Monagea National School
Introductory Statement and Rationale
(a) Introductory Statement
This Mathematics Whole School Plan was prepared by the staff of Monagea National the academic year 2015-2016 and will be implemented in full from December 2016. It will be reviewed biannually. It was drawn up by staff following staff training by the Numeracy Link Teacher (Ms Avril Daly) over the course of two days and taking into account the National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011-2020. Our S.I.P. also informed decisions in this plan.
This plan was designed in order to:
- benefit teaching and learning in our school
- conform to principles of learning outlined in the Primary School Curriculum from
- with The National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy amongChildren and Young People 2011-2020 and the current emphasis on School Self
- review the existing plan for mathematics
- review, consolidate, clarify and build upon aspects of our existing school plan for Mathematics
- improve the standard of Mathematics in our school
- organise and coordinate work being carried out already by staff in Mathematics
- establish and provide a resource for staff members which is structured and researched
- provide a framework within which more specific planning can take place
- provide information for teachers, parents, Board of Management members and all other interested educational partners of the school community
Vision and Aims
Our school cherishes all pupils equally and we aim to aid them in achieving their true potential. It is envisaged that after their primary schooling they will have acquired the necessary mathematical skills to participate fully in the mathematical curriculum in second level and to engage in problem solving of a practical nature in their everyday lives. We are hopeful that all pupils will be confident in using Maths and that they will have reached their Mathematical potential to the full in a meaningful and positive
We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for mathematics
To develop a positive attitude towards mathematics and an appreciation of both its practical and its aesthetic aspects
To develop problem-solving abilities and a facility for the application of
mathematics to everyday life
To enable the child to use mathematical language effectively and accurately
To enable the child to acquire an understanding of mathematical concepts and processes to his/her appropriate level of development and ability
To enable the child to acquire proficiency in fundamental mathematical skills
and in recalling basic number facts
To provide many opportunities to revise maths concepts before exploring new ones
To assess at regular intervals using a variety of methods
To share resources, ideas and practice
This Mathematics plan will be addressed under the following headings
- Strands and strand units
- Approaches and methodologies
- Assessment and record keeping
- Children with different needs
- Equality of participation and access
- Organisational planning
- Resources and ICT
- Individual teachers’ planning and reporting
- Staff development
- Parental involvement – home school links
- Community links
- Strands and strand units
(For content overview see Curriculum: Infants p.17; First & Second classes p. 37; Third & Fourth classes p.61; Fifth & Sixth classes p. 85)
|Infant Classes||First and Second
|Strands||Strand Units||Strand Units|
Analysis of Number
| Counting and
Comparing and ordering
|Algebra||Extending Patterns||Exploring and using patterns|
|Shape and Space|| Spatial awareness
| Spatial awareness
|Data||Recognising and interpreting data||Recognising and interpreting data|
|3rd and 4th classes||5th and 6th classes|
|Strand||Strand Units||Strand Units|
|Number|| Place value
Addition and subtraction
| Place value
Addition and subtraction
Decimals and percentages
|Algebra|| Number pattern and sequences
| Directed numbers
Rules and properties
|Shape and Space|| 2-D shapes
Lines and angles
| 2-D shapes
Lines and angles
|Data|| Representing and interpreting data
| Representing and interpreting data
In order to ensure that all teachers are familiar with the curriculum for their class level, we will review this plan biannually.
We will complete a uniformed Cúntas Míosúil in order to ensure that each Strand and Strand Unit together with their content is being taught.
In order to ensure that this familiarity is maintained if teachers change classes or if new teachers join the staff, we will circulate this plan to them. It will be available on the school’s Dropbox account and also in hardcopy in the office. The staff will also confer with previous teacher and research the part of the Whole School Plan which is applicable to their class/classes
In multi class settings it is advisable that the same strand/strand unit be taught to both groupings if possible at the same time. Text books are generally not shared in a multi class setting. Each class uses the textbook in accordance for their class level.
Efforts will be made by all teachers to plan for integration across all curricular areas and linkage within mathematical areas.
Each teacher will allocate the correct amount of time to the teaching of Mathematics within their classroom. Infants will be three hours and thirty minutes, with Rang 1-Rang VI receiving four hours and thirty minutes per week. This will be clearly displayed on all class timetables.
