At Settlers Primary School we strongly support the rationale for Mathematics as set out in the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA), which states;
“Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians. The Western Australian Curriculum: Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. It develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life, and provides the fundamentals on which mathematical specialties and professional applications of mathematics are built.”
In order to support all students to develop these capabilities, we have a very strong focus on ensuring they understand the mathematics and how and when to apply their knowledge. Simultaneously we also support the building of strong automatic recall of basic facts so that they can solve problems efficiently.
Our teaching and learning programs incorporate the four Mathematics proficiency stands of; Fluency, Understanding, Problem Solving and Reasoning, to ensure students are able to think flexibly and in-depth about Mathematics concepts.
We have a whole school approach to teaching Mathematics, ensuring the breadth of the West Australian Curriculum is covered. Although most lessons have an explicit teaching ‘I do, we do, you do approach’, some lessons begin with a problem – to provoke thought and provide students the ability to demonstrate prior knowledge.
We have been building our stock of Maths resources to ensure that all classes have ready access to a range of hands-on materials. This enables students to make sense of mathematical concepts in visual, hands-on ways, before then applying this knowledge in symbolic and abstract ways.
To support our students in developing deep Mathematical understanding we use First Steps in Mathematics, Paul Swan and are introducing Back to Front approaches, which all complement each other in promoting deep thought, auditory thinking and demonstrating of understanding in concrete, written and oral ways.