Numeracy comprises the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students need in order to use mathematics effectively in a wide range of situations. It involves recognising and understanding the role of mathematics in the world and having the dispositions and capacities to use mathematical knowledge and skills purposefully. Numeracy has never been more important. The rapidly evolving nature of knowledge, work and technology, demands stronger understanding, reasoning, strategic and problem solving skills. Number, measurement and geometry, statistics and probability are common aspects of most people's mathematical experience in everyday personal, study and work situations. Equally important are the essential roles that algebra, functions and relations, logic, mathematical structure and working mathematically play in people's understanding of the natural and human worlds, and the interaction between them.
Our educators are aware that we do not just teaching content, we are teaching children to learn, to think and to be curiously creative with mathematics. We are bound to teach the content within curriculum, but we are remain focused on creating learning experiences that move our children out of their comfort zone and to be critical and creative thinkers who question, collaborate, and understand how they can be as Jo Boaler says ‘limitless.’
At Yinnar Primary School we have the belief that mathematical teaching is based on the understanding and belief that mathematics is much more than an accumulation of facts, rules and skills. Rather, it is a process of enquiry that helps us come to make sense of numbers, remaining open to revision and change. Children learn as active constructs rather than passive receivers of knowledge and we value the process of deep thinking and strategy rather than the end product.
In each learning space across the school our staff and students believe:
Mathematics is all about connections and we believe that our children should learn maths through more conceptual approaches, so our teachers plan learning around several big ideas that centralise and infuse the subject. Within these big ideas children learn new methods and strategies for success as they need them providing purpose for their learning. We spiral back to concepts within the big ideas 5-6 weeks later, to ensure children have multiple exposures and can apply new knowledge and strategies in various contexts. This is vital as it moves new and fragile learning from recalling new knowledge, to understanding new knowledge. Once children have understanding and application they have a much higher chance at retaining what has been learnt.
Our teachers dedicated to ensuring learning tasks incorporate the four mathematical proficiencies of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning into learning tasks. These proficiencies are fundamental to learning mathematics and working mathematically, and are applied across all three strands (of the curriculum) Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. (DET 2016)
The proficiencies are closely woven together like the four strands of a single rope – each one making the others stronger, more resilient and fit for purpose – equipping our learners for their future lives as productive and critical citizens. Embracing the four proficiencies means teaching our children to think and reason as they learn mathematics, stretching and challenging them to pose and solve meaningful problems, prioritising sense-making and understanding over memorising, being quick or simply getting ‘right answers’.