Maths

Vision Statement

Together we inspire one another to love learn respect and Forgive, rooted and built up in Christ, so that every member of our school community can develop and flourish; united in mutual respect with a sense of belonging.

Intent of the teaching and learning of Maths

We teach Maths to provide children with a toolkit of strategies and skills to apply to a broad range of mathematic concepts that are not only applicable within the classroom, but also in everyday life.

We endeavour to ensure our children enjoy and engage fully within every Maths lesson and are challenged throughout, working to their full potential through hands on, real life learning opportunities.

Implementation of the teaching and learning of Maths

We have adapted and tailored the ‘White Rose’ scheme of work, creating a bespoke curriculum fully aligned with the 2014 National Curriculum for Maths.

This child-centred approach is then enhanced through challenges from a range of high-quality sources.  Within Maths lessons, learning is embedded by incorporating the use of resources, problem solving and group work.

The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims 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.

Our teaching of Maths is geared towards enabling each child to develop their learning and achieve their full potential. We endeavour to not only develop the Mathematics skills and understanding required for later life, but also to foster an enthusiasm and fascination about Maths itself. We aim to increase pupil’s confidence in Maths, so they are able to express themselves and their ideas using the language of Maths with assurance.

We pride ourselves on a ‘can do’ and ‘the answer isn’t important, it’s the reasons how and why’ attitude towards Maths. If children feel they can’t do it, the sentence is always followed with YET!  “We can’t do it yet!”  This makes children believe they will be able to do it; they just haven’t quite learnt all the skills they need to solve the problem, yet. This growth mind-set approach towards Maths helps all children to achieve more than they believe they can.

Teaching Maths for Mastery

The whole class works through the programme of study with clear and established end points. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years. This helps children develop a deep and secure knowledge and understanding of Maths at each stage of their learning, so that by the end of every school year or Key Stage, children will have acquired a broad breadth of the mathematical facts and concepts they have been learning.

Differentiated Activities

Tasks and activities are designed for all children to attempt and be challenged and stretched to maximise their own ability. A range of strategies are taught before teaching set methods and then entering more challenging components. For lower attaining pupils, different tasks may be set, however all children are challenged to be at the crest of their abilities. For advanced learners, work is set for pupils to develop their higher-order thinking skills. In addition, we use mastery and greater depth tasks in order to further challenge pupils. We encourage all children to choose such tasks throughout each part of the lesson to develop independence and challenge for all.

Problem Solving

Lessons and activities are designed to be taught using problem-solving approaches to encourage pupils’ higher-level thinking. The focus is on working with pupils’ core competencies, building on what they know to develop their relational understanding. The children are given multiple opportunities to evidence their reasoning and rationale within maths tasks.

Variation

The questions and examples we use in class are carefully varied in line with White Rose Math and encourage pupils to think about the Maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples are designed to deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.

Calculation Policy

Our EYFS, KS1 and KS2 calculation policies are based on the White Rose Math approach to maths. Each method is taught to children following the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach.

EYFS

EYFS use the development matters document to inform their Maths planning. In Reception, children explore and dissect the concepts of number in a variety of different ways along with being given the opportunities to develop further through reasoning and problem solving activities. This is in line with the rest of the school and provides children with a firm foundation of maths understanding, ready for their transition into Year 1.

Additional Mental Maths Teaching

KS2 classes complete daily My Mini Maths activities to develop mathematical fluency, developing both new understanding and revisit maths previously taught. Teachers also use White Rose Maths ‘Flashback 4’ slides to similar effect, allowing pupils to continually revisit prior work in order to help them apply these concepts to new learning. In addition to this, all children have login codes for Times Table Rock stars to improve and practise their times table fluency both at home and at school.

In Class Support

As part of the structure of our Maths lessons, we incorporate time for ‘On The Bus’ Maths support to scaffold concepts for struggling learners or to challenge further those children who have grasped concepts quickly and/or are working at greater depth.

The Importance of Vocabulary and ‘Maths Talk’

Learning Maths and the language of Mathematics is a little like learning a foreign language.  All the pieces need to connect and fit together for something to make sense as a whole. As children become fluent in the language of Mathematics and become increasingly able to reason and explain their thinking mathematically, they become increasingly able to solve problems in a range of contexts, noting connections between areas of Maths and proving their answers by using a wide range of Mathematical thinking. Where possible, children are actively encouraged to work with a peer to discuss concepts and explain thinking, providing the opportunity for mutual growth.

Impact of the teaching and learning of Maths

Assessment is an ongoing element of the teaching and learning of Maths and takes place constantly through the verbal feedback children receive during lessons. Throughout lessons, questioning is used to ascertain children’s understanding. Children are given the opportunity to engage in fluency, reasoning and problem-solving activities on a daily basis to demonstrate their understanding.

Children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning, for example in upper KS2 children use ‘Check it 5’ to self-assess whether they are working at the correct level of challenge. By immediately self-assessing their work, pupils are given immediate feedback, this enables them to be independent learners and is a key corner stone of our approach to maths.

Summative NFER assessments are used to accurately gauge attainment and progress of individuals and cohorts at the end of teach term. Teachers continually use the information gained from this gaps analysis tool to tailor the White Rose approach to the learning of their children. The assessment of Maths also includes end of White Rose Units Block Assessment giving clear indications of how well children have grasped the concepts of each block.

Teachers use their professional judgement and use of formative assessment to ensure a flexible approach is adopted which recognises the need for pace of learning within the classroom. In addition, daily assessment for learning is used to identify any necessary support needed, including ‘same day intervention’ enabling all children to make progress.

The ongoing assessment that we use is a tool for improvement.  It aims to improve the outcome for that child, but also for any future children that may have similar gaps or difficulties.  The assessment we carry out informs future planning and the development of the subject and is shared with the subject leader to ensure that the delivery of Maths is to the very highest standard.

Mr P Challoner (Subject Lead)

St Joseph's Catholic Voluntary Academy - Leicester