Maths at Millennium
We teach maths in a number of ways at Millennium and we have a few key principles behind how we do things. Firstly, maths is awesome and we want children to have a love of maths whilst they are here at Millennium. So, although Maths is taught discreetly each day it will also link into some of our bigger topics where children will get the opportunity to apply their mathematical knowledge. For example, they may be working out profit and loss accounts for selling the board game that they have designed or they may be pricing the menus for their restaurant evening.
1st Key Principle
Mental mathematics and basic number is the key. Without these we can’t really enjoy mathematics or work through other key concepts. So at Millennium we really focus in on the Basic Skills. This means lots of practical mathematics early on, but this also carries through for the older children too. We also spend a lot of time ensuring that children get the opportunities to practise their basic number operations and know their times tables.
2nd Key Principle
Maths is far more than just completing ‘sums’. Maths should be enjoyable, challenging and investigative. This is why we ensure that maths teaching always looks at ways of getting children to apply their mathematical knowledge by solving challenges and investigations. This approach gives children a much deeper understanding of mathematics and demands much more mathematical thought.
3rd Key Principle
We have no idea what limits children can reach in mathematics so we need to create opportunities to stretch children as much as possible. This is done by giving children open ended investigations to stretch what they can do; go to nrich.maths.org to see some of the activities that we set. But we also have to raise our expectations. We use IXL at school and at home to give children who are picking up concepts quickly, the opportunity to work at their own pace and really see what they can do. At the same time it gives children who are struggling to pick up a new concept more time to practise. We use IXL once a week in school and we also use it to set homework.
Two years ago Millennium had no children leaving the school as Level 6 mathematicians (Equivalent to a 13/14 year olds expected level). In 2014 we had 22% of children leaving at Level 6 which was one of the highest percentages in the country.
- We run a maths afterschool club to support children in mathematics.
- We run a peer tuition scheme where able mathematicians in Year 6 learn aspects of the secondary maths curriculum and then they peer tutor Year 5 children.
- Specialist small group sessions for children.
- Maths workshops for parents: these have included working with parents on how to use IXL at home to support children, opportunities for parents to come into school to watch how maths sessions are taught and workshops for parents showing them how written calculations are taught.