Mathematics at St Sebastian's

To ensure that our students can engage in high-level thinking, we select and implement tasks that promote problem solving and reasoning. Posing problems that students have not been shown how to solve enhances their learning, encourages reasoning and fosters persistence. When confronted with a task they cannot do, students need to explore links, build connections and identify aspects that are unknown. Students benefit when they move from not knowing how to do something to finding out how to do it.  Effective teaching of mathematics therefore engages students in solving and discussing tasks that promote mathematical reasoning and problem solving and allows multiple entry points and varied solution strategies. Our teachers differentiate through enabling and extending prompts and posing open-ended problems. Lessons often begin with a problem which is designed to launch the learning and students are given multiple opportunities to explore and discuss their reasoning with other students and their teacher. Enabling prompts give learners an avenue to begin a problem, whilst extending prompts allow our students to dive deeper and explore more complex questions. When planning our lessons, we provide opportunities for our learners to engage with mathematical thinking and reasoning. We encourage our students to communicate and interpret their findings and to share these with the class. As teachers, we support our learners to conceptualise, generalise and utilise in unfamiliar contexts. At St Sebastian’s we are educating our students to be life-long learners and to build their numeracy to cope with the mathematical demands of life.

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