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Curriculum Intent

Link Governor Visit


Our Maths Link Governor, Mr Xu, had a virtual visit to the school this term. He looked at Maths displays and received feedback from a Pupil Forum organised through Google Classroom. You can have a look at his virtual tour below.

Parents might like to take a look at some of the documents below to see how Maths can be taught and what is expected of children in each year group; these may be particularly relevant if bubbles end up having to work from home.

HfL Year 5 Maths Challenge


In February we hosted one of the rounds of the Year 5 Maths Challenge. Teams from 16 schools descended on Howe Dell to participate in the event, which involved a computational round, visualisation round, estimation round and problem solving.


Our team of Kiranjot, Szymon, Nirvan and Bryan set the pace in the first half of the Challenge, scoring full marks in the computational round and recording the highest score in the visualisation round. Unfortunately they weren't able to maintain their efforts but nevertheless finished a very creditable fifth.


Well done to the four of them for representing their school so well.

Year 6 Explore Learning Mathematicians' Award


Dyllis, Evie, Julia and Savion represented the school at the Explore Learning Maths Competition Round 2 event last week. Through effective teamwork and application of Maths knowledge, they were able to provide solutions to the problem presented to them. After they had completed the challenge they had to present their findings and method to one of the judges. Well done to all three for being such good ambassadors for the school.

Curriculum Review of Maths 2020 in relation to Intent, Implementation and Impact

Maths Link Governor Visit - November 2020


Mr Tony Young, our Chair of Governors but also Link Governor for Maths, visited us this month. His busy agenda involved a learning walk, discussions with teachers regarding recent Maths initiatives, a book scrutiny, lunch with the children and also a Pupil Forum session during which he was able to engage with the children regarding what they do in Maths but also what they like about their school. They talked about school trips, the Eco Bus and our recent Soft-Start initiative. You can listen to what was said via the audio link below.

Link Governor Visit - Pupil Forum.mp3

Maths Project with Herts for Learning


Mrs Williams and Mr Mason have spent some time this term working with children from across all of the year groups to look at their approach to Maths and their resilience. The children have had the opportunity to talk about their Maths work, to experience Maths games and to undertake some Maths work with Mrs Williams and Mr Mason.


It has been a really enjoyable set of sessions with some good research coming out of it - Herts for Learning have also been involved.

National Young Mathematicians' Award Regional Final

National Young Mathematicians' Award 2018


Once again, a team of Year 6 children represented Howe Dell in this year's NYMA competition, held by Explore Learning in conjunction with the University of Cambridge. The children had a great afternoon solving a four-stage puzzle set specifically for the event.  Well done to the team: Fahima, Pranav, Alex and Victor.



In case you were wondering what your child may be missing out on by not having access to Mathletics, why not take a look at the video below which will give you a brief introduction. There's also a separate clip showing the thoughts of the University of Oxford on the benefits for children who use Mathletics.


Bought directly from Mathletics by a parent, a single child subscription would cost £59. Through Howe Dell, you can have both Mathletics and Marvellous Me for your child for a combined fee of only £10.

Year 5 Maths Champions 2018


In the summer term a team of Year 5 mathematicians took up the challenge of participating in the first ever Sir Frederic Osborne Maths Competition. Problem solving, puzzles and a treasure hunt formed part of the morning. Of course, Howe Dell children gave it their all, to the extent that they were incredibly successful in walking away with the coveted accolade of being champions.


A very big well done to Ibrahim, Neve, Snigdha, Thamil and William for a stunning performance.

National Young Mathematicians' Award 2017


Congratulations to Yahvi, Diya, Adam and Tapi who were the REGIONAL WINNERS in the Maths competition. Unfortunately, they ONLY JUST missed out on making it through to the final at The University of Cambridge (Explore Learning said "they were so close") but nevertheless still achieved something of which they should be very proud - a Howe Dell first.  Well Done. They received their medals and goody bags in assembly from Explore Learning.

National Young Mathematicians Award 2017


CONGRATULATIONS to the team of four Year 6 children (Adam, Diya, Tapi and Yahvi) who have made it through to the Regional Finals of the Explore Learning/University of Cambridge National Young Mathematicians Award - we wish them the very best of luck in the next round.

Maths Week


Maths Week has been a wonderful success - lots of challenging Maths accompanied by smiling faces. There's some great feedback from the children too.  Thanks to everyone who made it possible and for the teachers, teaching assistants and children for throwing themselves into it wholeheartedly.


