Maths at Millfield
Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. 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.
At Millfield, Maths is taught following the objectives form the National Curriculum of England through both classroom based and outdoor learning opportunities which include: investigations, practicals and reasoning problems.
Aims of the Curriculum
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content.
At Millfield, to help to develop a love of Maths some of the objectives of the National Curriculum are delivered through the Big Maths scheme. Each class teacher develops and adjusts their own style of teaching Maths tailored to the children they are teaching. Below is an overview of the Big Maths scheme.
What is Big Maths?
Big Maths is an approach to teaching number that aims to ensure that children are confidently numerate as they progress through school. It provides a rigorous and progressive structure and enables children to fully embed key skills and numeracy facts through fun and engaging lessons. It is based on 4 key elements which make up each maths lesson: CLIC.
Counting – Counting is done in many ways including counting forwards and backwards in various increments; work on place value and reading and ordering numbers.
Learn Its – Learn Its are 72 number facts which are learnt throughout the years from Reception to Year 4. They are split across the different terms so that each class works on a few Learn Its at a time to ensure they are fully embedded. 36 are addition facts and 36 are multiplication facts; these are learnt in class and practised at home and are tested once a week.
It’s Nothing New – Children use a bank of facts and methods that they already have to solve problems and that each step of progress is very small; children will use and apply their skills and methods to a range of different situations and problems.
Calculation – This is often the main part of the maths lesson which focuses on teaching solid written and mental methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The children move through progress drives which introduce small, focused steps of progress throughout the year.
How does Big Maths work?
During each lesson on number, the children will experience CLIC taught in various ways, often using colourful characters. Each class works on a set list of Learn Its each term and these are tested each week in a timed test made up of several Learn Its from the appropriate maths level.
In addition to this, each class will complete a CLIC test once a week which is an untimed test made up of questions on several areas of maths. Each week the children enjoy trying to beat their own score from the previous week.
What should children be doing at home to support Big Maths?
Children should be practising the appropriate Learn Its for their class at home to support what is happening in lessons. Teachers communicate the Learn Its being taught to parents termly.
The written methods used in Big Maths throughout the school have been written into a calculation policy for parents to download and use at home when supporting children with homework.
Big Math’s Characters
‘Where’s Mully’ is a Big Maths game where the objective is to find where Mully is hiding on the number square. It is about extending children’s knowledge of multiples. Children are asked to find Mully by identifying the largest multiple of a given number yet staying in the parameters of a limited maximum number.
Count Fourways teaches the children that if they can count in four different ways, then they can apply this knowledge to counting in many ways.
This character teaches us that 3 things add four things always equals seven things. These ‘things’ could be anything, including objects, amounts and measures. Therefore, if one knows that 6 add 2 equals 8, then one also knows that £6 add £2 must equal £8.
Pom is an alien. Pom has several features that help children learn 4 key mathematical words: multiple, factor, square and prime.
This character helps us to learn about partitioning numbers (he shows us what each ‘squiggle’ in a number is worth). The children begin by placing the number into the spots on his tummy and then continue by writing what the number is worth in his feet underneath. So if the children wanted to partition 643, they would place 6, 4 and 3 into the three spots on his tummy and write 600, 40 and 3 on his feet underneath.
Assessment in Maths
Children’s progress in Maths is assessed across the school in many different ways. The class teacher uses verbal assessments during daily Maths lessons; short Maths tests on Friday mornings, that may include times tables, arithmetic or reasoning questions; and either the NFER or PUMA maths tests at the end of each half term. The children are assessed as emerging, expected or exceeding in the subject; their progress is tracked and any children that are found not to be meeting their targets are monitored so that they are back on track quickly.
SATs, made up of a selection of reasoning and arithmetic questions, are carried out at the end of Years 2 and 6. If you would like to see an example of the most up-to-date test, follow the links below:
From June 2020, all children in Year 4 will take the new Multiplication Tables Check (MTC). They will need to know all of their times tables up to 12 x 12. The website called timestables.co.uk website is an excellent site to help you learn your tables. Follow the link below to see if you can earn your Big Diploma: