Subject Leader : Luke Oldroyd
‘Mathematics should equip children with the strategies, knowledge and language to help them to understand and make sense of the world around them. Mathematics is integral in everyday life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that our children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards maths that will stay with them and make them confident lifelong learners.’
Mathematics consists of a whole network of concepts and relationships, which children learn to use to communicate and to tackle a range of practical tasks and real life problems. Our aim is that all of our children become independent learners, who can apply logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics teaching and learning at Normanton Common, is not confined to ‘Maths lessons’, instead links are established across a range of subject areas to support the understanding that Maths is real!
Our approach to the curriculum in mathematics is based upon a language rich, active learning experience. We believe that children learn best if they are exposed to new concepts with hands on practice and immersion in new technical vocabulary. Our children are taught mathematical knowledge through the support of concrete resources and pictorial representations, before moving on to a more abstract approach.
In Maths pupils will have the opportunity to:
· Become an independent learner
· Work with concrete, pictorial and abstract methods
· Learn through a language, rich active learning experience
· Apply their skills to logical reasoning and problem solving
· Link their skills in maths across the curriculum
How is the content / theme chosen?
The content is chosen to make effective links with key themes and ensure coverage of the expectations as set out in the National Curriculum programmes of study, as well as the EYFS framework. At Normanton Common Primary Academy we ensure a clear, sequenced progression, which is taught systematically for all pupils to acquire the intended knowledge and skills. The content may be adapted or changed, based upon the needs or interests of specific cohorts.
How do we ensure progression of knowledge and skills?
Teachers are clear on the learning and expectations for each year group, as this has been carefully selected and mapped out so that children are building on prior knowledge and skills each term and each year.
A long term rolling programme maps out the coverage of the discrete teaching and learning opportunities for children to develop and embed specific skills. This ensures coverage of the National Curriculum, for science across Key Stage 1 and 2 and work within and beyond the Early Year’s Framework across our Foundation Stage.
Alongside this, we use the recently produced Department for Education materials, (Teaching Mathematics in Primary Schools Guidance, July 2020) and the White Rose Scheme for mathematics, to ensure that key learning and understanding has taken place by the end of a specific year group, ensuring children are then ready to extend and deepen their knowledge in subsequent years. Aside from these documents, teachers will plan activities and opportunities for consolidation, stretch and challenge, in order to meet the needs of all learners.
How is the subject taught?
The school does not use one set scheme for the teaching of maths, instead we work to the children’s needs and next steps, using the expectations set out within the National Curriculum for mathematics.
At Normanton Common we have adopted a mastery approach for the teaching of mathematics. This means whole class teaching, using the Concrete Pictorial Abstract model to introduce new concepts, and ensuring children have the necessary language to communicate.
Teachers plan using White Rose and Ready to Progress Criteria, to ensure coherence, pitch and the prioritisation of the curriculum. There is a strong focus on varied fluency throughout school. Pupils are exposed to problem solving once basic skills are embedded, this is heavily scaffolded at first, before pupils are able to independently apply their learning.
Underpinning this pedagogy is the belief that all children can achieve in maths. We believe in promoting sustained and deepened understanding by employing a variety of mastery strategies, with teaching for conceptual understanding at the heart of everything we do. We aim to create independent mathematicians who are well equipped to apply their learning to the wider world and for our children to become independent learners who apply logical reasoning and problem solving to make sense of the world, to make connections and to communicate effectively.
Teaching for Mastery aims to provide all children with full access to the curriculum, enabling them to achieve confidence and competence – ‘mastery’ – in mathematics, rather than many failing to develop the maths skills they need for the future.
Key features of our Maths Mastery curriculum:
· High expectations for every child
· Fewer topics, greater depth
· Number sense and place value come first
· Research -based curriculum
· Objects and pictures always before numbers and letters
· Problem solving is central
· Calculate with confidence– understand why it works
Mathematics Mastery places emphasis on the cumulative mastery of essential knowledge and skills in mathematics. It embeds a deeper understanding of maths by utilising a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.
