"It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary in most forms of employment," says the curriculum.
- The curriculum is organised in a year-on-year basis
- Calculators will only be introduced towards the end of primary schooling, and only for pupils "secure in written and mental arithmetic to allow them to explore more complex problems."
- ICT tools, however, should be used in both primary and secondary schools to "aid conceptual development".
- Pupils add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions in primary school, preparing them for more advanced topics like algebra in secondary. This is "consistent with expectations" in high performing states such as Singapore and Hong Kong.
Aims of the mathematics curriculum
- become fluent in the basics of mathematics so that they are efficient in using and selecting the appropriate written and mental methods, underpinned by mathematical concepts
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing confidence
- can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
While the programmes of study are organised in a distinct sequence and structured into separate domains, "mathematics is a highly inter-connected discipline," says the document, stressing that pupils "should also be encouraged to make connections across mathematical procedures and concepts to ensure fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving problems."
As with English and Science, the document stresses and reiterates that discussion should be used as a fundamental teaching tool. In maths, this is to help pupils develop mathematical vocabulary and present justification, argument and proof.