We all use maths every day, even if that’s not what we call it. We check our change at the shops, work out how expensive the new carpet will be, decide when we need to leave the house to get to the airport. And at the other end of the spectrum, brilliant scientists are using maths to build the internet and help us understand the laws of the universe.

Our main aims at Richmond are to encourage children to enjoy maths, to help children to feel secure enough to have a go at problem solving and, most importantly, help them to see how this learning is applied to real life situations so they will be able to use the things they’ve learned when they grow up.

A lot of emphasis in maths is placed on using mental calculations where possible, using jottings to help support thinking. As children progress through the school and are taught more formal written methods, they are still encouraged to think about mental strategies they could use first. It is important that children are secure with number bonds (adding numbers together and subtracting them) and have a good understanding of place value (tens and units etc.) before embarking on formal written methods

The Daily Lesson

Daily lessons at Richmond are usually taught in three parts:

  • mental or oral starters where children practise mental skills as a whole class
  • main activity where children are introduced to and can practise new skills. This is taught either as a whole class or in groups and the children are given the opportunity to explore new ideas
  • plenary where activities may be discussed and misconceptions addressed and children are given a puzzler to think about and explain

All the children at Richmond C of E are on the Space Mission: Instant Recall Facts (SMIRFS). To be instant recall, children are expected to be able to recall the fact within 3 seconds. Children have daily opportunities in school to work on their mental maths, either working on times tables or on strategies to support them in solving mental calculations as a class. They are also set personal targets to progress on the mission which they practise in school on a regular basis.

How can you help?

  • Help your child practise their SMIRFS targets at home – a few minutes a day is all you need
  • Insist that numbers are written the correct way round
  • Come into school and volunteer to play some maths games with children
  • Support your child with their maths homework, play maths games with them on SUMDOG and enjoy maths together
  • Talk to your child about maths, get them explain to you how to do things and how they achieved their answer
  • Make maths a positive experience (don’t tell your child you were rubbish at maths when you were at school – they will think they should be!)
  • If you have any questions or concerns please see your child’s class teacher in the first instance
  • Useful links
  • http://www.maths-games.org/times-tables-games.html
  • http://www.transum.org/Tables/Times_Tables.asp