportunity to choose their level of challenge when appropriate. Teachers and TA’s will provide instant feedback to ascertain if the child is being appropriately challenged and move the learning forward or address misconceptions.

Children will begin a new topic by developing their fluency. Through assessment for learning, children who are fluent will be moved on to reasoning and problem solving activities to ensure they have opportunities for mastery level. All children will be exposed to reasoning, through the provision of opportunities to talk about their mathematical ideas and explain their thinking.

A culture of embracing mistakes so that we can learn from them will be evident in every classroom. The aim is to build resilience in our young mathematicians; to identify and discuss own and each other’s errors in order to recognise when they are successful and to enable each child to become confident with maths by overcoming barriers to learning with ‘lightbulb moments.’

The concept of ‘Mistakes are beautiful!’ will be celebrated in each classroom.