The mathematics curriculum

Number work

A ceiling has been placed on number work to allow for more extensive treatment of the mathematics programme as a whole and to allow more time for concept development. Less emphasis is placed on complex computational exercises involving whole numbers and fractions. It is hoped that writing will not be the sole method of recording and that symbols will only be used when appropriate to the child’s level of understanding. Recording can also be concrete, oral, pictorial or diagrammatic or can include model making.

Calculators have been introduced from fourth to sixth class when it is expected that the children will have achieved mastery of basic number facts.

All number work should be based as much as possible on the children’s own experiences and real-life examples used. It is essential that children see mathematics as relevant to their own lives. Projects that use advertising features from newspapers or prices from local shops and supermarkets can be used to link many of the strands. Work on fractions and decimals in general will place more emphasis on understanding the relationships between them. This might best be achieved by the use of manipulatives and paper-folding.