Purpose of Study
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. The schools mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all children:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that children develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non- routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which children need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. Our programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They will be taught to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
The expectation is that the majority of children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of an individual child’s understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Children who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
The schools curriculum for mathematics reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof. They will be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as others and teachers will ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
The programmes of study for mathematics are set out year-by-year for key stages 1 and 2.
For information on the National Curriculum for Maths please click here Maths National Curriculum