The Balgowan Maths curriculum is cumulative - each school year begins with a focus on the concepts and skills that have the most connections, and this concept is then applied and connected throughout the school year to consolidate learning. This gives pupils the opportunity to master maths: by using previous learning throughout the school year, children are able to develop mathematical fluency and conceptual understanding.
Our curriculum is designed to make sure that the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum for England are fully met. Each year’s curriculum includes all of the National Curriculum objectives for that year, plus a small number from the year above – usually from “number” – where we feel these will help pupils make connections with their learning. The exception to this is in year 6, where we focus on deepening learning from across a child’s school life and contextualising concepts through problem solving and drawing further, and more concrete, links from previous learning.
For Maths at Balgowan, we believe in a ‘growth mindset’ - this is the belief that intelligence and ability can be developed over time through effort, dedication and hard work. Children tend to persevere with tasks and enjoy challenges due to the belief that effort needs to be expended to learn. People with a growth mindset believe they can be successful if they apply effort and hard work, and are more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks resulting in more resilient children with an inner drive to succeed.
We believe it is essential for pupils to develop mathematical thinking in and out of the classroom in order to fully master mathematical concepts. We want children to think like mathematicians and be enthusiastic problem solvers, not just DO the maths.
We believe that pupils should:
- Explore, wonder, question and conjecture
- Compare, classify, sort
- Experiment, play with possibilities, vary an aspect and see what happens
- Make theories and predictions and act purposefully to see what happens, generalising their findings
It is important that we support all pupils in developing their mathematical thinking, both in order to improve the way in which they learn, as well as the learning itself. Good questioning is used to develop pupils’ ability to compare, modify and generalise - all building a deeper understanding of mathematics.
Ultimately, we want children to leave Balgowan with a positive attitude towards mathematics: children who have the inner drive to work both independently and as part of a group; persevere through challenging questions and problems; as well as demonstrating an open-minded attitude towards new challenges and concepts. We believe the skills and attitude we aspire towards are both vital to our pupils’ ongoing success and development in mathematics.