There are many more photos on the Events & News section of the website under Themed Weeks and Wonder Days.

Maths Carousel


The children have had great fun during Maths week, not least on the carousel activities, which were wide-ranging in terms of experiences and yet very challenging with a great emphasis on teamwork.

Maths Week October 2017


Monday 2nd October marks the start of Maths Week. Children from Year 1 to Year 6 will experience The Adventure Of The Missing Number with the Quantum Theatre Company on Monday and children from Year 2 upwards will enjoy Brain Blaster puzzle workshops with the Happy Puzzle Company on Thursday.  All of the children in the school will participate in a Maths Carousel and Friday provides everyone with the opportunity to dress up with the Wear-A-Pattern-To-School day.


Contributions have been requested for children in Year 1 upwards to help us cover the costs of the events.


If you are a parent whose job involves Maths in any way and you can spare some time to come into school to talk about it please let your child's class teacher know and they will organise a mutually convenient time.

Mathletics Challenge


We are taking part in a new Mathletics Challenge which is running from 3 - 16 July 2017. Last year we were in the top 25% of schools but this year we want to go higher! Our aim is to get into the top 10%. You will have seen from last week's newsletter that we are number 4 in the list of Hertfordshire schools as far as Mathletics is concerned and with your help we can move that even higher too.


Please encourage your children to use Mathletics as much as possible over the next couple of weeks, not just on those activities which they are good at but also to challenge and stretch themselves.


In fact why not have fun together and attempt the challenges as a family. Good luck everyone.


The top 10% beckons!

Girl Power Maths Group


Our Year 6's have come to the end of their Girl Power Maths Group which they started back in Year 5, but not before they have spent a few weeks introducing some new Year 5s to the group and showing them what to expect. The girls have been a credit and their enthusiasm for the group has been fantastic.  Good luck in Year 7 girls and good luck to our Year 5s who will continue the group next year.


Before they went, the Year 6 girls completed a questionnaire each to give feedback on the Girl Power Group - have a look at what they said below and also check out some of the photos from the group. It's great to see from the feedback how much they believe their confidence and their ability to explain their Maths has improved:

Family Maths Problem


A fun way to explore multiplication tables is to undertake a problem with FACTORS.  Factors are two numbers that multiply together to make another number.  Let's take the number 12 as an example:


The number 12 has 6 factors: 1 and 12, 2 and 6, 3 and 4. If you multiply the pairs of numbers the PRODUCT each time is 12: 1x12=12, 2x6=12, 3x4=12.


If you SUM the factors (add them all together) but ignore the number you are exploring (the number 12) then you get an answer of 16 (1+2+3+4+6). The SUM OF THE FACTORS exceed the value of the number itself: 16 > 12.

This means that 12 is an ABUNDANT NUMBER - the sum of it's factors is greater than the number itself.


  • How many ABUNDANT NUMBERS can you find?
  • When you list them against the SUM OF THEIR FACTORS can you spot a pattern?
  • Can you identify the next ABUNDANT NUMBER from this pattern without having to work it out separately?


A link to the investigation with more explanations is available below.


When you have done this, or indeed instead of this problem, you could look at statements such as:


  • SQUARE numbers always have an ODD number of factors
  • PRIME numbers only ever have two factors


Remember: when trying to find all of the factors for a number always start at 1 and work your way up, taking care to work in pairs of numbers.



Maths Information Sessions for Parents


It was wonderful to see so many of you this month for our Parent Sessions - the sessions were very interactive and presented lots of ideas for exploring the wonder of Maths with your children.


Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and there were lots of smiles, plenty of interaction and a little bit of competitiveness with some of the games.


Thank you to everyone who attended.  Session evaluation and pictures can be seen below: 

Live Learning


Thank you once again to all of you who were able to come and participate in our Live Learning sessions this term. Over 80 parents, carers, and grandparents shared our Maths-themed lessons with some very generous comments and extraordinarily positive feedback received:


"Thank you for having these sessions where parents can get involved in their children's learning"

"Thank you - really enjoyed today's Live Learning"

"Absolutely amazing - a true test of strength and ability in Maths. This was by far the best Live Learning ever"

"Very interesting - I learnt a lot myself"

"Brain power needed!"

"Everything is perfect"

"It has given me an idea of how we can make learning fun at home"

"It has helped me to know which Mathletics section to focus on"

"It captivated the class very well"

"I liked everything in the lesson"

"The most useful thing about the session was watching the children stretch themselves"

"Teachers made the lesson very interactive and interesting"


Your class newsletters for the Spring term (which will be issued on 9th January) will provide you with details of your child's next Live Learning session.


