Head's Blog

Maths is Cool in Our School!

05 May 2021

I wish I had studied Mathematics at Webber! Some time during my Year 7 in the dim and dark past of 1970s Scotland,  the " I can't do Maths." attitudinal shutters came down and sadly never went up again. The Fear Factor set in and that was that for me and Maths! Numbers leave me cold and I am a confirmed ' Right Brainer', it's all about the wonder and excitement of words for me! A fixed mindset.

At Webber our strongest mathematicians in the Junior School benefit from the Stage Not Age Programme which allows children to work on their maths each day with the year group above them to be challenged and stretched further than their chronological age which allows challenge and success at the appropriate level for all children.  Making Maths fun through online Maths Challenges such as Numeracy Ninjas, Mathletics, Pangea and the Maths Olympiad we host for Year 5/6s in MK schools all  help to breakdown the Maths barriers of fear and of getting it wrong!

However it is a total fallacy that if we are good at Maths we can't be good at  right brain creative subjects This limiting binary attitude to left and right brain strength and preference, Words and Creativity Vs Numbers is dangerous game as we risk closing down a wealth of opportunities, experiences, possibilities, future education and career pathways for our children if we allow them to engage in negative self talk and convince themselves that they can only be good at one or the other! That they only have a talent or strength using one side of their brains!

Too often we may hear a child of any age say " I'm no good at ...... I can't do it! ( add the name of any tricky or challenging subject or topic in here). And sadly yes they will be right. As if they think they can't .....they won't. However happily the inverse is also true. If you think you can, you can! So at Webber we add the Magic YET at the end of that sentence. We introduce the Growth Mindset which gives a child the confidence and permission to have a go, take a risk, make a mistake, fail and get it wrong and be reflective learners asking themselves and their peers the 2 key questions :  "WWW : What Went Well..... ? and EBI : Even Better if.....". Learning is all about getting things wrong on the journey and looking at what we can do differently.

We know as adults that success in any area is as much down to mindset, hard work and practice rather than IQ and raw ability, there is no mystery formula.

In this edition of the newsletter we do celebrate NSPCC Number Day and our fantastic UK Maths Challenge competitors but we also shine a spotlight on our Little Learners' fabulous phonics foundations and our Juniors School children studying French painters and experimenting with their techniques and we also celebrate the leadership development opportunities throughout the school as we gear up for the Prefect and Head Student interview.

That's one of the key strengths of Webber, making sure that all children have opportunities to have fun, be challenged, try something new and see what they can achieve with the right Growth Mindset using all of their brain!

 

Mrs Hilary Marsden 

Headmistress 

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