- Approaches and methodologies
In the mathematics curriculum the strands and strand units are viewed through the lens of the approaches and methodologies. (Refer to Teacher Guidelines: Mathematics pp. 30 – 67)
All children will be provided with the opportunity to access the full range (all strands)
of the mathematics curriculum. In Monagea National School we ensure that this happens in the following ways
- Through adequate timetabling within each class
- Ensuring that pupils receiving supplementary teaching from the learning- support/resource teacher in the area of Maths do not have their additional teaching, timetabled to clash with mainstream Maths less
- Ensuring that there is less emphasis and reliance on textbooks and workbooks and more on active learning strategies
- Ensuring that the textbooks we do use are in line with content objectives for the class lev
- Encouraging the appropriate use of concrete materials in all classes through the school and not just in the junior classe To encourage this, an inventory of all Maths equipment within the school will be provided to all teachers.
- Providing opportunities for all children from fourth to sixth class to use calculators, e. to check answers, to explore the number system, to remove computational barriers for weaker children or to focus on problem solving.
- Allowing pupils to collect real data in other areas of the curriculum and using it to represent their findings i. using data from other subjects such as geography, history or science to find the answer to a question. Gathering data to answer their own questions such as „Do more/less children walk to school this year than five years ago?‟ „What are the three favourite vegetables eaten by children in our class?‟
- Engaging in estimation strategies through every appropriate strand within the maths curriculum e.g. Shape and Spa
- Using whole school strategies and initiatives to raise the profile of
mathematics as a subject to be enjoyed by all children, e.g. mathematics fun days, “Maths for Fun” display of mathematics work in school, Monagea NS Maths Trails.
- Teachers ensure that the relevant Maths language is implemented appropriately and in context formally through Maths instruction and informally across the Curriculum
- Exposing children to a Maths rich environment both within the classroom and in the wider school environment.
2.2 Talk and discussion
Guided discussion and discussion skills
Talk and discussion in mathematics is taken seriously and seen as an integral part of the learning process, e.g. teacher/pupil, pupil/pupil, pupil/teacher. This will provide the focus for the beginning of all Maths lessons particularly in the initial stages of a topic.
We provide opportunities for pupils to explain how they got the answer to a problem, discuss alternative ways of approaching a problem or give oral descriptions of group solutions. This will be particularly important in Problem Solving lessons but will be relevant to all areas of the MathsCurriculum.
Discussion skills are enhanced by turn taking, active listening, positive response to the opinion of others, confidence in putting forward an opinion, ability to explain clearly their point of view
Teachers actively model the language to be used, particularly when talking through the problem-solving process.
A thematic approach will be used for linkage within mathematics and integration across all areas of the curriculum e.g. measuring volumes of liquids in Science, collecting Data in S.E.S.E.
Teachers will provide opportunities where a thematic approach might be used for linkage, e.g. when dealing with decimals we also aware of their use in data
– pie charts; measures – all areas but particularly Money for introducing
Decimals Mathematical language in context
There is an agreed emphasis on the language of mathematics i.e. for each class level we have a list of terminology, language. This list of terms and
language can be found at the back of this Whole School Plan for Mathematics.
There is a conscious effort made to use the children‟s own ideas and environment as a basis for reinforcing mathematical language, e.g. you are
taller than he is, teacher’s table is longer/wider than yours?
Teachers have identified common approaches to the language used in
o Addition – total, sum of, add, and …
o Subtraction – minus, subtraction, take-away, difference, less than …
o Multiplication – times, product of, multiply, groups of …
o Division – divide, share, split, groups of …
o Equals – same as, is, will be, answer is, means …
This list accompanies this school plan
Note: Although the whole-school plan identifies particular terms to be used at different class levels, care must be taken that children, during their school career, are exposed to the different terms used in relation to the symbols e.g. +, add, plus
There is a common approach to the teaching of number facts (tables), e.g. for
3 X 4, we say three fours.
Children are aware of the commutative properties of multiplication tables and of their relationship with division
We teach subtraction and division tables separately from addition and
multiplication. These are taught in the order of
– addition and subtraction in First and Second
-revision of addition and subtraction in Third and Fourth
-introduction of multiplication and division in Third and Fourth
-revision of multiplication and division in Fifth and Sixth
2.3 Active learning and guided discovery
There are agreed strategies for teaching
o Addition – bottom to top
o Subtraction –we use concrete materials in the initial stages along with
the crossing out of pictorial representations. We also focus on
subtraction in its vertical state. When we are subtracting using
regrouping we will focus on the “crossing out” method once the initial work has been done and the concept is understood. As a staff, we have agreed that this will facilitate quicker work for those with a good understanding of Maths and will allow those who have difficulties in the area to follow a set number of steps to allow for accurate answering.
