At Mayflower we believe one of the most important things to know about maths is this: maths is fun! The greatest of mathematicians find joy, not only in learning, but in the mistakes they make along the way. We want the children of Mayflower to be confident in taking risks, take ownership of their learning and be problem solvers, with a range of strategies to draw upon and the resilience to tackle unknown challenges. Alongside a firm base in numerical fluency, we hope to instill creativity in maths, where the children are encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Through collaboration and talk, the children learn to express their ideas in the language of mathematics, allowing them to reason mathematically both verbally and in written form. Our school vision underpins our mathematical ethos of collaboration, creativity, problem solving, risk-taking and ownership of learning. Above all, we want the children to know that they are all mathematicians and they can solve any problem they face.
Maths sessions at Mayflower are designed to engage and inspire. Where appropriate, they link to the stories and topics the children are learning, for example using addition and subtraction on a budget to design a home for a character, or using ratio and proportion to plan a banquet for the Greek gods. This provides context and immersive learning that is supported by our problem solving approach. Explicit problem solving lessons are taught as part of each block and provide the opportunity to explore open-ended problems where talk, collaboration, independence and making mistakes are encouraged and developed. The children are taught six problem solving skills from Year 1 to Year 6, which are built on over the years. The six explicitly taught skills are:
This aims to equip the children with a range of strategies they can draw upon to solve any unknown problem they may face. By Year 5 and 6, the children are encouraged to elicit which skill they are using and choose the most appropriate skill for the problem. This important skill of taking ownership of the learning is developed in all lessons. Children choose their own level of challenge in each lesson, through ‘chilli challenges’ set by class teachers. This ensures that all children are appropriately challenged and use their mistakes to reflect on themselves as learners. Maths blocks are planned to allow for regular retrieval and revision of previously learnt skills, as informed by research.
Every child from Year 1 to Year 6 has a Mathletics account and every child from Year 2 to Year 6 has a Times Tables Rockstars account. This supports maths learning at home and allows teachers to set consolidation or pre-learning tasks to support learning at school. Every year, we have an exciting maths weeks with puzzle and problem solving workshops, mathematical drama productions and daily challenges to create a buzz of mathematical learning. In Upper Key Stage 2, children take part in the Numeracy Challenge with other local schools and in Lower Key Stage 2 a range of Times Tables bees and Times Tables Rock Star challenges support and excite the children in their mathematical learning journey.