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The answer is just the beginning...
At Langley Mill Academy children strive to become accomplished mathematicians, knowing and applying the basic facts whilst also developing reasoning and enriching understanding.
Practical learning Reasoning Deepening Understanding Investigation
In our lessons:
- Pupils are thinking and reasoning. Pupils have opportunities to share learning and reasoning with working partners, groups and through whole class feedback.
- Pupils are applying skills fluently and efficiently, & arrive at accurate answers.
- Practical equipment allows pupils to build mental models on which to hang their understanding of a concept.
- Pupils of all abilities are using images & practical resources to deepen their understanding when appropriate.
- Work from our textbooks with 3 levels of 'challenge choice', promotes independent application and deepens new concepts.
Our scheme of work
We have chosen a scheme of work called 'Busy Ant Maths' written by Collins to support us in teaching the new mathematics curriculum. The scheme ensures full coverage of the curriculum and provides a text book with 3 levels of challenge choice for each lesson objective. Weekly plans are fluid and responsive, with only 4 days set from the scheme; the 5th day of each week remains available for further teaching in areas that require more input, or for providing enrichment activities. Progress Guides provide opportunities for support and extension, and Learning Activities ensure practical exploration of concepts. Independent learning activities are set by the teacher on a daily basis, and children can move between groups depending on their understanding.
Pupils' voice interviews have shown children to be enthusiastic and driven to attain the higher challenges. They enjoy working both practically, pictorially and in the abstract:
'I do challenge three but I sometimes do two first. I do really well at 3 and I like it' (Y4 child)
'I like using protractors to measure angles' (Y5)
'I practise until I get it right, and do the next challenge if I finish' (Y6)
'I like the textbook as I don't need to look up all the time' (Y5)
'I need to do this' (Y3 child when asked what developmental marking in his book meant)
You can view our long and medium term planning for each year group by clicking on the links below:
We have introduced new 'target tags' which will be attached to every child's book. These aim to ensure that children have the basic knowledge they require in maths. The targets focus on these areas:
- Time tables, ensuring that by the end of Year 4, and in line with the National Curriculum expectations, children know all their multiplication tables.
- Application of formal methods.
- A year specific target ( for example, fractions in Y5, algebra Y6 etc.)
- Individual pupil targets and development points (to be added by the child's teacher throughout the year)
It is expected that all children will learn their tables by the end of Year 4, and through revision and practice, retain and apply this knowledge in Year 5 and 6. We have also introduced an additional 'Target Maths' 10 minute session each day so that the skills can be practised. This session will include counting and tables games; chanting and singing; writing out tables; practising written methods and revisiting misconceptions.
If you would like to work on essential facts at home, the ever popular Hit The Button provides a good starting point with tables, doubles, halves, number bonds and square number facts for both children and adults to enjoy.
Maths in other subjects
Children have opportunities to apply mathematics within other subjects. In the 2015-16 academic year, children at Langley Mill have used maths in the following:
- Data loggers used in science, requiring pupils to record numerical data and find averages (Y6)
- Weighing and measuring when preparing ingredients (Y3 and Y6)
- Measuring angles on African art work (Y5)
- Healthy eating plate fractions (Y4)
- Converting imperial to metric measurements when learning about rationing (Y6)
- Drawing timelines and sorting events chronologically in history (Y6)
Parents' newsletters - keeping you informed
An essential element of our values and vision at Langley Mill is the successful home-school partnership. In maths we will provide you with a newsletter for every maths unit covered, in addition to the weekly maths based homework that pupils will complete. The newsletter will detail the learning that your child will be undertaking over the next 3 week unit, and provide an activity that you and your child can do together. It also provides useful questions to ask your child so that you can both support and challenge them to reason and explain.
If you ever have any concerns regarding your child's progress or attainment in maths or simply want to enhance their learning further at home, please get in touch or pop in to talk to us anytime. We have a wealth of resources and interventions that can help children in areas that they find difficult and we have experience with clearing any emerging misconceptions. It is essential that children make academic progress, remain confident learners and stay caught up.
Mr Bland (Mathematics Lead LMA)