Maths at Mowden
Mathematics at Mowden Hall
The Mathematics Department at Mowden Hall has had a great 2021-2022 and it has been lovely getting back to our normal routine. We are a sum of many parts that work together to ensure the children make progress every year and build on skills and knowledge. Our expectations are high and we encourage pupils to take pride in their work. The maths team works together to help the pupils understand how mathematics works and ultimately how to explain and adapt it to different situations.
Maths starts in the Early Years with continuous provision giving the children wonderful mathematical knowledge through hands-on activities both inside and out. The children take part in lots of practical Maths activities, to help them develop an understanding of how numbers relate to each other. In the Autumn Term the pupils counted and compared amounts of conkers and looked at addition and subtraction with our focus moving to number bonds in the Spring Term. As part of our Maths mastery approach in the Summer Term term children were sorting socks into pairs and explaining why numbers were odd or even. One child explained “I know seventeen is odd, because seven is an odd number and I have one sock left too.”
The principal focus of maths teaching in Key Stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting, and place value. This involves working with numerals, words, and the four operations, including with practical resources. At this stage, pupils develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare, and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching involves using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time, and money.
In the Prep School we involve the pupils as much as possible with their learning. I am a great believer that if you do problems or work out solutions by talking, reading, counting or moving things around, you are much more likely to understand and remember things more clearly. So we have had days where the children have pretended to be angles between parallel lines. They were challenged to remember alternate angles by using their knees and armpits. In February Mr Townley worked alongside the NSPCC and organised a fabulous Number Day where we tried puzzles, played games and saw maths in real ‘can do’ context. The children were encouraged to take part in Dress up for Digits. Pupils were asked to wear an item of clothing with a number on it (football shirt, cap, netball shirt or even a onesie). Alternatively, they could get even more creative by dressing in a maths or number theme.
The pupils in Year 7 are training to be teachers! They were challenged to take a topic from the Year 3 or Year 4 curriculum and make resources, write a lesson plan and deliver a top-notch lesson to a small group of pupils. They have loved every minute of it and the pupils would like to have them as their permanent teachers.
And finally from me. I have worked at Mowden Hall for the last nine years and realise I am leaving behind a fabulous group of staff. As a parent I could not have wished for my son to have a better start in his education. As a Head of Department I have worked with a group of teachers who are a unified team and have supported me, and the children, throughout our journeys here. It is a truly wonderful school and I wish it continued success.
Mrs Marie Wood, Head of Maths