Maths at Halifax
Mathematics is a core subject within our curriculum at Halifax Primary School. Having been revised from September 2014, the new national curriculum places emphasis on pupils developing a ‘fluency’ in maths. Although this primarily focuses on pupils having secure number and calculation skills, it also prioritises the need for pupils to be able to use and apply their skills to complete problem solving/reasoning tasks in a variety of contexts.
At Halifax we use a calculation policy that was created in consultation with a group of local primary and high schools to ensure consistency and continuity of the methods being taught. Indeed, we regularly consult with the local high schools to gain their feedback on the key skills and knowledge our pupils have shown in their lessons and how we can accelerate their progress. However, overarching all of our mathematics teaching is the emphasis on varied representation of concepts within lessons, ensuring that pupils have access to concrete resources initially and then moving towards pictorial and more abstract representations when appropriate. This approach is key to supporting understanding of concepts, especially for the first time, and is utilised across all year groups.
The varied representations is also an approach that we use to help children to access problem solving. We encourage pupils to represent problems in different ways in order to assist their understanding of the task and, consequently, enhance their ability to solve. Within all mathematics lessons pupils are given an opportunity to challenge their learning by accessing differentiated activities on a given concept, of which problem solving is an integral part. As such, mathematics is taught in classes with pupils of all abilities being able to access work to challenge their understanding whilst also providing opportunities for greater progress for all through peer work.
Assessment within mathematics is completed through a combination of teacher assessment of class work but also through summative assessments which are completed each term. These summative assessments will be used by a teacher to identify the strengths in pupil knowledge but also the areas for development, which will in turn inform future planning and lead to greater progress.
At Halifax we always encourage parent participation in supporting our delivery of the mathematics curriculum. There are series of calculation leaflets available for parents to explain the methods we use within school, however, throughout the year parents will also be invited to attend maths workshops in order to gain a better understanding of the subject and the methods used. Furthermore, in upper Key Stage 2 parents will be invited to attend a program of collaborative work with their child to enhance the understanding of key ideas and skills.