At SMC maths is taught using a mastery approach. Teaching maths for mastery is a transformational approach to maths teaching which stems from high performing Asian nations such as Singapore. When taught to master maths, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures.
When teaching maths for mastery, the whole class moves through topics at broadly the same pace. Each topic is studied in depth and the teacher does not move to the next stage until all children demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts.
Students are given time to think deeply about the maths and really understand concepts at a relational level rather than as a set of rules or procedures. This slower pace leads to greater progress because it ensures that students are secure in their understanding and teachers don’t need to revisit topics once they’ve been covered in depth.
In a traditional primary school maths lesson, children are put in different groups and given different content based on their anticipated ability. This means that from an early age children are classed as those who can and can’t “do maths”. Teaching maths for mastery is different because it offers all pupils access to the full maths curriculum. This inclusive approach, and its emphasis on promoting multiple methods of solving a problem, builds self-confidence and resilience in pupils.
Though the whole class goes through the same content at the same pace, there is still plenty of opportunity for differentiation. Unlike the old model, where advanced learners are accelerated through new content, those pupils who grasp concepts quickly are challenged with rich and sophisticated problems within the topic. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on.
Key Instant Recall Facts
As part of our ongoing effort to maximise our curriculum offer, we have introduced KIRFs as a whole-school program for raising standards in Maths. KIRFs (Key Instant Recall Facts) are designed to support the development of the mental skills that underpin much of the maths work in schools. They are particularly useful when calculating, be it adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing. An important part of maths development has always been rote learning of certain numeracy facts. For many years this has included practising times tables. We have added more structure to this throughout school with daily maths meetings or fluency sessions in every class.
Each half term children will be given Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFs) to practise and learn at home as well as the work in school. These will be sent home on A4 sheets and include practical ideas for parents / helpers to assist children in grasping the key facts. It is important that they know these thoroughly and can recall specific facts instantly. Whilst children have a wide range of abilities in mathematics, the KIRFs are designed to be a set of facts that need to be learnt thoroughly as they build on each other year on year. Again, we stress that the children must aim to know their KIRF inside out, back to front and with instant recall.
We strongly encourage you to engage with your children in the learning of their KIRFs; fun, practical ideas are included on the sheet and should be undertaken regularly as part of their homework schedule. We know that, by internalising these key facts which have been carefully structured to build upon each other term by term, year by year, children will leave SMC with a much stronger foundation of mathematical understanding to build upon.
Know all the number bonds to 5
Know all the numbers bonds to 10
Know all the number bonds to 20
Know all doubles and halves of even numbers to 20
Know all addition and subtraction facts for all numbers between 0 and 10
Count forwards and backwards in steps of 2,5 and 10
Know all the number bonds for 10 and 20
Know multiplication and division facts for 2x table
Know multiplication and division for 10x table
Know the halves of 1,3,5,7 and 9 as a fraction
Know all addition and subtraction facts for multiples of 10 to 100
Know multiplication and division facts for the 5x table
Know all number bonds to 20
Know multiplication and division facts for 2x and 4x and 8x table
Know doubles and halves of all whole numbers to 20
Know all number bonds for 100 using multiples of 5
Know all multiplication and division facts for the 3,6 and 9 times tables.
Know all multiplication and division facts for the 2,5 and 10 times tables.
Know all number bonds to 100
Know multiplication and division facts for the 7x table
Know the decimal and percentage equivalents of the fractions ½, ¼, ¾, ⅓, ⅔, tenths and fifths
Know all pairs of multiples of 50 with a total of 1000
Know multiplication and division facts for the 11 and 12 times tables.
Know all number bonds for £1 using decimal notation
Know all decimals that total 1 or 10 (1 decimal place)
Consolidate multiplication and division facts for all times tables
Know the doubles and halves of all two-digit numbers
Know the prime numbers up to 100
Know all pairs of factors of numbers up to 100
Know the decimal and percentage equivalents of the fractions ½, ¼, ¾, thirds, tenths and fifths
Know all previous number bonds (including decimals)
Derive multiplication and division facts using decimal numbers
Know the doubles and halves of all two-digit decimals
Know all the square numbers to 12 x 12
Know the tests for divisibility for numbers up to 10
Know the square roots of square numbers to 15 x 15
Children who struggle with their timestables in primary school are much more likely to fall behind as they advance into their secondary education. When it comes to times tables, speed AND accuracy are important – the more facts your child remembers, the easier it is for them to do harder calculations.
Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help students master the times tables! The programme is used both for class and homework to help children build their knowledge by taking on a rock star persona and playing in festivals and in battle of the bands (both different challenges which can be against players in other schools or class battles within the school).
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