Whole School Plan


Adamstown Castle ETNS

Introductory Statement and Rationale


This plan was formulated by all members of the teaching staff of ACETNS during staff  meetings and School Planning Days.


This plan describes our agreed approach to taching mathematics. It is primarily for ourselves as a staff to ensure consistency and continuity in our approach and to help improve the pupils’ learning of Maths.  The plan conforms to the principles of learning outlined in the Primary School Curriculum.



n Vision and Aims


(a)   Vision:


One of our principal aims at Adamstown Castle ETNS is to help each child develop to his/her full potential. We aim to develop in the child, a positive atitude towards mathematics as a subject. It is our hope that when a child leaves 6th class he/she will be able to recall basic number facts, think logically, solve problems, interpret data and have the Mathematical skills to lead a full life as a child and later as an adult.



(b)   Aims:


We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for mathematics:

  • To develop a positive attitude towards mathematics and an appreciation of both its practical and its aesthetic aspects.
  •  To develop problem-solving abilities and a facility for the application of mathematics to everyday life.
  • To enable the child to use mathematical language effectively and accurately.
  • To enable the child to acquire an understanding of mathematical concepts and processes to his/her appropriate level of development and ability.
  • To enable the child to acquire proficiency in fundamental mathematical skills and to recalling basic number facts.


Content of Plan




The content taught in our school is guided by the Primary School Curriculum (1999)


1.      Strands and Strand Units:


The curriculum is divided into five strands


1. Number


3.Shape and Space

4. Measures

5. Data


For content overview see Curriculum:

Infants p.17; First & Second classes p. 37; Third & Fourth classes p.61; Fifth & Sixth  classes p. 85

2.      Approaches and Methodologies:

In the mathematics curriculum the strands and strand units are viewed through the lens   of the approaches and methodologies.

(Refer to Teacher Guidelines: Mathematics pp. 30 – 67)


2.1 General

To ensure that all children are provided with the opportunity to access the full range

(all strands) of the mathematics curriculum, the following approaches and methodologies are adopted in our school.


  • The use of concrete materials throughout the school to support learning.
  • An emphasis on discovery learning. Whilst we recognise there is a place for learning formulae and number facts by rote, this should only occur after a child has gained understanding of the content involved.
  • Text-books are only one of many resources used in mathematics instruction. Other resources include; on-line interactive games, concrete materials, board games etc.
  • Children from fourth to sixth class are provided with the opportunity to use calculators to check answers, to develop the calculator skills and to remove computationa barriers for children experiencing difficulties.
  • Pupils collect and record data in other subject areas e.g. Science, Geography, History.
  • An emphasis on estimation as an integral part of computation and problem solving.

Pupils use estimation across the strands and not just in numbers.

(Ideas for estimation: Appendix 1)

  • The development of a maths rich environment by; displaying pupils’ work in mathematics, creating maths areas, colour tables,number tables etc.


2.2 Talk and Discussion

Discussion skills

  • Discussion skills need to be developed by

–    Turn taking

–   Active listening

–    Positive response to the opinions of others

–    Confidence in putting forward an opinion

–    Ability to explain clearly their point of view.

  • Children are provided with the opportunity to explain how they got the answer to a problem, discuss alternative ways of approaching a problem or give oral descriptions of group solutions?


  • Teacher actively models mathematical language when talking through the problem-solving process.


  • Opportunities to develop mathematical skills are identified in other areas of the curriculum e.g. collecting data in history and geography, measuring temperature in science.

Mathematical Language in context

  • In the multilingual context of our school, the importance for consistency in the use of mathematical language throughout the school is recognised. Therefore, a clearly defined list of language and terminology to be taught at each class level has been created. This is used as a guideline for all teachers when modelling mathematical language in the classroom.
  • (See Appendix 2)
  • A common approach to language used when teaching number operations has also been developed. (See Appendix 3)
  • The child’s own environment and ideas are used as a basis for reinforcing mathematical language e.g. you are taller then he is, is teacher’s table wider than yours?


