In a recent press release, The Department for Education stated that the south Asian ‘mastery’ approach to teaching maths is set to become a standard fixture in England’s primary schools.
Maths mastery involves children being taught as a whole class, building depth of understanding of the structure of maths, supported by the use of high-quality textbooks.
Holden Clough introduced Singapore Maths in 2017 and is currently in the process of exploring and perfecting this way of teaching maths. The recent evaluation of the text book project can be found here.
The National Curriculum
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
•become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
•reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
•can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Big Maths Learn Its’ are being used across school to improve mental maths. The children are encouraged to beat their own score from the previous week and use mental methods to find answers.
In total, there are 36 addition ‘Learn Its’ and 36 multiplication ‘Learn Its.’ Each year group, is given a set of ‘Learn It’ facts that they are asked to learn. The children need to know these facts instantly and be able to answer questions about these as quick as they can answer the question, what is your name?
The aim of the ‘Learn Its’ is to ensure that by the end of Y4, children know and understand all the basic addition and multiplication facts so that they can be applied instantly to many areas of their Numeracy work. The children should also know the related division and subtraction facts.
Children are not expected to just 'know' these facts by memory but rather are encouraged to use various mental methods they have practiced during maths lessons to help learn these facts and make links between numbers. A child who learns these facts by heart will not develop their mental methods as much as a child who finds ways to solve the problem. For example, solving 6 x 8. A child may not confidently know their 6 or 8 times tables but if they understand the basis of multiplication, they may solve this by calculating first 5 x 8 and then adding another lot of 8 because they understand that 6 x 8 can mean 6 groups of 8 or 8 groups of 6. Similarly, another child may decide to calculate 10 x 6 and subtracting 12 to get the same answer.
Why are Mental Recall and Times Tables Important?
Quick Mental Recall and knowing their times tables provides children with the opportunity to answer questions quickly and effectively. Often, when completing complex maths problems, children make errors with the calculation, rather than the process.
The Government will be introducing a statutory times tables test for Year 4 children during the 2019/2020 academic year.
Your child is using Mathletics as part of their mathematics program at school. Mathletics is a targeted, rewarding and captivating online learning resource, which is aligned to curriculum standards. Your child has take-home access to Mathletics – they simply sign in with their school username and password using any compatible computer or mobile device.
The extra Mathletics practice at home can make all the difference to your child’s progress. Encourage them to achieve a weekly target of 1000 points to earn a certificate, building through bronze, silver and gold across the school year. Go for gold!
Keep track of your child’s maths progress
Simply visit www.mathletics.com and click Sign in through your device’s browser at www.mathletics.com or download the Student App for offline use. 1 Visit www.mathletics.com/parent
2 Complete the form and click “Submit”
3 Look out for a weekly progress email in your inbox at the beginning of each week.