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Maths
A Positive Experience
Maths has moved on in recent years and the maths department at Winchester House School reflects those changes.

We are still driven by the importance of external assessments and one of our aims is for each child to achieve the best results they are capable of. We prepare them to succeed, whether it is via scholarships or Common Entrance (CE), and to go to their next school with a positive memory of maths at Winchester House School combined with a solid grounding.

 

Getting the balance right

We aim to establish a balance between traditional requirements and newer, more problem-solving approaches. Children have to be able to do long multiplication, but they also need to know why their method works and when to apply it. They must know their tables fluently, but benefit from seeing patterns within them. They need to be able to recall basic facts quickly but also be able to explain why and how they solved problems.

Mental strategies

Mental strategies play an important part in the syllabus. For example to find 10% you divide by 10; but why? To times a number by 8 you can double it once, double again, and then double again. If 54 x 13 = 702 then how can you use this to work out 5.4 x 0.13, or 54 x 26, or 27 x 26 etc! The children are encouraged to see the numbers they are working with, to understand their value and to check if their answers make sense. Maths is everywhere around us, and this viewpoint is encouraged. For example all children who wear digital watches are encouraged to set their watches to the 24-hour system, so the use of maths is not just restricted to the classroom.

Standards and expectations

We want well laid out, methodical and systematic working, and the department provides guidelines and standards that are consistent from year to year. These are valuable skills and techniques in life and the children are encouraged to approach their work with self-discipline and pride.

Maths challenges

Every year prep school children from Year 5 upwards at Winchester House take part in various maths challenges. They are enjoyable and, of course, challenging! Certificates are presented to successful children. Please click here to read about past challenges.

Resources

The department has plenty of resources; learning has to be a tangible and visible experience for children. We also have licences for a number of educational sites which are used in lessons when appropriate.

To sum up!

Our aim is to enable the children to grasp facts and learn skills, and then experience how to apply what has been learnt. If it makes sense, it is much easier to remember how to do something. If you know that 12 ÷ ¼ actually means 'How many quarters are there in 12?' then it is easier to remember that 12 ÷ ¼ can be changed into 12 x 4!