JUNIOR DEPARTMENT NEWS
Message from Mrs McIntosh
‘Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.’
Maths must surely be one of the most emotive subjects that we teach in schools. People have such different responses to and feelings about it.
- ‘I hate Maths!’
- ‘I loved Maths lessons because there was one right answer.’
- ‘I was no good at Maths at school.’
- ‘I never understood what we were doing or why.’
- ‘Maths is so easy, I don’t understand why people don’t get it!.’
These are all phrases I have heard from parents over the years at Parent Consultations or when they have come to ask for advice about how to help their child.
Teachers have been on a mission for about 10 years (more in some cases!) to change the way that pupils feel about Maths and by association the way we teach it.
Here at Beechwood, we follow a scheme called White Rose Maths. Their strap line is… Everyone can do Maths. Everyone can!
What is it?
‘White Rose Maths brings together a team of highly experienced and passionate maths teaching experts to train, guide, help and support all those who want to make change happen.’
They have created a clear and comprehensive scheme of work, a clear, time-linked plan for learning which is broken up into blocks of learning.
The scheme is based on a mastery approach to learning.
What does that mean?
Mark McCourt in his book ‘Teaching for Mastery’ defines it as:
‘A teaching and learning approach that aims for pupils to develop deep understanding of maths rather than being able to memorise key procedures or resort to rote learning’.
So, in essence that means that children will really get to grips with numbers and operations rather than just following a method.
For more on this why not watch this short video about how Maths has changed.
There is also a strong emphasis on a three-stage approach known as CPA
Concrete Pictorial Abstract
In the Junior Department we use a wide range of manipulatives (concrete materials) such as Numicon, ten frames, counters, pebbles, dienes blocks and others.
Why do pupils need these?
The concrete manipulatives allow them to visualise and understand the maths which helps them make sense of what is actually happening. They will fully understand why and how the operation works. They also help the pupils make connections to what they have already learnt but perhaps most importantly for our younger children it makes the topics more engaging and fun!
In supporting your child at home, you can use items you have around the house: toy cars, pasta, buttons etc. There is also a really useful website which has interactive versions of the manipulatives we use at school, I have included a link here
I have created a short video about it as well (it says for your sons as I recorded it whilst working at a boys’ school but it is for girls too, of course!). You can watch it here
I will continue my mini-series on Maths at Beechwood next week, so look out for that, but more importantly I would encourage you to look at the parents’ section on White Rose’s website as there is a wealth of information and help available.
Please be aware that next Friday, 27 January, Beechwood is hosting a cross-country event for over 400 competitors and their parents. This means that there will be A LOT of extra cars on site and finding a space to park to collect your child might be challenging. Do leave extra time on this day so that you can pick up at 1515 or 1600 calmly and promptly. With thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.
Have a lovely weekend.
Head of Junior Department