Maths and numeracy are taught in both discrete lessons and through cross curricular opportunities, making it an integral part of our learning every day at Mill Water. We aim for pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge and understanding in a range of practical, functional contexts in order for the theory to be meaningful and useful.
The 7 areas of maths learning at Mill Water are:
Pupils will begin by learning through practical activities, moving on to pictorial representations and if appropriate, developing on to written forms and more abstract levels. When new concepts are introduced, pupils will return to learning through a practical approach to ensure the foundations are firmly established.
Number and the number system is represented through the use of Numicon to support pupils understanding and ensure consistency and a recognisable resource though out the school. Teachers use the Numicon schemes of work, as well as a bespoke Mill Water maths curriculum to plan for their classes, differentiating for individuals as necessary.
Specific language associated with maths and numeracy is taught alongside new knowledge and skills, and there is a consistent approach across the school.
Mill Water’s maths curriculum ensures that pupils have mastered the fundamentals and provides opportunities for revisiting through structured progressive, structured sequences of learning, with opportunities to revisit and build upon prior knowledge.
Nurture and Engagement
Pupils on our Nurture and Engagement pathway work on maths through the exploration of number, shape, space and measure. Pupils will learn and apply their knowledge through experiential and practical activities, focusing on basic mathematical concepts that may support them later in life. For example, time will be taught through the use of visual timetables and developing an understanding of now, before and next, related directly to their experiences and supportive of them understanding daily routines.
Practical Living and Life Skills
Pupils are learning the fundamentals of mathematical knowledge and concepts, and how to apply these to scenarios that that they may encounter in their everyday lives. This is often taught through practical activities such as cooking, games, shopping and the use of technology that they will access in school and beyond, promoting independence. It is important for pupils to recognise maths in their environment and give them the opportunity to understand how they can use their knowledge to manage this.
Independent Living and Learning
Pupils learn more complex mathematical concepts that will support them to be as independent as they are able to be in their future, as well as developing their knowledge at greater depth. The learning focuses significantly on how to apply knowledge and understanding in to ‘real life’ situations and contexts, for example, how to read the time in order to be able to understand a train timetable and plan a journey in travel training, be able to understand and use money to budget for shopping and use this knowledge to purchase items etc.
Additional and Alternative Approaches
We recognise that some of our pupils, particularly those with ASD, often present with ‘spiky profiles’. It is common that while they may be able to recall large numbers, and often manipulate them using the 4 operations, they find applying this knowledge in a meaningful way challenging. Mill Water’s assessment system allows teachers to identify gaps in knowledge and understanding across the seven areas of maths learning, and ensure that these gaps and misconceptions are addressed before moving on.
In order for knowledge and skills to be assessed as learnt, a pupil must be able to demonstrate that they are able to apply what they know in a variety contexts as required.
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