Through song, games and a hands on practical approach using an abacus our youngest pupils begin to see how numbers are put together and broken down. We use a programme called Right Start Maths, which is based upon an Asian model. It places a strong emphasis on non-counting strategies and enables young children to understand different mathematical processes in a visual and kinaesthetic way. New concepts are taught without a number ceiling so that once understood, a child can apply their understanding to any number. It is exciting for young children to work with big numbers and Right Start introduces hundreds and thousands early on. Being able to manipulate numbers and visualise patterns enhances understanding and confidence as well as aiding mental arithmetic.
We use the Right Start Maths up through Year 3. In Year 4 we are trialling Inspire Maths, published by Oxford University Press, which is based on the Singapore Maths programme. It covers a smaller number of topics in greater depth. In Years 5 and 6 pupils are currently using the New Heinemann Maths programme, supplemented by other resources. There is currently a Maths clubs for Juniors.
Throughout the Infant and Junior Schools we will generally have two maths groups in each class: core and advanced. In the Senior school, this becomes two separate classes taught by different teachers. Maths is the only Senior School subject in which we have sets, as it is uniquely sensitive to being taught at the right level.
In Senior School Maths pupils study a broad range of concepts using a variety of rich and engaging activities, following the Maths Enhancement Programme. Each learner is encouraged to think mathematically, questioning and investigating ideas within many different topic areas. The development of problem solving skills is prioritised, along with fluency in mathematical language, neat presentation habits and strong mental arithmetic.
Setting in Senior School Maths allows the advanced group to move onto harder content more rapidly, including the introduction of some A-level concepts during the course using the Further Pure Maths IGCSE qualification. Where appropriate, pupils are encouraged to take part in the annual Junior and Intermediate Maths Challenges run by the UKMT. Several have been invited to take the follow on ‘Kangeroo’ and ‘Olympiad’ papers. Heritage also takes part in the Team Maths Challenge, which involves a day of fun and challenging mathematical competition against other local schools.
The IGCSE syllabus we follow is: Edexcel International GCSE Mathematics, Specification A (4MA1) (9-1).