The Intent of our Mathematics Curriculum
At St Margaret Mary, we are mathematicians! We believe that all children can achieve within mathematics and can become ‘masters’ of the subject. They can develop a love and enjoyment of it whilst becoming independent problem solvers. We aim for children to embrace a ‘can do’ attitude to their learning and for them to become confident and competent in all areas of mathematics.
We aim for our children to:
- Develop a positive attitude and approach to maths
- Develop a secure understanding of the objectives being taught
- Appreciate that maths is fundamental to all areas of the curriculum and the real world
- Become confident at expressing their reasons and thinking using the correct mathematical language and vocabulary
- Challenge and be challenged by others in a safe environment
- Develop quick recall of the basic facts
- Be able to solve problems by applying their knowledge of different approaches
In line with the National Curriculum, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time. Pupils should 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.
The Implementation of our Mathematics Curriculum
We strongly believe that a mastery approach is the best way for our children to learn maths. We feel that every child can achieve in maths and is able to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the many areas covered in this subject. The key features of Maths Mastery are:
- High expectations for every child
- Fewer topics, greater depth
- Number sense and place value come first
- Focus on mathematical thinking and language
- Using concrete apparatus and resources to support learning
- Problem solving is central
- Calculate with confidence' – understand why it works
By striving to master maths, children will develop a deep, secure and adaptable understanding, feeling confident to problem solve and face new situations without immediately needing support.
At St Margaret Mary, we use the White Rose Maths scheme which follows a next steps approach to learning and advocates the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract methods. This scheme is used to guide the teachers’ planning. Along-side this, the DfE’s Ready to Progress Criteria is also available, enabling the teachers to see the steps before and after each learning intention to support the teaching and learning process. The Ready to Progress Criteria also provides support and challenge for all levels of learners including those with SEN as well as gifted and talented mathematicians.
Staff plan their teaching in a way that is relevant to the children in their class. We take a flexible approach to what we do when, to address identified gaps in pupils’ knowledge and to move our provision to address weaknesses. Learning will not move on until staff believe that the children have a sound and secure understanding of a concept. Children who struggle with a concept will be supported through practical resources, additional practice, interventions and adult support. Children who grasp concepts quickly will be challenged to think deeply and reason about their learning.
Our mastery approach applies the five big ideas to the teaching of maths:
- Coherence: Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept, providing access for all children and leading to a generalisation of the concept and the ability to apply the concept to a range of contexts.
- Representation and Structure: Representations used in lessons are used to support the children in building up mathematical understanding and allowing them to apply their learning to a range on contexts and models. The overall aim is that children will eventually (when they are ready) use abstract ideas to solve their maths.
- Mathematical Thinking: Children need to work hard to develop an understanding through reasoning, discussing with others, explaining their thinking and trying out new things.
- Fluency: Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures will ensure that children are not hindered by the simple mathematical knowledge such as times tables and bonds of numbers.
- Variation: Variation is twofold. It is firstly about how the teacher represents the concept being taught, often in more than one way, to draw attention to critical aspects, and to develop deep and holistic understanding. It is also about the sequencing of the episodes, activities and exercises used within a lesson and follow up practice, paying attention to what is kept the same and what changes, to connect the mathematics and draw attention to mathematical relationships and structure.
White Rose Maths:
- Forms the core of all our planning and teaching in maths from Year 1 to Year 6
- Encourages in-depth coverage of concepts over the year and over the school life of the child
- Enables children to move from concrete to pictorial to abstract understanding of mathematical ideas and concepts
- Develops deep-learning in maths, so that children can apply the skills they have learned in a range of ‘real-life’ and problem-solving contexts, as well as in other subjects across the curriculum.
In Years 1 -6, at the beginning of every lesson, children practise arithmetic skills of number bonds, x tables and using patterns in number to support their learning and knowledge. Pupils are taught arithmetic skills regularly with time given to consolidate, practise skills and methods throughout our mathematical teaching. A weekly lesson enables them to use their taught strategies in written arithmetic independently.
To improve speed in their recall of number facts, Times Tables Rockstars and Numbots are home learning platforms which the children can access at home and at school. Both of these resources encourage home learning and personal challenge. Homework is given weekly to practise skills taught through a variety of tasks and activities.
Staff have access to up-to-date training and research through WRM On-demand CPD, The National College, The Catholic Primary Partnership and NCETM Hub. Regular staff meetings are held to support teacher’s pedagogical content knowledge, to discuss teaching and progress across the school in order to further develop effective teaching. This supports teachers in using a consistent approach throughout the school so misconceptions are less likely to occur.
- Each class has a range of resources to support learning in maths. These are easily accessible for the children so that they can lead their own learning.
- Central resources/equipment cupboard
- A range of ICT software to support the teaching of specific concepts including Times Table Rockstars, Third Space Learning, which can be used at home.
- NCETM Hub online resources and training
Organisation of Teaching and Learning:
- Lessons involve starting activities allowing children to recap on previous learning, develop fluency or practise a skill which will be needed within the lesson followed by Flashback 4.