Number facts

  • There is a common approach to the teaching of number facts which is reinforced through all levels of the school. (See Appendix 4)

When do we begin rote learning of tables?

Are the children aware of the commutative properties of multiplication tables and of their relationship with division?

Do we teach subtraction and division tables separately or as part of addition and multiplication?

2.3. Active Learning


Opportunities for the children to learn in a real and enjoyable way are provided through involvement in a wide variety of mathematical activities in the classroom, in the school and in the local area.


  • Problem of the day/week
  • Maths Trails (Ideas for Maths Trails – Appendix 5)
  • Personal benchmarks displayed in classroom e.g. children’s height chart for comparison during the year.
  • Brainteasers, puzzles, sudoku from magazines/newspapers


2.4. Collaborative and co-operative learning

This will be promoted through the use of maths games such as:

·         Dominoes

·         Cards

·         Games using Dice

·         Buzz

·         Bingo

·         Tables games

·         Snakes and Ladders

·         Draughts

They will learn the skills of group work by:

·         Being assigned individual tasks within groups.

·         Recording.

·         Being given leadership roles.

·         Alternating responsibilities.

·         Being involved in buddy systems.

·         Devising questions.

Each class will engage in a variety of organisational skills such as pair work, group work and whole class work.

2.5 Problem-solving

  • Children are encouraged to use their own ideas as a context for problem-solving, e.g. my mammy bought a 2 litre bottle of orange for the party yesterday – was it cheaper than two 1 litre bottles?
  • RAVECCC* and ROSE*strategies will be used to support children’s problem-solving strategies
  • *RAVECCC – Read, Attend to key words, Visualise, Estimate, Choose numbers, Calculate, Check

*ROSERead, Organise, Solve, Evaluate (Appendix 6)

  • All children, Infants to Sixth class and including those with special needs, will be given  the opportunity to experience problem-solving activities, e.g. by giving oral problems; by having them use objects to solve the problem; by using smaller numbers; by using items in the environment, e.g. how many beads can I hold in one hand – a little, a lot, more than teacher?



2.6 Using the Environment

  • The teachers use the school environment to provide opportunities for Mathematical problem solving e.g. –marking heights, having a puzzle of the week on class notice board, using maths in P.E. etc.
  • When using mathematical trails within or outside of the school building they are developed in line with the school’s Health and Safety policy.
  • Teachers give the children opportunities to present/display their mathematical work in the class/corridor and on the school website

2.7 Skills Through Content

  • The following  skills are actively developed through the content of the Mathematics Curriculum.

(See Teacher Guidelines: Mathematics pp. 68-69)


¾     Applying and problem solving, e.g. selecting appropriate materials and processes in science

¾     Communicating and expressing, e.g. discussing and explaining the processes used to map an area in geography

¾     Integrating and connecting, e.g. recognising mathematics in the environment

¾     Reasoning, e.g. exploring and investigating patterns and relationships in music

¾     Implementing, e.g. using mathematics as an everyday life skill

¾     Understanding and recalling, e.g. understanding and recalling terminology, facts, definitions, and formulae


  • All teachers encourage the use of mental maths

(Textbook : New Wave Mental Maths  – 4th  to 6th Class)


3.      Assessment and Record Keeping:


·         Assessment is used to direct teaching and learning

·         The staff look at results on both a class and a school basis to see if there are areas of Mathematics to be improved.

·         Standardised tests (SIGMA T) are administered in May at each class level.

·         Teachers ensure that a broad range of assessment tools is being used.

–    Teacher observation

–    Teacher designed tests and tasks

–    Projects and work samples

–    Mastery records

–    Diagnostic tests

–    Standardised tests


  • Assessment information/results on standardised tests of pupils in 1st and 4th class are shared with parents at the annual Parent Teacher Meetings and in writing on report cards.
  • Standardised test results and annual reports are managed and stored in the SET room.
  • A copy of results form standardised tests will be given to each class teacher at the beginning of the school year(if applicable).