o Multiplication – we follow the steps of; skip counting initially, using mental strategies such as identifying doubles, near doubles, multiplying by 5 and 10, using games to reinforce facts, developing and honing estimation skills. We also focus on the vertical method of representation once simple multiplication has been mastered.
o Division –we begin with the concept of sharing, moving on to understanding division as repeated subtraction, developing and honing estimation skills. We use all of the methods of representing division in all classes in order to ensure pupils are familiar with all of the guises.
o We add and subtract fractions using pictorial representation initially and then moving on to the formula “find a common denominator and add the numerator” . We use these correct terms always.
o We add and subtract time by converting an hour to sixty minutes initially when needed.
Children encouraged to develop personal benchmarks, particularly in the measures
strand, e.g. noting their height in relation to a metre, the width of their finger as close to a centimetre, the corridor is 105 tiles long.
Mathematical games are in used at each level, e.g. dice, cards, dominoes, spinner games,
Websites are used to support the teaching of mathematical concepts. Many of the games on these sites are used in classes throughout the school. A list of commonly used sites can be found at the back of this plan.
2.4 Collaborative and co-operative learning
We ensure that children learn the skills needed to work as a group rather than just in a group, e.g. listening to others, turn-taking, appreciating that others’
opinions are important? Opportunities are provided for children to learn from
their peers,e.g. buddy systems, think/pair/share, problem solving in groups
Each class usea variety of organisational styles, e.g. pair work, group work and whole class work
The child’s attempt to solve a problem require him/her to call on many skills. Problems in mathematics have often been seen as textbook examples at the end of a section on a particular topic. Problems in life are rarely that simple and there is often more than one way of finding a solution.
Problem solving experiences should develop the ability to plan, take risks, learn from trial and error, check and evaluate solutions and think logically.
Discussion and acceptance of the points of view of others is central to the
development of problem-solving strategies.
Problems can be classified in many ways. They can be presented concretely, diagrammatically or in written form. They can be open or closed. They can relate to one particular content area or include elements from one or more strands.
A written problem can be difficult to solve because of the readability or because it has multiple steps to solution procedure. Large and awkward
numbers often frighten children away from attempting a problem and if the
information is not presented in the order in which it is to be used some children just give up without trying. If children are taught to analyse the problem carefully and extract the relevant information they can often find it easier to solve than it appeared at first.
Children need to develop problem solving skills in general and to be confident in their own ability to attempt a solution.
Children will be taught a number of strategies for problem solving and to experiment with applying the same strategy to different problems and
different strategies to the same problems. These strategies will vary
according to the child’s age. They will include
*RAVECCC – Read, Attend to key words, Visualise, Estimate, Choose numbers, Calculate, Check
*ROSE – Read, Organise, Solve, Evaluate
*RACE-Read, Analyse, Choose, Evaluate
The teacher will need to structure the problems given to the children so that they experience success
Rereading of the problem by the child will be encouraged
Cooperative group work and class discussion of the results of a problem solving exercise is encouraged. Children are asked to try different approaches themselves, to offer alternative solutions and to try them out on the board
We sometimes give children in senior classes problems with irrelevant information or with no solution possible because of missing information. This encourages them to analyse what it is that they are being asked for
Senior children are encouraged to invent problems for others to solve and discuss the results.
Problem Solving Strategies
Problem solving strategies must be varied and the children given ample opportunity to try them out concretely, orally or in a written task. Many children fail at mathematics because their mathematical vocabulary is insufficient to cope with the terminology of problems. Development of the necessary vocabulary in a consistent manner throughout the classes is stressed. Some strategies that we teach to children include
Constructing a model
Drawing a diagram to illustrate a problem
Looking for patterns in a problem
Making a guess and testing it out
Breaking the problem down and solving each part
Writing a number sequence for a problem
Using appropriate equipment to solve a problem, for example balance, measuring instruments, calculator, blocks
Solving a simpler version of the problem, for example using smaller numbers
2.6 Using the environment
We use the school environment to provide opportunities for mathematical problem-solving e.g. how high/wide is the door
Mathematical trails developed by class teachers within or outside of the school building, are in line with the school‟s Health and Safety policy.