Each teaching unit of maths provides a sequential programmes of study that are underpinned by promoting fluency in number. They emphasise that all pupils must have a thorough grounding in the four basic rules of number before progressing on to the next level. This complete understanding gives pupils more confidence in dealing with number activities and in turn, leads to mastery of the four operations. Within each discrete block of Maths teaching, class teachers carefully plan the specific outcomes for their year group, based upon age appropriate knowledge and skills, as well as the needs of the cohort or individuals within it.
There is a strong focus on developing the Mathematical vocabulary of our children and retention of this through practical learning opportunities. New vocabulary is taught, with the emphasis on key mathematical words and phrases . Although we actively introduce and are ambitious with the language we use, we understand the importance not to over complicate this language with very young children, but ensure underlying principles and meanings of the words are taught and understood. Children are introduced to and reminded of key vocabulary. Questioning is used to check their understanding and prior knowledge, before new concepts, skills or knowledge are introduced.
Modelling is used by class teachers to clarify expectations, children are then given plentiful opportunities to consolidate, build upon and apply basic skills in through fluency practise (including variation in questions and activities). The teacher skilfully removes any scaffolds, which have supported the children’s initial understanding, when they are ready, before ensuring time for independent practise.
Children are taught how to reason and this becomes an expectation throughout their mathematics learning. Problem solving opportunities are interwoven throughout mathematics lessons, as well as other daily opportunities, so that children can apply the knowledge and skills that they have learnt.
Key stage 2 have additional daily arithmetic and x tables practise to ensure key skills and concepts are regularly revisited.
First class @Number is used as a targeted intervention in Year 3, this is a short 12 week intervention for 6 children at a time which has enabled children entering Key Stage 2 to catch up and keep up.
Pupils also have additional opportunities to extend their mathematical knowledge and skills through cross-curricular work. Strong links with other subject areas, particularly Science and PE ensure that children have numerous opportunities to apply skills across the curriculum. Opportunities to learn about significant people, including famous mathematicians are carefully chosen, so that children are continually developing the sense of the importance of maths in the wider world. This learning also strengthens the links between science and history
Teaching Maths in EYFS
There is strong subject knowledge in EYFS, where children spend time exploring, acquiring and reinforcing the basic concepts, before being offered challenging opportunities to work beyond the early learning goals. Our intent for mathematics in the early years is that children have a deep understanding of the number system, first to 5 and then to 10 in order to prepare them for Key Stage 1.
We have an EYFS curriculum that moves from practical concrete opportunities into pictorial and abstract calculations when children are ready for this. Children are exposed early on to key concepts such as place value and number bonds, so that they have a good basis from which to work in Key Stage 1.
Maths is taught daily as part of a focussed, discrete teaching activity in EYFS. Children are then provided with learning activities based upon this teaching, so that they can refine and develop their knowledge and start to apply their skills. In addition to this, opportunities for mathematics teaching and learning are developed through the routines of the school day, e.g. counting how many children are here today.
Mathematics challenges, as well as opportunities to apply skills and embed knowledge, are carefully planned for through the areas of provision in both the indoor and outdoor learning environments.
How do we know that our children are making progress?
Ongoing assessments of the children’s knowledge and skills is observed by the class teacher. Misconceptions are addressed and next steps carefully planned. Children’s outcomes are compared to the subject specific skills and knowledge documents. At the end of a block of discrete teaching (or term) subject leaders gather an overview of children’s outcomes in each subject area, (For older children teacher assessment is supplemented with termly tests). This is used to plan appropriate next steps for their future learning, as well as provide an overview of learning within a subject area across the whole school.
End of year assessments are collated for children at the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
What wider opportunities are provided for our children?
Children have the opportunity to participate within whole school, class and independent competitions that run throughout the year in Times Table Rockstars. The children also have the opportunity to participate within Waterton Academy Trust maths challenges.
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