4.      Children with Different Needs:

4.1 Children with Learning Difficulties

·         The class teacher implements the school policies on screening and selecting pupils for supplementary teaching in Mathematics.

·         The teacher may adjust the classroom programme for those in receipt of learning support in line with agreed learning targets.

·         ICT is used regularly to support teaching and learning for children with special needs.

·         With regard to pupils receiving supplementary mathematics learning support, as much of the mainstream programme is to be taught as possible.

4.2 Children with Exceptional Ability       

·         Children of exceptional ability (as identified in through standardised test/other assessments) are assigned differentiated work by their class teacher.  Good use is made of ICT in this area.



5.      Equality of Participation and Access:


·         Special provisions will be made or additional support will be given to children in order to ensure equality of participation and access to the maths curriculum for all pupils. Where necessary time for Language Support may be used within the class to support children with English as an Additional Language.





6.      Timetable:


As per the Primary School Curriculum for Mathematics (1999) the following time is allotted to the teaching of Mathematics in our school.


Junior  and Senior Infants: 2hr 15mins (per week)

First to Sixth Class: 3hrs (per week)


If necessary, discretionary curriculum time will be used by teachers to give additional time for the teaching of mathematics, particularly in senior classes and in the multi-class setting.



7.      Homework:


  • The amount and content of homework in mathematics will be assigned at the discretion of

each individual teacher in accordance with the school’s homework policy.

  • Maths homework will only be assigned from Senior Infants to 6th class.
  • Maths homework should be differentiated, taking into account the range of abilities within the class. It is used to reinforce work already done in class.




8.      Copies and Layout of Work


8.1 Formation of Numerals

·         Methodologies used in the infant classes to teach number formation include; drawing in sand,drawing on sandpaper, creating numbers with play-dough, drawing rainbow numbers etc

·         Rhymes are use to help children remember how to form numbers correctly.

(Appendix 7)


8.2 Copies

·         Children are taught to write only one numeral in each square and this is continued up through all class levels.

·         Children are taught about importance of neat and organised work, especially in computation.


Junior Infants (Terrm 3) 2cm squared copies
Senior Infants 2cm squared copies
First Class (2cm squared copies used at beginning of year)

1cm squared copies

Second Class 1cm squared copies

Begin ruling copy with pencil, question numbers and date in R.H. corner

Third to Sixth Class Regular squared copies

Ruling with red pen, question numbers and date on all work

Margins at side and top, page may be ruled down the centre or with rough work column down R.H.side


9.      Textbooks

  • The use and choice of textbooks is decided upon collectively by staff. This is reviewed on a yearly basis.


Junior Infants – Maths Aid

Senior Infants – Action Maths

First – Sixth Class – Mathemagic


  • Children in 3rd  – 6th classes do not write in their textbooks.



10.  Resources

  • Each teacher will be given an updated list of Maths resources at the beginning of each year that will indicate the classroom in which each resource is to be kept when not in use.
  • Maths resources will be distributed to classes according to the age appropriateness of each resource.


11.  Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:


  • This plan and the Curriculum documents for Mathematics will provide information and guidance to individual teachers for their long and short-term planning.
  • A record of what has been taught can be found in each teacher’s Monthly Report.


12.  Staff Development:


  • The Board of Management is aware of the importance of on-going staff development and will endeavor to provide support if requested.


13.  Parental Involvement – Home School Links:

·         Parents are encouraged to support and take an active role in the school’s programme. Individual Parent/Teacher meetings are held in Term 1 each year. Teachers and parents are afforded the opportunity to discuss each individual child’s progress in Maths and other subjects. Parents and teachers also have opportunities to make individual arrangements to discuss matters of relevance at other times throughout the school year.


Success Criteria


The success of this plan will be assessed by using –

  • The assessment tools in the Revised Curriculum documents.
  • Feedback from pupils, parents, teachers and the wider community.
  • Department of Education Inspector’s suggestions and/or reports.
  • Feedback, if it arises, from second-level schools in our area.
  • Future developments in mathematical thinking.