Children are given the opportunities to present/display their mathematical work in the class and on noticeboards in the corridors.
2.7 Skills through content
All teachers ensure that skills are being actively developed through the content? (See Teacher Guidelines: Mathematics pp 68-69) There is evidence that the transfer of those skills is taking place in other areas
o Applying and problem solving,e.g. selecting appropriate materials and processes in science
o Communicating and expressing,e.g. discussing and explaining the processes used to map an area in geography
o Integrating and connecting,e.g. recognising mathematics in the environment
o Reasoning, e.g. exploring and investigating patterns and relationships in music
o Implementing,e.g. using mathematics as an everyday life skill
o Understanding and recalling,e.g. understanding and recalling
terminology, facts, definitions, and formulae
All classes encourage the use of mental mathematics. This is done through the use of Mental Maths Homework books and web/non website based problems
3.Assessment and record keeping
(See Curriculum pp. 114-121, Teacher Guidelines pp. 64-65, the school’s
We know that assessment is being used to direct teaching and learning, as the staff look at results on both a class and school basis to see if there are areas of
mathematics that can be improved. This is done following the SIGMA-Ts in the final term.
We have an agreed whole-school approach to assessment in mathematics.
o SIGMAS are administered from First to Sixth each year in May/June.
Results are relayed in the form of STENs via parent/teacher meets and
o Teachers administer their own class based tests at their discretion and results are kept in their own records.
We ensure that a broad range of assessment tools are used. This include
o Teacher observation
o Teacher-designed tests and tasks
o Work samples, portfolios and projects
o Curriculum profiles
o Mastery records
o Diagnostic tests (mainly resource/learning-support)
We ensure that standardised tests are being used in accordance with
instructions given with the test by following the teacher guidelines given in each class booklet. We share information with other teachers in other schools and with other professionals upon written consent from parents.
All records managed and stored in line with the school’s policy on record keeping.
- Children with different needs
4.1 Children with learning difficulties
(Refer to school’s Learning-Support Policy and to our Special Needs Assistant
Our school policy allows for flexibility within the Maths programme to accommodate children with differing abilities. Children with special needs have access to all strands of the Primary School Curriculum.
Teachers will tailor the Mathematics Curriculum to make it accessible to all pupils.
Differentiation is used in each class level within the class. This may be within the areas of expected outcome, teaching style, resource used etc.
The LS/RT team provides supplementary teaching in Maths for children
identified with learning difficulties. The availability of supplementary teaching
for maths will be facilitated first if LS/RT timetables will allow after Literacy hours are used.
The LS/RT team have access to and make use of many resources to assist children with special needs. These will include programmes like Maths Together
and many sites.
ICT is used regularly to support teaching and learning for children with special needs.
LS/RT will liaise regularly with class teachers regarding I.E.P.s and I.P.L.P.s for pupils with special needs.
Resources for Mathematics will be purchased by the teacher with responsibility for Numeracy-Mrs Daly
Ms O’Hennessy and Ms Collins are trained in Ready Set Go Maths. Elements of this programme will be used with pupils with SEN. They will also be used for Station teaching in Infants which occurs weekly throughout the school year. LS/RT, class teacher and S.N.A.s will help to facilitate this event.
4.2 Children with exceptional ability
The school will provide a range of strategies to provide challenges for children of exceptional ability
o Teachers provide a differentiated programme
o Children are facilitated to work on independent research projects
o ICT is used to support their work
o Children can be facilitated to work with older/other pupils
What arrangements are in place to liaise with their parents?
Does the school consult organisations such as An ÓigeThréitheach, Centre for
- Equality of participation and access
(Refer to school’s Equality Policy)
Mathematics can often wrongly be perceived as a subject that boys are better
at then girls. In Monagea N.S. we endeavour to work to eradicate this myth.
