Mathematics

Intent

The National Curriculum (2014) states that three aims of mathematics aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions

We aim to ensure that our children have access to a high quality mathematics curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable. We want to develop our children into confident mathematicians who are not afraid to take risks. We want children to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on. Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them. We intend for our pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.

 

Implementation

The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. To ensure whole consistency and progression, the school uses the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme. This is fully aligned with the White Rose Maths scheme. The mapping of mathematics across school shows clear progression in line with age related expectations. Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention. Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge. Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up. New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem, which children are able to discuss in partners. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of maths in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning. In KS1, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Children may also use manipulatives in KS2. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems. Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate. Those children who are ‘rapid graspers’ will either be challenged with deeper thinking questions, asked to show their understanding in different representations or through writing own word problems/ explanations/application of skills. Mathematics in our school is enhanced by our individual class working walls designed to aid children through each topic. In addition to their maths lessons, children in KS2 use Schofield and Sims differentiated mental arithmetic books to reinforce their learning and allow children to fluently apply their mathematical knowledge across a range of contexts

Vocabulary

Vocabulary is explicitly taught at the start of each unit of learning, or where applicable in lessons. All pupils have access to the vocabulary as it is displayed on the working wall and the children write new vocabulary in the front of their books. The definition and application of the vocabulary is modelled continuously by the teacher/teaching assistant throughout the unit of work. There is a high expectation for pupils to use, model and apply the vocabulary in their verbal and written reasoning.

Interventions

There is great emphasis on Assessment for Learning at all points within the lesson by Teacher/Teaching Assistant and activities adapted during the lesson if necessary.  Pupils are identified for rapid intervention or pre-teaching.

  • Targeted support – afternoon sessions by some TAs.
  • Next day/same day 1:1/ small group intervention for children who have not grasped concepts.
  • Pre-teaching to targeted children before new concepts are introduced.

 

Tracking Progress

At the beginning and end of each teaching sequence, teachers informally assess pupils using the pre-assessment and Power Maths end of unit assessments to inform their future planning/intervention support. Teachers also track children’s individual progress of specific curriculum objectives by using our school assessment tracker. This helps to inform teacher’s termly assessment data. At the end of a term, children’s learning is assessed using White Rose Hub arithmetic and reasoning tests, using questions and problems that require the pupils to remember, understand, apply, analyse and evaluate their knowledge and skills. The results are used as another tool to help inform the teacher’s termly assessment data. The main purpose of all assessment is to always ensure that we are providing appropriate and challenging provision for every child.

EYFS

In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), we relate the mathematical aspects of the children’s work to the Development Matters statements and the Early Learning Goals (ELG), as set out in the EYFS profile document. Mathematics development involves providing children with opportunities to practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures. The profile for Mathematics areas of learning are Number (ELG 11) and shape, space and measures (ELG 12). We continually observe and assess children against these areas using their age-related objectives, and plan the next steps in their mathematical development through a topic-based curriculum. There are opportunities for children to encounter Maths throughout the EYFS (both inside and outside) – through both planned activities and the self-selection of easily accessible quality maths resources. Whenever possible children’s interests are used to support delivering the mathematics curriculum. EYFS classes have a daily maths input and maths lesson. Throughout the year, the maths lessons in the Reception classes become more structured to prepare the children for Y1.

 

Impact

Using Power Maths as a resource to support our teaching and learning of maths allows us to address any preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset. A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. Children are becoming more confident with reasoning about their learning, both verbally and in a written form. Lessons across school uses consistent methods and representations which are built upon in each year group. Children have the ability to recognise relationships and make connections in a range of areas of maths. They have the flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics. Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with nearly all children achieving the national standard at the end of KS2 and a good proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase. Maths is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as book scrutinises, lesson drop ins and pupil voice questionnaires and interviews.