‘Learning Maths is like building a tower; children must have firm foundations and acquire specific building blocks in a certain order. If any of these blocks of understanding are missing, then the tower is shaky and can be toppled at any time with the presentation of new challenges and concepts.’
Therefore, at Laughton, we teach maths differently. Children are not simply rushed through the curriculum, gaining vast, but superficial knowledge that can fall apart whenever they encounter something unfamiliar. Instead, significant time is spent ensuring children have a deep, sustained knowledge of mathematical concepts and that secure building blocks are in place. As a result, we believe that all of our children can succeed in this subject, that no child ‘just can’t do it’.
However, our children do not learn just how to ‘do maths’; huge emphasis is also placed on teaching them to ‘think mathematically’. Through contextualised problem solving activities, children work in the same way real mathematicians do, learning skills such as reasoning, conjecturing, generalising and working systematically. This allows children to experience maths as something that is fundamentally useful, and not just a series of skills that must be learnt in order to pass tests.