Equal opportunities are given to boys and girls to participate in discussions, use of manipulatives, presentations etc
All children have access to services, facilities, or amenities in the school
Provision is made, as and where necessary, for the following
o Members of the Traveller community
o Children experiencing any form of disadvantage
o Children with disabilities
o Families with literacy problems
o Families for whom English is not the first language
All teachers are aware of the time allocation at each level for mathematics and timetable it as such. (i.e. 3hours15 minutes per week in the Infant classes and
5 hours 10 mins from Rang I-Rang VI)
When drafting timetables for withdrawal of pupils for supplementary teaching, teachers include these pupils for as much of the mainstream mathematics
programme as possible. (Refer to Learning-Support Policy)
When timetabling maths in a multi-class situation teachers will try in as far as possible to timetable the same topic at the same time for all classes.
(Refer to school’s Homework Policy)
Mathematics homework reflects the active learning approach as described in the curriculum.
As a staff we believe that Mathematics homework is a vital component of
Home/School relations. Homework in this area should inform parents of the work being done at school and allow for consolidation of same.
Teachers differentiate homework taking into account the range of abilities within the class. This will be reflected in the cúntaisí míosúla.
We ensure that children attending resource/learning-support are not going home with two sets of mathematics homework. This is done through constant communication between teachers and is taken on a case by case basis.
(Refer to Teacher Guidelines: Mathematics p. 18, pp.72-73)
Equipment, textbooks, supplementary materials, calculators
o Are centrally located
o Mathematics equipment is purchased by Mrs Daly the teacher with responsibility for Mathematics.
o Individual teachers are responsible for managing resources in their rooms and returning them to the central storage area when finished with them.
Each class has supplementary resources such as posters that correspond to the Maths Curriculum.
Resources for Ready Set Go Maths are stored in the middle room
(See Teacher Guidelines: Mathematics pp. 60-61, Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) in the Primary School Curriculum: Guidelines for Teachers)
Each class has an Interactive Whiteboard which teachers use daily to enhance the teaching of Mathematics.
Software is stored in each classroom for the appropriate level. Individual teachers are responsible for the safe store and maintenance of this
Staff share opportunities for enhancing pupil learning in mathematics through using the Internet. Useful websites are listed/displayed at the end of this plan.
The school’s Acceptable Usage Policy ensures safe Internet usage.
- Individual teachers’ planning and reporting
Teachers individual yearly and fortnightly plans are informed by the whole school plan and the curriculum documents for mathematics New teachers/Substitutes are able to access the school plan on the school’s Dropbox account. The principal will provide information on this when required.
Cuntas Míosúil serve in reviewing and developing the whole school plan/individual teacher preparation for following years. Standard Cúntas Míosúla are collected on the second week of every month by the principal.
- 10. Staff development
Teachers have access to current research, reference books, resource materials, websites, associations dealing with mathematics.
Staff meetings, under Croke Park Hours are used to facilitate the sharing of
Teachers are encouraged to attend courses in the area of Numeracy, online, in Tarbert/Tralee/Limerick Education Centres as part of C.P.D. at to relay information gathered to whole staff.
Opportunities for team-teaching can be facilitated in classes using LS/RT and also for Ready Set Go Maths.
- 11. Parental involvement – home school links
(Refer to Teacher Guidelines: Mathematics p. 21 and also Guidelines for Parents –
Your child’s learning (Primary School Curriculum)
We make parents aware of the content of the mathematics programme and the approaches/methodologies used in this school through homework,
parent/teacher meeting, this plan and on our website.
Parents are informed of standardised test results at Parent/Teacher meetings and Report Cards. Class tests results are relayed through test sheets and
signed by parents.
- 12. Community links
Members of the community who could make a particular contribution to the mathematics programme are always welcomed and encouraged to share their knowledge base with pupils
This plan will make a difference to the teaching and learning of mathematics in our school.
We will know that the plan has been implemented
o Teachers’ preparation will be based on this plan
Ratification and Communication
The plan was reviewed by the principal in consultation with staff and a copy was made available to them electronically via the Aladdin System.
A draft was made available to the Parents Association.
This plan was ratified by the Board of Management in November 2016. The contents of this plan will be implemented from December 2016.
A copy is available for parents in the office and it is also available on the school website.
Signed:____________________School Principal Date:____________
Signed:____________________Chairperson BOM Date:____________