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National Curriculum

Mathematics and the national curriculum aims

Mathematics has a distinctive contribution to make to the aims of the national curriculum. The mathematics programme of study provides opportunities to plan sequences of work, learning outcomes and teaching approaches that develop:

Successful learners

The curriculum aim – developing successful learners who are numerate, creative and enquiring and able to solve problems – is at the heart of the mathematics programme of study. The key concepts of applications and implications of mathematics and critical understanding enable pupils to find out about mathematical ideas that shape our world.

The mathematics programme of study develops pupils with enquiring minds who think for themselves, which is essential to being a successful learner. It provides opportunities for pupils to tackle problems with more than one approach and to solve open-ended problems. Pupils are given the opportunity to consider errors and misconceptions, which helps them to understand how they learn, as well as to learn from their mistakes. Communication and critical understanding encourage pupils to reason and evaluate, both independently and with others.

Confident individuals

The mathematics curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to develop confidence in an increasing range of methods and techniques. Pupils are given the opportunity to express their ideas using strategies they are familiar and secure with. This helps them communicate confidently and encourages them to believe in themselves. Peer and self-assessment opportunities allow pupils to consider where they are and how to move on, thus becoming increasingly confident and independent. Sharing feedback also allows them to express their ideas and suggestions and relate well to others. The mathematics programme of study encourages pupils to enjoy the challenge of trying new things and justifying their own views with evidence, through discussing different interpretations of ideas.

Responsible citizens

Pupils are able to prepare for life and work through the mathematics programme of study. It contributes the underpinning skills for financial capability that will prepare individuals to live safe, responsible and healthy lives. Similarly, the emphasis on analysing and justifying conclusions in mathematical situations helps prepare pupils for taking critical and analytical approaches to real-life situations.

An open mind and an appreciation of how different cultures have influenced society are important in understanding what it means to be a responsible citizen. The mathematics programme of study takes into account the rich historical and cultural roots of mathematics, encouraging pupils to appreciate the diverse nature of mathematics and recognise the role of mathematics in modern society. Through exploring real data pupils are able to investigate real-life issues and problems related to social justice, globalisation and environmental changes.

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