A high quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, and a sense of excitement and curiosity about the subject. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary in most forms of employment. Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries providing the solution to some of history’s most intractable problems. As pupils learn mathematics, they need to acquire fluency in procedures and develop a conceptual understanding if they are to be able to solve increasingly complex problems.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure all pupils:
Fluency requires the quick and accurate mental recall of facts that pupils have learned up to that point; precision and confidence in using mathematical concepts, properties and symbols, and the competent and flexible selection and application of methods in different contexts. Solving problems requires analysing information presented in different forms, recognising what is given information and what additional information is needed; identifying and conjecturing patterns, relationships, and generalisations; testing, inducing, deducing, and proving; and communicating ideas effectively.
Mathematical reasoning requires breaking down problems into a series of simpler problems or steps; making decisions about gathering, processing and calculating to acquire new information; and showing perseverance in finding solutions.