“Success in math does not depend on how many answers you know, but by what you do when you don’t know the answer.” —Unknown
From budgeting our finances, to telling the time, maths is pivotal to all of our everyday lives. Maths at Bell Farm is about equipping every one of our children with the skills they need to solve problems in their everyday lives, both now, and in the future.
We believe that this involves:
- developing children’s basic numeracy skills in counting and calculating;
- helping children to take organised, logical approaches to challenges;
- celebrating creative-thinking with number, calculations, shape and pattern;
- fostering a love of thinking mathematically;
- developing children’s reasoning skills;
- and exposing children to a range of problems which require the application of the areas outlined above.
We don’t believe in a ‘One Size Fits All’ approach, so our teachers are highly trained in responding to the needs of individuals. They plan carefully tailored work to suit our pupils, rather than following a published scheme of work; this allows us to pitch work precisely, supporting less-confident mathematicians, whilst extending those who are most highly attaining.
Achieving mastery of a skill can’t be rushed, so we take time to deliver new concepts to the children, ensuring that they master the necessary areas before moving on to new content; this ensures deeper learning. Children’s understanding is secured through the opportunity to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding to a broad range of non-routine problems.
Problem solving is at the very core of our maths lessons, after all, the ability to use and apply maths is fundamental to everyday life, both in childhood and adulthood. We ensure that the children are exposed to familiar and unfamiliar problems to develop their confidence and ability to choose relevant strategies side-by-side.
We believe that children should be encouraged to think analytically and creatively. Teachers promote discussion through rich, open-ended questioning, which promotes higher-order thinking, reasoning and explanation; this articulation consolidates children’s learning and develops children’s ability to raise questions of their own.
We believe that enjoyment of maths is key to developing confidence in the subject, therefore, we value the impact of maths games, and utilise these to develop children’s fluency alongside more formal methods of recitation and questioning.
Where possible, we look for practical ways of engaging the children in their maths lessons, for example, utilising our vast outdoor grounds. We endeavour to make cross-curricular links to really enthuse the children and make maths a meaningful experience for them.
At Bell Farm, we do not ability-group our children, but instead develop pupils’ ability to reflect and self-asses before choosing the appropriate level of challenge. We encourage resiliency, tenacity and a hunger to work at a problem which may, at first, seem tricky, whilst respecting children’s decisions to re-evaluate their judgement during the lesson.
Working within our local community is important to us at Bell Farm; as such, we utilise opportunities to work with local schools, organising special events for targeted groups of children, and relish the opportunity to involve parents in our pupils’ learning at our annual maths open morning.
At Bell Farm, we firmly believe that every child is a mathematician, and through supportive, engaging and creative teaching, we strive to help children realise this quality in themselves.
Maths Open Day 2021
On Thursday 18th November, Mrs Howarth organised a fantastic Maths open day for the whole school community. Parents came and engaged in a variety of Maths activities and investigations, and were invited to a presentation on how best to support children with their maths learning.
If you were unable to attend or would like a refresher, you are welcome to download the presentation here.
As well as Mathletics, there are a number of websites which contain maths games which your children may be interested to use: