Maths Home Learning
As a school, we recognise the importance of fluency and mental skills in mathematics and this new approach will support children in becoming more secure in their recall of the key facts for their year group, enabling them to approach more complex maths with confidence and flexibility.
What are KIRFs and why are they important?
KIRFs are the ‘Key Instant Recall Facts’ that children need to secure during their primary years. They include facts such as number bonds and times tables. They are particularly useful when calculating, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing but also underpin many other areas of mathematics. For example, in order to find equivalent fractions in Year 6, children need to be able to rapidly recall their knowledge of common multiples (numbers in particular times tables). When children have quick access to a bank of facts, which incur little cost to working memory, they have more capacity to think about more complex problems that draw on these facts. We have noticed that without regular rehearsal, these facts are forgotten so it is essential they are practised regularly and embedded in children’s long-term memory so they can be recalled quickly and accurately.
How will KIRF home learning work?
Every half term, your child will be set home learning which focuses on a particular set of KIRFs. These are available on our school website under the maths section. You will see that each KIRF home learning sheet explains what the focus is for the half term and gives examples of the key facts that need to be learnt, as well as key vocabulary and questions to ask your child and top tips for learning them. Learning KIRFs shouldn’t be time-consuming. In fact, KIRFs can be practised anywhere: in the car, walking to school, at the dinner table. The most important thing is facilitating regular practice. Little and often will support your child in retaining these facts for the long term! Children will also be taught their KIRFs in school as they always have been; however, each half term, extra attention will be paid to the KIRF focus. Teachers will also assess the children to make sure they are being retained.
We thank you for supporting your child in developing as a confident mathematician. We strongly believe that with factual fluency, your child will become much more confident when working with number and be able to access the curriculum year-on-year with more confidence and enjoyment.
Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFs)
Our Mathematics Curriculum
At St Edward’s Catholic Primary School, we are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the beauty and power of Mathematics. Our aim is that all children are successful lifelong mathematicians, have an understanding of how mathematics is essential to everyday life and are fully prepared with the skills for future employment. Children are encouraged to see the mathematics that surrounds them every day and enjoy developing vital life skills in this subject. The mathematics curriculum has been designed with the needs of all children in mind. Learning across the subject is accessible to all and maximises the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement. Lessons incorporate sustained levels of challenge through varied high quality activities with a focus on fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Pupils are required to explore maths in depth, using mathematical vocabulary to reason, clarify, extend and explain their workings. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, whilst building resilience and a determination to succeed.
At St Edward’s we teach a mastery approach to mathematics. We aim for each child to be confident in each yearly objective and develop their ability to use this knowledge to develop a greater depth of understanding to solve varied fluency problems as well as problem solving and reasoning questions. We use the Power Maths scheme of work and textbooks, White Rose planning, NCETM resources and NRich throughout the school to ensure a curriculum that is specific to each child’s learning needs.
A fundamental element in the teaching is the use of multiple representations.
Concrete, pictorial, abstract
Objects, pictures, words, numbers and symbols are everywhere. The mastery approach incorporates all of these to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding. Together, these elements help cement knowledge so pupils truly understand what they’ve learnt.
All pupils, when introduced to a key new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking this approach. Pupils are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
Children also have the opportunity to practise basic skills in additional fluency lessons.
All lessons are planned on formative assessment of what pupils already know and we include all children in learning mathematical concepts. At the planning stage, teachers consider the scaffolding that may be required for children struggling to grasp concepts in the lesson and challenge ‘depth’ questions for those who may grasp the concepts rapidly. Key learning points are identified during planning, with misconceptions addressed early. Questions probe and extend children’s understanding with children expected to respond in full sentences using precise mathematical vocabulary.
Mastery in Mathematics
At Saint Edward’s Catholic Primary School, our vision is for every child to
enjoy and succeed in mathematics, regardless of background. We believe that high-quality, carefully planned lessons and maths-focused
professional development for all teaching staff can make this happen.
Schools today face a range of barriers to success. All of which make building and embedding an effective approach to maths teaching more important – and more challenging – than ever. That’s why, at St. Edward’s, we have adopted the Mastery in Mathematics approach to our teaching.
Mastery of mathematics is something that we want all pupils to acquire, or rather to continue acquiring throughout their school lives, and beyond. Understanding of teaching for mastery is well advanced in a large number of primary schools.
The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics website has some helpful video links and information showing how ‘Mastery’ might look in
lessons at Saint Edward’s. The NCETM website also gives the ideas behind whole-class teaching and structure of a ‘Mastery’ lesson in Maths.
Mastering Number Reception and Key Stage 1
The '5 Big Ideas'
Underpinning the planning and teaching of Mathematics are the '5 big ideas' for the teaching of mastery. This is to ensure that all children acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.
Tower of Hanoi
It has been a really busy week in school with the children enjoying their Maths lessons plus the additional Maths activity each day. During Praise assembly on Friday we shared some of our achievements and Mrs Kennett showed a puzzle called the 'Tower of Hanoi'. If you are ready for a challenge and want to continue to develop your reasoning skills, click on the link below. Have fun!
White Rose Maths
White Rose Maths have teamed up with TV presenter, teacher and parent Michael Underwood to bring you a mini-series called Maths with Michael. The teaching of maths has changed a great deal in recent years and these videos will help to explain the teaching of key concepts and how they are taught in school.
Resources linked to the videos.
Please click on the links below to access a wide variety of online games so you can practice and learn key number facts such as number bonds and times tables.