At Thomas à Becket CEVC Primary School, we believe mathematics is a fundamental part of a child’s development throughout school. The national curriculum for mathematics intends 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.
At St Thomas a Becket, we passionately believe that mathematics should be fun and rewarding for all children. As such we endeavour to make our work in mathematics engaging for all learners. We follow the White Rose maths scheme, with additional resources including those provided by the NCETM, NRICH and Twinkl, used to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. Pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas and should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other curriculum subjects.
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 mastery 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.
We intend on delivering a curriculum which allows children to be part of creative and engaging lessons that will give them a range of opportunities to explore mathematics following a mastery curriculum approach. It will encourage a love of maths and will engage all children, entitling them to the same quality of teaching and learning opportunities in order to reach their potential and become successful in their future adventures. Our approach will develop the powers of resilience, independence, adaptability and the acceptance that struggle is often a necessary step in learning. It will recognise that mathematics underpins much of our daily lives and therefore is of paramount importance in all stages of learning. All children are expected to succeed and make progress from their starting points.
Teachers will teach the skills needed to succeed in mathematics providing examples of good practice and having high expectations. They will create a vocabulary rich environment, where talk for maths is a key learning tool for all pupils in order to reason and explain their workings. Children will be encouraged to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.
Every class from EYFS to Y6 follows the White Rose scheme of learning which is based on the National Curriculum. Lessons may be personalised to address the individual needs and requirements for a class but coverage is maintained throughout. In order to further develop the children’s fluency, reasoning and problem-solving and enrich our children’s maths diet, we use a range of planning resources including those provided by the NCETM, NRICH and Twinkl.
Every class has daily arithmetic maths sessions on a bi-weekly cycle to reinforce and consolidate arithmetic to increase fluency and develop the children’s ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. Children work daily to practise times tables in order to develop rapid recall as they progress through the school.
Lessons begin with a short recap to support retrieval practice and develop long-term memory. Key vocabulary is introduced in topics and revisited regularly to develop language acquisition and working walls are used to support recently taught concepts as a source of reference. Reasoning and problem solving are integral to the activities children are given to develop their mathematical thinking. Children are encouraged to explore, apply and evaluate their mathematical approach during investigations to develop a deeper understanding when solving different problems and puzzles.
We have a range of mathematical resources (concrete equipment) and when children have grasped a concept using concrete equipment, images and diagrams are used (pictorial) prior to moving to abstract questions. Abstract maths relies on the children understanding a concept thoroughly and being able to use their knowledge and understanding to answer and solve maths without equipment or images.
Children work on the objective at whatever entrance stage they have been assessed and can acquire, apply or deepen a skill within a lesson, moving through the different stages of their learning at their own pace. Children with additional needs are included in whole class lessons and teachers provide scaffolding and relevant support as necessary. For children working outside of the year group curriculum, individual learning activities are provided to ensure their progress. Children who have shown their understanding at a deep level within the unit, will have opportunities to apply these skills in a greater depth activity. This should be challenging and ensure that children are using more than just one skill to be able to answer the mathematical problems.
Leadership, Assessment and Feedback
Formative assessment within every lesson helps teachers to identify the children who need more support to achieve the intended outcome and those who are ready for greater challenge through planned questioning or additional activities. Summative assessments are completed at the end of each half term: their results form discussions in termly Pupil Progress Meetings and we reported to parents in the end of year report. In order to support teacher judgments, children may be assessed using current and reliable tests in line with the national curriculum for maths. Gap analysis of any tests that the children complete is undertaken and fed into future planning to provide the bespoke learning approach which we prioritise.
The maths leader has a clear role and overall responsibility for the progress of all children in maths throughout school. Key data is analysed and regular feedback is provided, to inform on progress and future actions.
At the end of each year we expect the children to have achieved Age Related Expectations (ARE) for their year group. Some children will have progressed further and achieved greater depth (GD). Children who have gaps in their knowledge receive appropriate support and intervention. Most demonstrate a quick recall of facts and procedures including times tables.
Children show confidence and believe they can learn about a new maths area and apply the knowledge and skills they already. They develop the skills to use methods independently and show increasing resilience when tackling problems. Mathematical concepts or skills are 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.
Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about their maths lessons, can articulate the context in which maths is being taught and relate this to real life purposes. They show pride in the presentation and understanding of their work.