At Alleyn’s Junior School we aim to teach Maths in a way that is fun and accessible for all our children, which will foster a positive attitude towards the subject now and in the future.
Maths is around us all the time and we equip the children for the practical tasks of everyday life as well as stimulating and challenging them to develop a depth and breadth of understanding of wider mathematical issues.
Children learn through practical activities, investigations, discussion and debate. Lessons are lively and collaborative, with a direct, interactive approach to allow children to develop a range of mental and written calculation strategies. The children are encouraged to make connections between different strands of mathematics. The application of their knowledge is further encouraged and we see children experiencing the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of solving a problem themselves or with their peers. At Alleyn’s we build confidence as well as a thorough knowledge of the National Curriculum and beyond.
We cater for, and encourage, the full range of children’s abilities within the subject, and there is some setting from Year 4. Maths is well resourced throughout the school and children are supported by extra staff, meaning that our pupils receive an individual level of care. We challenge our more able mathematicians with a range of open-ended and investigative tasks. Differentiation occurs throughout the subject, during lessons and within all year groups. The children are encouraged to celebrate success at all levels.
Each topic is developed systematically through a sequence of carefully planned and structured lessons and activities. Children develop mental maths strategies through regular, interactive starter activities, with pupils often using mini-whiteboards. The learning during each lesson is summarised with a plenary at the end. Maths takes place in a collaborative environment with children being encouraged to discuss findings and strategies with their peers and teachers. There is a mixture of class, group and individual teaching and learning. Looking to broaden children’s understanding, we aim to make cross-curricular links wherever possible so children can also access Maths through subjects such as Science, PE, Humanities, and Art and DT.
Whilst recognising the need to reinforce the fundamentals of maths, such as regular times tables practice, new initiatives in maths are also integrated into teaching and learning. From very early on in their school career, children are encouraged to use the correct mathematical vocabulary and are encouraged to talk about their strategies and methods in appropriate terms.
Further exploration and development of maths takes place throughout the school year. For example, Year 3 and 4 take place in the national First Maths Challenge and Year 5 and Year 6 pupils participate in the Primary Maths challenge, with many of our pupils reaching the ‘bonus round’. The school also enters teams into the Quiz Club Maths event. In addition, we run an annual ‘Number Day’ in the Trinity (summer) term which involves all the children participating in a range of fun, practical and engaging maths-related activities.
As an integral part of the newly created Year 6 Diploma, the children at the top of the school participate in a number of relevant, real-life maths projects. These projects include the Fiver Challenge where the children are required to devise and carry out a business plan with the aim of raising as much money as possible for their chosen charity with a starting budget of just £5.