Very young children need plenty of practical experience to enable them to gain a real understanding of the basic mathematical concepts. Children are therefore introduced to mathematics through guided play with materials such as sand and water, and through shopping and domestic play. These activities provide opportunities for sorting, classifying, measuring, estimating, predicting, investigating and becoming familiar with ideas of number.
As children get older their needs and interests change, but there is still a fundamental need, throughout their schooling, for their mathematical development to be grounded in relevant, practical experiences. There is strong evidence to suggest that where there is this emphasis, mastery of the basic skills is more likely to occur than where there is a narrow concentration on the skills themselves. The National Curriculum requires children to use number, measurement and shape and space in practical tasks and in real life problems in order to develop fluency and reasoning.
We ensure that our children have a thorough grounding in practical opportunities to develop their understanding of mathematical concepts prior to any formal recording taking place. Our aim is to develop numerate and confident children who are able to apply their knowledge logically.
Daily mathematic sessions include opportunities to develop the children’s mental and oral strategies, to be involved in open ended problem solving and investigations. ICT is used to support their learning. Work in mathematics can be linked with other areas of the curriculum, including outdoor learning and is not seen as a subject in isolation.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
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