(a)   Roles and Responsibilities:

All staff members have a role and responsibility in the implementation of this plan in our school.

The distribution of this plan to all members of staff and the monitoring and updating of mathematical resources lies with the school’s co-ordinator of Whole School Planning.

(b)   Timeframe:

This school plan will be implemented as of and from September 2010.



The plan will be monitored by all members of staff under the guidance of the principal. The first formal review will take place in the school year of 2013/2014.


Ratification and Communication


This plan was ratified by the Board of Management in _____________

Each teacher has received a copy and it is also available in the School Office.

Parents will be informed in the September 2010 newsletter that they can access the plan through the school’s website;




Adamstown Castle ETNS                                                       Mathematics Whole School Plan

Appendix 1

Ideas for Estimation



Estimate within the number limits for each class. Also Curriculum p.32-34.



Infants: i.e. Extending Pattern: What comes next? 2,4,6,8,?

1st & 2nd:What is 18 plus 5? Estimate 18 plus 15.Check using the 100 square.

3rd & 4th: 36 = 3 x ÿ. Will the answer be >10? How do you know?

5th& 6th: Estimate what a kilometre of pennies is worth? Check using a




Infants: Estimate how many matchboxes will cover the book?

1st & 2nd Estimate how many matchboxes will fit into the cube?

3rd & 4th Estimate if an angle is > < = a right angle?

5th & 6th Estimate how much greater the measurement of the circumference of

a circle is to the diameter.



  • Length

Infants: Is the string longer/shorter than your pencil?

  • Area

1st & 2nd: Guess how many postcards will cover the table?

  • Weight

Infants: Is the beach ball heavier than the golf-ball?

3rd & 4th: Are you heavier/lighter than 20 bags of sugar?

  • Capacity

5th & 6th: Estimate how many millilitres of water would fill a cup.

Check using a graduated beaker.

  • Time

Infants: How many times can you touch the wall and run back before

the egg-timer runs out.

  • Money

1st & 2nd:Estimate how many 15c lollipops can you buy with 50c?

Check by subtracting the coins in a shop context.



Infants: Estimate how many children in the class have blonde hair?


1st & 2nd : What is the most popular car colour in the school car park?

Estimate how many for that colour and check.

3rd & 4th: Estimate what fraction of the class play camogie/hurling?

Check your answer.

5th & 6th: Estimate your chances of getting 2 heads tossing two coins.

Do the coin tossing. Convert your answer to a decimal and %.

Maths- Appendix 2

Maths - Appendix 2b

Maths - Appendix 2c
Maths - Appendix 3a
Maths Appendix 3bMaths Appendix 3c
Maths - Appendix 3dMaths - Appendix 3eMaths - Appendix 3f

Maths - Appendix 3g

Maths - Appendix 4

Adamstown Castle ETNS               Appendix 5
Whole School Plan for Mathematics


Ideas for creating mathematical trails


  • Name three things that are longer/shorter/heavier than the___________.
  • Put the following objects in order starting with the shortest:
  • How many pencils long is the bench?
  • Which do you think is longer, the bench or you lying down?
  • What day was it yesterday etc.?
  • If you want to use the ________ what do you have to do?
  • How much is the ______? If you have _________ how much more money

do you need?

  • How many centimetres long is the ___________?
  • How many ________ would it take to cover the ____________?
  • How heavy is the ____________ in grammes?
  • Estimate how many _______ of water will fit in the ___________. Check

your answer.

  • On what date was the _________ opened? How long ago is that in days,

months, years?

  • How many ____________ can be bought with ___.
  • How long is the ___________. Give your answer in metres (using

decimals or fractions, if necessary).

  • If the train leaves the station at ______ and arrives in _________ at

________ how long will the journey take?

  • Draw an analogue clock face showing the time on the ______________.
  • How many pennies/cents does the _______ cost?
  • How long is the perimeter of the ________ ?
  • Find the area of the __________?
  • What is the exchange rate today for buying US dollars? How many

dollars would I get for €100?

