Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Rachael Fisher, Mathemateg a Rhifedd / Rachael Fisher, Mathematics and Numeracy

Rachael Fisher, Mathemateg a Rhifedd / Rachael Fisher, Mathematics and Numeracy


Maths and numeracy is an international discipline.
Numeracy, the application of mathematics, is integral to our daily lives. It unlocks
the world around us and how we interact with it. Maths is creative and beautiful on its
own, it’s been responsible for some of the most major developments in civilisation but
it’s also essential for other areas of learning. We want to change the culture surrounding
maths. We want to raise its profile, we want to make all Welsh learners aware of how useful
it is to our lives. It can no longer be acceptable to say “I’m not good at maths”.
Following a vast amount of international research we as a group agreed on four ‘what matters’
statements. They’re robustly connected. It’s been designed that concepts are built
systematically over time and require learners to build on prior knowledge. We have a ‘what
matters’ statement exploring the number system and four operations within it and the
relationship between them. We have another ‘what matters’ statement based on symbol
systems and the relationships between numbers and quantities. We have a further ‘what
matters’ statement about the properties of shape quantifying
measurements in the physical world. And we have a final ‘what matters’ statement
about representing data, identifying probability and the relationships between them and how
both of these things support inferences and decision-making.
Building on the research that we completed as a group we’ve also developed and adapted
our own Welsh version of the five proficiencies of a maths learner. These are central to our
progression and are present across all our ‘what matters’. The five proficiencies
are conceptual understanding, communication with symbols, strategic competence, logical
reasoning and fluency. Connections and relationships are absolutely key within the Maths and Numeracy
AOLE. If we take area as an example, a proficient learner would have a rigorous understanding
of the four operations, measure and calculation to name a few. And all of those individual
concepts come from a variety of the ‘what matters’ statements. But their connections
are made explicit to a real life context and that’s how we hope that the Maths and Numeracy
AOLE will be taken forward by schools. Our vision for maths and numeracy, is what
we teach, how we teach and why we teach it – pedagogy is absolutely essential to that.
Making connections explicit is now easier for schools to do because they have the flexibility
to build their curriculum around making those connections for example percentage, decimal
and ratio. Teaching for this level of understanding as opposed to memorising simple maths procedures
is harder in the short term because that’s what we’ve been used to but this change ensures
in the long term that our learners will become more competent and more confident as maths
learners.

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