F.U.N Maths Review
In September we launched FUN Maths – a new initiative aimed at helping our pupils to become fluent and proficient mathematicians. The reason for this is that we recognise that a lack of fluency of number facts can act as a barrier to learning; pupils who are not able to recall number facts quickly often struggle to apply this skill when calculating, problem solving and reasoning.
Each day all pupils have a twenty-minute FUN Maths session. The aim of these sessions is to enable children to practise number facts in order to improve the speed of their recall. The sessions involve singing and chanting number facts, playing games involving number facts as well as the opportunity to solve problems and apply their knowledge when calculating.
Two weeks ago I had the joy of sharing in the learning of pupils throughout the school. I was incredibly impressed with the enthusiasm of staff and pupils for Maths. There was a ‘buzz’ of learning in each class and all pupils were thoroughly engaged when singing, playing games, calculating and problem solving. There was real improvement in the speed of recall of pupils in each lesson. For example, I did not witness any pupil relying on using their fingers as an aid to recall. Instead number facts, for many pupils, were at the tip of their tongue.
Moreover, pupil voice has been exceptionally positive about the sessions. During the course of the term, I have regularly sought the pupils’ opinions about their sessions -all of which have been exceptionally positive. One child stated: ‘I like the songs we sing.’ Another child stated: ‘… I learn how to get quicker at my tables out of school and in.’
Regular scrutiny of books demonstrates that the pupils are being provided with frequent and purposeful opportunities to practise and apply their number facts in a range of different contexts. Strong progress is clear in all books, particularly in the pupils’ ability to calculate and problem solve. However, for some pupils presentation does need to improve and will be a focus for their learning next term.
Over the past few weeks, pupils have also completed their first end of term fluency test. This was an opportunity for pupils to show how much they have improved during the course of the term. Whilst we recognise that we are not teaching to a test, particularly within Y2 and Y6 who are preparing for their SATS, we also recognise that testing is an inevitable part of the world in which we live. Therefore we want to ensure that pupils have the essential learning behaviours required to complete these tests confidently and to the best of their ability.
Results, particularly within Key Stage two, clearly indicate strong progress has been made. It must also be noted how much children’s learning behaviour has changed when being tested. Many pupils are so much more confident now than they have been in the past since they are so used to being given a time limit to complete their learning. This was evident in the pupil voice also, for example, two pupils commented that they liked being tested and that the tests were similar to their spelling test.
The impact of home learning is also reflected in how well the children have been able to recall their number facts quickly in their lessons and in their tests. On the whole, there is clear evidence to suggest that the pupils who have worked hard to practise their number facts at home have made more progress than those who have not.
Please continue to encourage your child/children to practise their number facts in fun and practical ways. For example, counting pairs of socks, playing games with dice where they have to use the number bonds, sing number songs (a range of which can be found on utube) or play ICT games on the internet such as ‘Hit the Button’.
In January, we will be providing a FUN Maths family workshop in Class 3 so that parents can come into a fun Maths session in order to learn with their children. We hope that this will give you an insight into your child’s learning so that you are aware of the expectations upon them and how you can support them at home. A separate letter will be sent out regarding this session after Christmas.