“Maths 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. A high-quality 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 National Curriculum, 2014
Maths is a subject of huge importance - both in your child's education and in their life in the 'real world', particularly in today's digital age. In fact, it is likely that, due to the technology at our disposal, maths is likely to become even more important as the years go by!
Our results in the KS2 SATs test are usually strong; underpinned by fantastic arithmetic work, which is a focus throughout the school. Our target has recently been to improve the reasoning skills of the pupils who attend St Francis de Sales. Worryingly, nationwide statistics say that 3/10 primary school leavers do not fully master the basics of maths before they start secondary school. This starts a downward spiral: they go to secondary school with gaps in their knowledge; they end up in a lower 'set' (many - but not all - secondary schools base their setting on the Year 6 KS2 SATs results); this leads to a dissociation to the subject - many people tend to say they've 'never been good at maths'. This is not the case! The likely situation is that they have gaps in their basic knowledge of place value and the four operations.
As mentioned previously, we are proud of our KS2 maths data and believe that this is down to our work in class, our formative assessment and the focus given to improving the arithmetic of our children from Year 3 onwards.
How can you help?
You can help in many ways - check that your child is using their digital passport to complete their IXL tasks. If you need a copy of their username/login, do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher!
You could spend time on Times Tables Rock Stars or Tablesmaster with your child. Mathematical fluency is so important - accurate recall of times tables and related division facts underpin so much of the rest of the curriculum. Time spent revising these is essential in the development of your child as a mathematician. Moreover, the government recognise the importance of knowing your times tables: Year 4s (from 2020) will sit an official DfE Times Tables Test.
Additionally, your child will be given homework on a Monday that is in for a Friday - should you have any questions about this or how best to assist your child with their work, please speak to Mr Kennedy or your child's teacher.
You may also feel like the way things are taught are different to how you were taught in school. This is not a problem! IXL offers explanations for how to tackle problems and you are more than welcome to come into school to speak to Mr Kennedy or your child's teacher should you need any help yourself. If this helps you to help your child with their maths at home, then it is definitely worth the time spent. Alternatively, you could use many resources to help yourself/your child. On top of that, you could use the website, 'The School Run', which explains every area of maths in the primary curriculum. Finally, look out for one of our Parent Sessions, which will be booked into the calendar shortly.
If you have a poor attitude towards maths, then your child may develop one too! To combat this:
1.) Speak positively about maths.
2.) Challenge the idea that only some people are good at maths.
3.) Share stories about your own enjoyment of maths.
4.) Highlight the usage of maths in everyday scenarios.
Why is Maths so important?
You use it in almost every job, to count money, to read timetables, to collect data, to cook etc. The amount that maths transfers into daily life is stupendous!
Studies show that pupils with poor numeracy skills suffer worse disadvantages than people with poor literacy skills.
Solid maths skills are the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor health.
Studies show that there is a link between poor numeracy skills and poor health, as well as between good numeracy skills and a better wage.
Research indicates that improving numeracy directly helps people to improve their confidence.
Pupils who start high school with low numeracy skills are twice as likely to be excluded from school.
Around 90% of new graduate jobs require a high level of digital skills, which are built on numeracy.
14-year-olds who have poor numeracy skills at 11 are more than twice as likely to play truant from school.
* Data taken from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.