The Perse School
 

Maths

Creating confidence in maths
and an appreciation of its beauty

Our aim

Confidence is key in maths, and we want pupils to enjoy the challenge of unfamiliar maths problems. We teach them that the most important word when faced with a demanding problem is ‘yet’: they may not be able to do it yet, but with application and support they will. The willingness to embrace challenge and – in time – to seek it out is crucial.

We aim to help pupils develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to work effectively in the world at large, but also to enjoy and appreciate  maths. We want our pupils to leave with a fascination for numbers and for ideas like infinity, relationships, pattern and order, as well as for a sense of mystery and space.

Our curriculum combines the acquisition of key mathematical skills in number and topic work with opportunities to apply these skills to real life situations. Pupils learn to use maths as a tool in life, exploring uses such as in profit and loss, budgeting and mathematical predictions. They also begin to understand the enjoyment and beauty of more theoretical maths.

Learning journey

Lessons are highly practical and contextualised so that pupils can clearly see how the maths they are learning can be used in real-life situations.

Pupils begin in Year 3 with work on the four number operations; handling data (such as bar charts and Venn diagrams); number sequences and pattern; and basic fractions. In Year 4 we introduce topics such as decimal numbers; angles, area and perimeter; and probability.

Pupils continue to build on these foundations in Years 5 and 6, while also becoming more adept at word problems and contextualised questions. In Year 5, they begin to explore square and prime numbers, percentages, conversions, averages and algebra. In their final year at the Prep they carry out long project-based work. They work increasingly independently to tackle problems, selecting and applying the appropriate maths solutions to real-life questions.

Pupils use tools such Microsoft Excel in tasks like the ‘Wembley Project’, where they create a financial model for a sporting event, or design a maths trail around the School involving bearings.

Beyond the classroom

Timetabled enrichment groups enable us to stretch the most able mathematicians, exploring paradox and logic.

Pupils can take part in Countdown Club, a weekly lunchtime club where they tackle the maths element of the popular TV show, and can enjoy Mathletics in the library at breaktimes.

 

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