At St Margaret’s we believe that with God’s help we will:
Flourish in all we do,
Achieve whatever we set our minds to,
Believe we are all unique and valued.
We believe in a broad and balanced curriculum that inspires and engages all children.
We believe maths is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The 2014 National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
· Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics;
· Reason mathematically;
· Can solve problems by applying their mathematics.
The content and principles underpinning the 2014 mathematics curriculum and the maths curriculum at St Margaret’s Primary School reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China.
The OECD suggests that by age 15 students from these countries are on average up to three years ahead in maths compared to 15 years in England. We learn from their education systems by adopting a ‘mastery approach’ to teaching commonly followed in these countries.
These principles and features characterise our approach:
The Foundation Stage 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.
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.
Years 1 - 6
Through Years 1 to 6 we use a coherent programme of high-quality materials and exercises, which are structured with great care to build deep conceptual knowledge alongside developing procedural fluency.
· Our KS1 and KS2 teachers use the White Rose Maths scheme supported by the ‘Maths - No Problem!’ series, which is based on the principles of how Mathematics is taught in Singapore and aligned with the National Curriculum 2014, to support their planning and delivery of Mathematics teaching.
· During the course of the academic year the White Rose Maths Scheme covers all units of the National Curriculum 2014 – with an emphasis on the most important skills.
· The short term planning is done weekly, with teachers planning learning objectives, identifying possible misconceptions, key vocabulary and ways to challenge and support pupils.
· If the specific mathematical needs of any children are best met following an alternative plan, which deviates from the ‘Age Related Expectations’ of the National Curriculum 2014, then the class teacher and the SENCO/Phase/Subject Leader discuss this and decide on a way forward.
A Typical Lesson
Maths lessons last approximately 1 hour and are taught daily.
Mathematical fluency is targeted via a starter activity – focussing on key year group objectives e.g. number bonds, times tables, x and / by 10,100,1000 – this may be recorded in books or whiteboards. Pupils start the lesson with thought provoking task, which they discuss in partners. This is usually a problem solving activity, which prompts discussion and reasoning.
In Key Stage One, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Pupils may also use manipulatives in Key Stage Two.
Teachers use careful questions to draw out pupils’ discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads pupils through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed.
At this part of the lesson, the strategies may be displayed on sheets of paper in the classroom.
When they are ready to apply their learning independently, the children answer questions from the workbook in their own ‘exercise books’
If some children are not ready by this point, they will continue ‘Guided Practice or independent tasks’ with adult support.
If some pupils are advanced in this area of mathematics and have completed the questions independently, they will be given extra tasks to consolidate and deepen their learning, which they will complete following an ‘EXT’ subheading.
The use of mathematics resources is integral to the CPA approach and thus planned into our learning and teaching. Resources such as number lines, Numicon, multi-link cubes, dienes, hundred squares, shapes, etc. are located within individual classrooms.
Resources within individual classes are accessible to all pupils who should be encouraged to be responsible for their use.
A range of mathematics related software is also available and this is accessible via the shared server, which children can access when projected onto the Interactive Whiteboards in each classroom; by using individual iPads or by using the ICT suite. Teachers are encouraged to use the school playgrounds as an outdoor classroom when possible, for example, when teaching length, area or perimeter.
Each child in Years 1 to 6 has access to the subscription only Maths shed website, which they can access at home or at school to support their learning in Mathematics. The website follows and supports the National Curriculum 2014 and learning can be child lead or teacher lead, with individual teachers setting work for the children, which appears when they access the website.
We recognise the importance of a stimulating learning environment. The school provides an environment which is rich in a wide variety of print, pictures, diagrams, charts, tables, models and images. Each classroom has a mathematical display area, which includes a working wall with mathematical vocabulary, visual aids and interactive activities where appropriate.
Pupil Support and Differentiation
Taking a mastery approach, differentiation occurs in the support and intervention provided to different pupils, not in the topics taught, particularly at earlier stages. The National Curriculum states:
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.’
There is little differentiation in the content taught but the questioning and scaffolding individual pupils receive in class as they work through problems will differ, with higher attaining pupils challenged through more demanding problems which deepen their knowledge of the same content. Pupils’ difficulties and misconceptions are identified through immediate formative assessment and addressed with rapid intervention – commonly through individual or small group support later the same day.
We subscribe to White Rose Premium resources, Times table Rockstars and Maths Shed. These are used to reinforce key concepts covered in class, and to practise fluency facts for number bonds and times tables. An appropriate and meaningful weekly maths home learning task should be set across all ages using these mediums or other suitable means.
The impact of our mathematics curriculum is that children understand the relevance and importance of what they are learning in relation to real world concepts.
Children know that maths is a vital life skill that they will rely on in many areas of their daily life.
Children have a positive view of maths due to learning in an environment where maths is promoted as being an exciting and enjoyable subject in which they can investigate and ask questions; they know that it is reasonable to make mistakes because this can strengthen their learning through the journey to finding an answer.
Children are confident to ‘have a go’ and choose the equipment they need to help them to learn along with the strategies they think are best suited to each problem.
Our children have a good understanding of their strengths and targets for development in maths and what they need to do to improve.
Our maths books evidence work of a high standard of which children clearly take pride; the components of the teaching sequences demonstrate good coverage of fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
Our feedback and interventions support children to strive to be the best mathematicians they can be, ensuring a high proportion of children are on track or above.
Our expectations of learning in maths are high, children are keen to do well and are maintaining the progress in standards that we have strived to achieve.