Mathematics is a key part of the curriculum at our Dragon Pre-Prep. With the Renewed Framework for the Primary National Numeracy Strategy as a guideline, carefully planned and structured lessons are taught on a regular basis from the Reception to Year 3. Children are introduced to Numeracy through practical, mental and written mathematical activities differentiated according to their age and ability. We recognise it is essential that children make sense of what they are being taught in order to develop a sound understanding of mathematics.
Throughout Pre-Prep we use a core maths teaching scheme. We supplement with teachers' own materials and other relevant and appropriate publications. Computers and CD ROMS are used to provide additional stimulus. Mathematical skills and understanding are explored in all curriculum areas. Within our teaching there are open-ended activities that focus upon mathematical processes providing the children with a stimulating diet of exploratory and practical activities. An emphasis is put on realistic and everyday situations when children, through role-play or investigations, can develop confidence and enjoyment while learning and reinforcing mathematical concepts.
We pay particular attention to the development of mental skills in mathematics. At all ages our pupils are taught mental strategies before moving on to written algorithms. Most of our lessons start with a session of mental maths as an introduction to the concept to be taught. We usually teach a topic to the whole class or set and children follow this up by working independently or in differentiated pairs or groups.
Parents are encouraged to practise, develop and extend their children's experience of number and mathematics at home through practical activities; such as cooking, board games and playing cards. Teachers may ask a parent to help a child at home with a specific activity.
In Year 3 children learn the multiplication tables from 2 to 12, together with practical problem solving activities where a quick recall of tables leads to the answer. A variety of ways of learning the multiplication and division tables are investigated. A weekly homework of 20 minutes is set.