  • How long does it take to _________?


  • Where is the ___________? (over/under/beside etc.)
  • Walk towards/away from the _________.
  • How many corners on the _________?
  • What shape is the ______________?
  • Draw a __________ in the sand.
  • What shapes can you see in this area?
  • Find one example of symmetry in the area.
  • Face the ________. Make one complete turn. Where are you facing?

Now make one half turn. Where are you facing?

  • Why, do you think, is the _____ in the shape of a ___________?
  • Use marla to make a model of the __________.
  • Find lines that are parallel/vertical/horizontal.
  • Face the ______. Turn one right angle to the right. What are you facing


  • Find an example of a right angle in the area. Find an angle that is

less/more than a right angle.

  • What shape is the sign?
  • How would someone in a wheelchair enter the building?


  • How many ____________ are there?
  • Are there more ________ or _________?
  • How many more _____________than __________?
  • Add the _______ and the _________.
  • How many more ____ would you need to make 10?
  • Write down the number on the _________.
  • Estimate how many __________there are.
  • Run from __ to __. Write down the order in which you came using these

words:first, second, third, fourth.

  • Add the numbers on the _________.
  • If each bench has four legs, how many legs in total in the park?
  • If someone ate ¼ of the apples in the basket how many would they eat?
  • What number is on the ________? Is the number greater than or less than

______. Round this number to the nearest thousand.

  • Add the number on the ___ to the number on the ___.
  • What do you get if you multiply all the digits in the number by each


  • How many seats are in this room? If the room were full of people and

each person paid 50p to enter how much money would be paid in total?

  • How many sweets are in the box. If they were divided among ____

children how many would each child get?

  • If one bun costs ___ and you can buy 4 for €1, what is the percentage


  • What will this coat cost in the sale if 15% is taken from all items?
  • What temperature is it here today. In winter the mean temperature is –2.

What is the difference between the two?

  • There is a number written in Roman numerals on the grave stone. What

is the number in Hindu-Arabic numerals?



  • If the pattern on the ________ was continued what colour would be next?
  • Write down 3 interesting things about the number on the _________.
  • What number would you take from 400 to give you the number on the




  • If you had a choice would you buy a _________ or a ______________?
  • Stand at the school gate. How many cars, lorries, vans, tractors pass in 15

minutes. Show this on a graph. Why do more lorries than cars pass at

this time?

  • How likely is it that ___________ will happen here today?
  • Put these statements in order of likeliness to happen.
  • What is the average price of __

    Appendix 6

    Word Problems

    Attend the Key Words
    Choose Numbers
    Check your answer
     The ROSE Approach
    (a) Read the problem aloud several times to make sure there isn’t a reading
    barrier in the way of the mathematics of the problem.
    (b) Discuss the mathematical language of the problem e.g. what does the word
    “product” mean?
    (c) If a problem uses large numbers repeat the problem using simpler numbers.
    (d) If a problem uses fractions or decimals repeat the problem using whole
    numbers only. This makes it easier for pupils to make an estimate and
    understand the problem.
    (e) Get the pupils to paraphrase problems in their own words. Create a similar
    problem using different numbers and/or pupils can change the numbers in the
    (f) Draw a diagram of the information given.
    (g) Choose appropriate equipment to solve the problem, e.g. balance, measuring
    instrument, calculator, and blocks.
    Organise the problem into its distinct mathematical operations. Put these in a number
    sentence. The usual operations are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
    but other methods which are used in problem-solving include the unitary method (eg
    12 sweets cost 84c, find the cost of 5 sweets. Hint: Find the cost of one first) and
    formulae like the one for area (Length by width equals area). Initially encourage
    pupils to deduce their own formulae.
    Solve the problem by relating the parts of the problem to one another. This involves
    the skill of implementing as outlined on pages 68-69 in the Teacher Guidelines.

    Evaluate the solution to the problem. Does it make sense in relation to the estimate?