We aim to develop the deep thinkers and quick minds of the future – the next mathematical geniuses!
What is Mathematics?
Mathematics is the mastery of patterns through the use of logic, conjecturing, generalising, reasoning and abstracting, allowing us to develop problem solving skills for use in a range of contexts.
Why is this subject important?
Maths helps us think analytically, solve problems. It is not only important for success in life, it is all around us. The laws of mathematics are evident throughout the world, including in nature and the problem solving skills obtained can help us tackle problems in other areas of life. A mathematical understanding gives us a greater appreciation for the beauty of the work around us.
What is the purpose of the subject?
Research suggests that poverty is the biggest single indicator of low educational achievement 'Children from poorer homes do worse educationally than their classmates, with 34% of pupils eligible for free school meals achieving 5+A*-C GCSEs including English and maths, compared to 61% of better-off pupils' (DfE 2014). With 38% of students at Cardinal Wiesman eligible for free school meals, a number of our pupils are of socio-economic disadvantage, meaning they face a number of barriers/ challenges to their learning. This may include education potentially not being valued at home; lack of family engagement with learning; low aspirations and expectations of self and restricted language and vocabulary.
When it comes to maths, the barriers can be broadly categorised into cultural barriers and knowledge barriers. Maths specific barriers, can be attributed to one key characteristic – Insecure knowledge of facts such as number bonds and times tables. This then leads to all other areas of maths becoming inaccessible. A lack of success leads to poor motivation; lack of knowledge means an inefficient working memory; lack of knowledge of vocabulary means that mathematical questions and discussions become an extra challenge.
We have a moral duty to ensure our most vulnerable children experience success in maths. This comes from creating a classroom culture where we celebrate the small wins which make children feel good about their abilities in maths. Therefore Maths is important for our children in a number of ways; to dispel the belief they are not good at maths; to help them gain an awareness of number sense; to apply logic to everyday situations; to facilitate an environment for children where success is the norm,and which in-turn will motivate them to succeed and raise their aspirations.