Wootey Infant School – Maths
We all use maths every day, even if that’s not what we call it. We check our change at the shops, work out how expensive the new carpet will be or decide when we need to leave the house to get to somewhere on time. At the other end of the spectrum, brilliant scientists and engineers are using maths to build the technology to help us understand the laws of the universe.
Before our children start school they have already had experience of mathematical ideas and understanding through exploring and investigating the world around them with all their senses.
‘A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
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.’
(Mathematics programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2 National curriculum in England September 2013)
The concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, based on research by psychologist Jerome Bruner, suggests that there are three steps (or representations) necessary for pupils to develop understanding of a concept. Reinforcement is achieved by going back and forth between these representations.
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