- New learning is introduced often with pictorial representations or opportunities to use concrete resources. Learning is carefully modelled (I -We -You), and the children are given opportunities to develop and practise new acquired skills. This may be scaffolded through the use of sentence starters, widget symbols, mixed ability partner discussion alongside high quality modelling.
- Challenges and ‘deepening’ activities are shared with all children to discuss allowing all children the chance to apply their understanding.
- Independent tasks mostly begin with fluency activities allowing children the opportunity to achieve the intended learning before progressing to reasoning and problem solving ‘Going Deeper’ activities.
- Mathematical talk is encouraged throughout lessons ensuring children understand the key vocabulary and are able to use it to reason and explain their thinking.
- There are regular opportunities to review learning in lessons to ensure children are not left behind and can be targeted for support through the use of TAs in classes.
- During lessons, whenever possible, in the moment marking takes place allowing teachers to pick up any misconceptions.
In EYFS, children are immersed in mathematical language and encouraged to use it within their play. They experience activities where they explore number understanding and show critical thinking in tasks that they take part in. Every opportunity is taken to talk about and experience number and problem solving appropriate to our children. Mathematical experiences involve the use of games, practical manipulatives and mathematical models following a mastery approach.
For four lessons a week, our Reception teacher works closely with the Maths Hub and follows the NCETM Mastering Number for the planning and teaching of number. This programme enables pupils to:
- Develop and demonstrate good number sense
- Develop firm mathematical foundations for later work in maths
- Develop fluency in calculation and number
- Use appropriate manipulatives to support mathematical understanding
Shape, space and measure lesson are delivered once a week using the White Rose Math scheme.
Effective understanding and recall of times tables is the foundation of most of the mathematics children will do at primary school and the mathematics curriculum involves children being fluent in number skills. Our times tables scheme includes inverse operations, a range of representations and problem solving, which are all vital skills in mathematics. Within KS2, children are tested weekly and we set challenges on TT Rockstars 'Battle of the Bands', to further engage and enthuse the children.
In Year 4, children take the statutory ‘Multiplication Tables Check’ (MTC), to assess their knowledge and recall of times tables facts.
Cultural Capital / Enrichment Activities
To enhance and support the teaching of mathematics we dedicate time to delivering enrichment days/activities which include:
- Aim Higher Maths Days
- Stem days
- Young Enterprise Days
- NSPCC Maths Number Day
- World Maths Days
- Parental meetings providing support and sharing strategies
The Impact of our Mathematics Curriculum
Assessment of impact forms an integral part of every maths lesson at St Margaret Mary. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers and teaching assistants will be assessing what their pupils are, or are not understanding and use this to scaffold each segment of the lesson. Interventions will be both planned for and ‘live’, meaning that misconceptions are dealt with immediately and high attaining pupils are challenged appropriately. Linking with our mastery approach, staff ensure that confidence and resilience continually develop in each and every child, taking the small steps approach to ensure an understanding in every lesson. The way children explain their methods and understanding and the mathematical vocabulary play as big a part as getting the answer correct.
Children are assessed on entry to Year 4 using the online times tables assessment which is timed and simulates the statutory MTC (Multiplication Tables Check). All children are required to participate in this national assessment towards the end of their Summer Term of Year 4. Following this baseline test, children are then encouraged to practise their times tables at home and are given regular opportunity to also practise in school.
- Reception Class practitioner’s ongoing observational assessments made early in Autumn Term 1 ascertain a baseline which then informs subsequent teaching and learning for each child.
- Future attainment is noted using photographs and observational notes. Progress is recorded in each child’s Learning Journey or within the class floor book, and the next steps to be taken are identified. Progress is monitored termly.
- Statutory assessments are made on entry and on exit of the EYFS.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
- In the daily mathematics lesson, formative assessments are made on a day-to-day basis. Practitioners observe, question and evaluate lesson outcomes to further determine progress made and the next steps in learning.
- Summative assessments are made at the end of each term to monitor children’s knowledge and understanding of concepts taught. Any gaps in learning are identified and then re-visited more than might be deemed necessary (due to the nature of the mastery approach, previous learning is revisited and underpins new learning).
- Progress is discussed at termly ‘Pupil Progress Meetings’ and focus children are identified.
- Statutory assessments are made at the end of each key stage.
The Head teacher and maths subject lead play a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning of mathematics in the school.
The subject lead is responsible for monitoring attainment and progress, the outcomes of which are collated in the subject leadership folder and fed back to staff at an appropriate time. Regular informal chats take place with class teachers discussing mathematics teaching, White Rose Scheme implementation and any concerns in children’s learning. The curriculum is monitored through discussions with the children about mathematics, learning walks including observing the environment and behaviour for learning, and regular scrutiny of planning and books.
Teaching and learning is monitored at a time indicated in the School Improvement Plan: Monitoring and Evaluation timetable.