We believe that all pupils can achieve at maths and as such we follow the principles and practices of teaching for mastery. Our aim is to provide our pupils with the skills, knowledge and confidence in mathematical fluency, both at a procedural and conceptual level, to enable them to solve and discuss mathematical problems using coherent and concise reasoning skills. Children are encouraged to see the mathematics in the world around them, develop number sense and above all enjoy developing their skills and knowledge in this subject.
The three aims of the National Curriculum; fluency, reasoning and problem solving, form the basis for the teaching and learning of maths at SMCPS and this is seen in the children's everyday learning.
Fundamentally, we want children to enjoy maths, reduce mathematical anxiety and build confidence in everyone's mathematical knowledge and understanding.
As a school we follow the maths mastery approach, we teach maths to whole, mixed attainment (and some mixed aged) classes, where the children learn at the same pace. Support and scaffolding is provided for children who need more time to grasp concepts and challenges are used to broaden and deepen the understanding of children working at greater depth.
We use the White Rose Maths resources to plan from, which is built around a child‑centred lesson design that models and embeds a growth mindset approach to maths and focuses on helping all children to build a deep understanding of maths concepts. We use the DfE and NCETM’s ‘Ready to Progress’ documents alongside the White Rose ‘lesson by lesson overviews’ to plan a coherent maths curriculum based on the priorities for our children. This approach enables us to ensure the core concepts are exposed and that there is clear progression across year groups. We use the White Rose booklets alongside maths journals, as this allows teachers to use their formative assessments to teach responsively. Teachers are able to use the journals to adapt or create lessons in response to their class’s learning where needed rather than simply following the booklets verbatim.
Where possible we offer same day intervention to allow pupils to build on their learning so that they do not get left behind. We do not label our children, we have high expectations of all children and strongly believe that all children can achieve in mathematics. We acknowledge that some may take longer to grasp concepts and may need careful scaffolding or extra time/support to fully understand certain areas.
The use of concrete resources, pictorial representations and abstract recording (the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach) represents their learning in a variety of structures, encouraging children to find the most efficient methods and develop a secure understanding of concepts. We believe that fluency in number, particularly in terms of additive and multiplicative understanding is key. As such, classes begin each maths lesson with a fluency session: bonds in KS1, times tables in LKS2 and a combination of arithmetic skills in UKS2. Parents are encouraged to support their children at home through developing pupils' fluency in different areas, including using Times Tables Rock Stars and Numbots.
At SMCPS, we use Star Assessments as our end of term, summative assessments in maths. These are from Year 2-6 and cover the main strands of the mathematics curriculum. This gives us a snapshot of children’s attainment and the areas that need to be addressed further. Children in Year 1 use termly assessments from White Rose to determine where further intervention is needed.
Fluency - children are taught and practice factual knowledge to ensure that they get to automaticity. Automaticity with procedures and facts is important because it frees children’s minds (working memories) to think about concepts.
Review - children are given questions that require them to retrieve previously taught material to help embed learning in their long-term memory.
Maths Meeting - Children presented with a question to develop their number sense and discuss their thinking using oracy skills. Questions are based on reasoning and finding patterns.
Vocabulary - key terminology is shared with the children so they are able to speak/explain using accurate language concisely.
Guided and Independent Practice - teachers guide children’s thinking and understanding using various strategies such as worked examples and modelling. Children are then able to apply their knowledge through independent and supported practice.
Explain - the ‘Explain’ enables children to have the opportunity to demonstrate a deeper understanding of concepts, using correct terminology concisely.
Please see the 'Parents' section of the website to access ways to support your child at home with number and times table fluency programmes and key instant recall facts to learn at home. Please see your class teacher to talk about your child's learning and ways to help at home.
In order to determine the impact of our maths curriculum, we continuously ask ourselves “How do we know what our children have learned and remembered?” Through using regular end of unit assessments, teachers are able to assess what children have retained from the unit of work, and plan further intervention where needed. This opportunity ensures that teachers are able to assess the impact of their sessions and either challenge the learning further or intervene to close gaps.
Children’s fluency in number is evident throughout their daily maths workbooks and journals. This enables children to be successful problem solvers who have the tools needed to tackle maths problems confidently. Consistent teaching practices in maths lessons ensure that children are all following clear procedures that do not overload the working memory and allow for children to delve deeper into their daily maths. Maths lessons are monitored inline with our school Walkthru system, and effective teaching strategies ensure that children have opportunities to develop successful learning behaviours. Observing lessons and discussions with children reflect that our children are happy learners who talk enthusiastically about their learning and eager to further their progress in maths.
The impact of ‘mastery’ and the emphasis on accurate use of mathematical language is evident during discussions. Upon leaving our school at the end of key stage 2, children will have a secure foundation in the key skills and aims of the Primary Maths National Curriculum, with 77% of children reaching the expected level (exceeding the national average) during the last academic year. They will be fluent mathematicians with the ability to problem solve and reason confidently. They will have a positive attitude towards maths as they move forward with the next stage of their maths learning.