Thanks again for joining in and we'll see you all soon.

Mathematical Mindsets - Changing the Way Children Approach Maths


Throughout the summer term we have been involved in a research project in conjunction with Herts for Learning which has looked at improving the mathematical thinking of some of our Year 4 children.  They have had weekly sessions with Mr Mason where they have approached a number of very different problem solving scenarios, some of which have required individual, paired and group work. Thinking, talking and working mathematically has been at the heart of it all and each task has encompassed the CPA approach (Concrete - Pictorial - Abstract) which involves the different ways problems can be approached, solved and recorded.


Feedback from the children showed that they felt more confident with Maths at the end of the sessions and progress in the class has also been very rewarding.


A summary of the research is included below.


Thank you to all of the children who participated and to their parents for the support.

Problem Of The Week


"Shirt Numbers"


Recently the Romanian Football Team wore shirts that didn't have numbers on them - instead they had mathematical calculations to represent the numbers, for instance, instead of 1 they might have had: 2² - √9 ie 4 (two squared) minus 3 (square root of 9).


Think of the most imaginative ways of creating the numbers 1 to 11 for your football team: can you use each of the four number operations for each one or perhaps you could incorporate BODMAS. Make it as difficult or as easy as you like but remember to always HAVE FUN!

Maths Problem Of The Week:


"Prime Examples"


This week's problem can be enjoyed across all year groups and involves PRIME NUMBERS;


How many of the numbers from 1 to 50 can you create by adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing or combining any of the four number operations, using ONLY PRIME NUMBERS.


Younger children might want to start by writing down all of the prime numbers and perhaps concentrate on adding and subtracting to create numbers up to 20.


Remember - 1 is not a prime number - WHY?


You might also want to have a go at the problem below, which is also about PRIME NUMBERS.


Good luck and remember - ENJOY YOUR MATHS

Maths Calculation Strategy


This has been updated to be in line with the new Curriculum and was presented to parents at the Information Evening.


Below is a summary of the policy which illustrates the different ways in which the strategies for learning the different number operations are introduced at school. Please remember that the more formal written methods should only be used by children in situations in which their use if efficient and effective - it is really important that children are applying as many mental calculation strategies as they can as these can be much more efficient in many situations.

Problem Of The Week


Each week we will be uploading a Maths problem to be shared at home - children can challenge each other, children can challenge parents or carers, mums can challenge dads and grans can challenge granddads! The whole idea is to have fun by exploring Maths.


No prizes but hopefully lots of fun to be had. This week's problem is included below.

Problem of the Week

Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving


The New National Curriculum has a very strong focus on encouraging children to "THINK MATHEMATICALLY" and not just to be able to calculate. The intention is for the children to become FLUENT in their UNDERSTANDING and APPLICATION of their maths KNOWLEDGE. As much as possible children will be applying their Maths knowledge to different situations within their lessons.


You can assist at home by helping children to work mathematically: how much change will we get if we pay with a £5 note, tea will be ready in 45 minutes - what time will that be, we need 100g of tomatoes for this dish - how much of the tin do we need.

Maths Enrichment Day - The Miscalculation of Cap'n Half-Inch


Monday saw Quantum Theatre come to Howe Dell to present a play based around the four number operations and fractions to groups of Year 1&2 children and Year 3&4 children.  Feedback from both the children and staff was fantastic and overwhelmingly positive with staff saying that the children "were exposed to concepts they had not seen before, which was great" and praised the production for its fun element but also "great visuals".


See what it looked like and what the children had to say about it on the PowerPoint below.


Many thanks to all of you who supported the event with your contributions.

Mathletics News


At Howe Dell we are very proud of the way our children embrace Maths and demonstrate a love of learning. We are also proud of our Key Stage 2 SATs results in Maths.


One of the ways in which our children are able to excel is through their use of Mathletics, our challenging, enjoyable and stimulating on-line Maths tool.  As well as being used by the children both at school and at home, Mathletics is also used by teachers for homework setting and as part of lessons.


Attached are some statistics showing the use of Mathletics at Howe Dell; we think some of the numbers invilved are stunning, we hope you agree:



Maths and The New Curriculum Parent Sessions

On Monday 2nd March we delivered two sessions for parents on Maths and The New Curriculum.  The sessions were well received and the feedback extremely positive with every attendee scoring it at least 4 out of 5.


The PowerPoint that was used to deliver the session is provided here.