Primary School News

Primary Maths Workshop

Our students will learn to:
“Thrive with challenge and accept that risk taking and making mistakes are positive parts of learning “
– BSM Vision and Mission

Primary Maths Workshop
This week we held a well-attended parent workshop for Primary maths. The workshop began by asking the question ‘are you a maths person?’ to which the majority of parents in attendance replied ‘no’. Mr Pearson then gave an impassioned plea to prevent this negative mindset being passed on to the children at BSM. Indeed, there is no such thing as a maths gene, the secret to becoming better at maths is to think about it and work hard at it. People who love maths think about maths more, and people who think they cannot do maths avoid it. If we can get children to love maths, then we will have a great impact on their mindset and their achievement in the subject.

One of the areas that people can find frustrating with maths is remembering processes and rules to follow in order to get answers. At BSM we believe that when it comes to calculating and using number the children must have a good conceptual understanding rather than learning processes and practising following rules. At the maths workshop this week, parents learnt how we do this for multiplication, particularly how we can link visual representations to number in order to show concepts.

A good conceptual understanding results in children who are fluid and flexible with numbers. To illustrate this we use number talks. These involve children being given a calculation, which they have to solve independently and in their head using as many different strategies as possible. They then have a chance to explain their different strategies to the class. The parents at our parent workshop experienced this first hand and came up with several different strategies for calculating 9 x 16. They demonstrated the benefits of learning from each other and the creativity in the way we think about maths differently. Number talks were one of the factors that led to increased results in number fluency in our standardised tests last year.

Learning maths now is different to learning it in previous generations, not in the topics we teach, but the way we approach them. Our six ‘Maths Mantras’ guide our maths practise at BSM:

  • Mistakes are valuable
  • Questions are as important as answers
  • Maths is about creativity and making sense
  • Maths is about communicating and connecting
  • Maths is about learning not performing
  • Depth is more important than speed

Thank you Mr Pearson for presenting maths in a fun and positive manner and I hope parents left feeling much better about the subject.

Service Learning Fun Run
Our Fun Run is coming up this weekend, on Sunday 7am in Urdaneta Village. There will be a fun dash, a 3km and a 6km run. Tickets will be available on the day if you make a last minute decision to come along and support the event. This is a fun BSM community event for a good cause. I already have my 6km race number and look forward to seeing lots of you there. All the proceeds go directly to our Service Learning programmes.

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