A high quality teaching of mathematics is essential to inspire, empower and encourage an understanding of the world around us, creating a firm base for knowledge. The creative teaching of fluency, problem solving and reasoning provides children with opportunities to learn vital life-long skills.
In the Village Saints Partnership, we promote an infectious enthusiasm for maths which embraces learning through trial and improvement. We nurture confidence in the subject and a love of mathematics to enable our children to reach their full potential. We promote a ‘can do’ attitude to maths without a fear of getting concepts wrong.
Children will be given time, support and resources to develop a depth of understanding in maths, because we believe that everyone is entitled to an outstanding maths education.
We have begun transitioning towards a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. We understand that this will be a gradual process and take several years to embed. The rationale behind changing our approach to teaching mathematics lays within the philosophy that all children can achieve and that children should be given the opportunity to keep up, not catch up. Involvement in the Teaching for Mastery Programme has inspired this as well as the 2014 National Curriculum, which states:
The expectation is that most pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace.
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.
To support our Mastery approach, the school is carrying out a programme of CPD on the WhiteRose Scheme of Learning led by the maths lead. Through the Maths Hub Teaching for Mastery Programme matched funding, we have purchased ‘Power Maths’ to support this teaching and learning.
Within our school, we are in the process of adopting a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Our teaching for mastery is underpinned by the NCETM’s 5 Big Ideas, introduced through the Teaching for Mastery Programme. It details the following:
- Mathematical Thinking allow children to make chains of reasoning connected with the other areas of their mathematics.
- Representation and Structure ensures concepts are explored using concrete, pictorial and abstract representations, the children actively look for patterns as well as specialise and generalise whilst problem solving.
- Coherence is achieved through the planning of small connected steps to link every question and lesson within a topic.
- Variation is used within lessons both in pictorial representations and abstract tasks.
- Fluency relentlessly focuses on number and times table facts.
A Classroom Maths Approach (Jo Boaler, Mathematical Mindsets – Unleashing Students’ POTENTIAL Through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and INNOVATIVE TEACHING – Chapter 4)
- Everyone can learn mathematics to the highest levels.
- If you ‘can’t do it’, you ‘can’t do it yet’.
- Mistakes are valuable.
- Questions are important.
- Mathematics is about creativity and problem solving.
- Mathematics is about making connections and communicating what we think.
- Depth is much more important than speed.
- Maths lessons are about learning, not performing.
- The values of our school are reinforced and practised in all maths lessons.
- Children sit in mixed ability seating, however teachers can, where appropriate, challenge children through Greater Depth group work or intervention to enable children to keep up.
- Lessons are highly focused with one new maths objective introduced at a time.
- Mental starters reinforce previous learning through quick fire tasks.
- A sequence of fluency including variation, reasoning and problem solving are adhered to, thereby enabling the children to practise a range of mathematical skills.
- Difficult points and potential misconceptions are identified in advance and strategies to address them are planned. Support for this is provided in the augmented White Rose planning documents produced by the Partnership.
- Key questions are planned, to challenge thinking and develop learning for all pupils.
- The materials used are modelled on the White Rose format and the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach is highly evident in lessons.
- Understanding is deepened by challenging children to ‘convince us’ and their peers and ‘explain their reasoning’.
- Children who need additional support are identified quickly and given targeted intervention straight away during the maths lesson or on the same day. This enables them to keep up not catch up.
- In EYFS, children’s achievements are on-going and are assessed against the Early Learning Goals.
- In KS1 and KS2, teachers will make judgements about children’s learning in maths in relation to age-related expectations as set out in the National Curriculum 2014.
- Assessment for learning throughout the school is achieved through questioning, observation and marking (see marking policy).
- Puma tests take place at least termly. These outcomes are analysed through QLA and half termly pupil progress meetings with the Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher.
- QLA informs the emphasis of time spent on curriculum areas.
- Statutory assessments take place at the end of Year 2 and year 6
Mathematics is monitored rigorously though lesson observations, book looks, and pupil surveys which continually reflect back to the Vision and Maths Statement.