Mathematics at Trowell C of E
Rationale for teaching and learning
Curriculum aims and objectives
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other 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 and sophisticated problems to ‘deepen’ their understanding of the subject area, before any acceleration onto new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
Key Stages One and Two
As a school, we are currently developing our practise using the principles of Mastery. We are moving towards a model where all (with some exceptions) children are working on the same objective and move through the curriculum at broadly the same pace. This is supported by the White Rose small steps progression and reflects the underlying belief that all pupils can succeed in Mathematics.
Mastery training has been provided by a mastery specialist through the East Midlands Maths Hub. Year 4 and 1 have been using mastery principles since September as a pilot for the school before the full role out. Staff have taken part in a mentoring cycle in which they have been able to observe these principles in practise in order to develop their own understanding. Further CPD will take place in Summer 2 to support teachers in planning and lesson design. By the start of the next academic year, we aim to trial a mastery lesson design in all year groups with the aim of embedding this approach throughout the next academic year.
The main lesson is designed to take learners on a carefully sequenced journey through the learning. Significant time is spent developing ‘deep knowledge’ of the key ieas that are needed to underpin future learning. The structure and connections within the mathematics are emphasised so that pupils can develop deep learning that can be sustained. During the lesson, Key points of knowledge are identified and built on in small steps and difficult points are highlighted and worked through together as a class. In a typical lesson, pupils face the teacher who leads back and forth interaction; including questioning, short tasks, explanation, demonstration and discussion. Within the lesson, children who show they are finding the objective a challenge will be given support to help them to achieve it. This may be through an additional resource (number line, times tables grid etc), consolidating a concrete/pictorial representation or adult deployment. Those who present as grasping concepts more quickly will be provided further challenge through exploring the concept at a greater depth. This may be through an open-ended question or a low-threshold/high ceiling investigation. Support and challenge will be dependent on the current area being taught. The underlying principle is that all children are able to work within their year group objective being challenged or supported as needed.
Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning
The national curriculum aims for pupils to “be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas”. To achieve this, we aim for pupils to gain a conceptual understanding of the area they are learning so that they have a secure, flexible knowledge. Pupils experience addition, subtraction, multiplication and division through concrete, pictorial and abstract representations, which are exemplified through the calculation policy. Formal written methods are taught when pupils demonstrate a secure conceptual understanding of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ the calculation works. All pupils have opportunity to develop their fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills. This may be part of one lesson or as stand-alone sessions dependent on teacher judgement.
As a school, we follow the White Rose schemes of learning. These provide clear long term overviews for each year group that ensure coverage of the national curriculum objectives. Each objective is exemplified through a range of fluency, problem solving and reasoning activities. Teachers use these to support their planning to ensure pitch and challenge. White Rose provide ‘small steps progression’ outlines for each area of the maths curriculum that teachers follow when planning.
We aim for children to develop ‘automaticity’ with key facts such as multiplication tables and addition facts within 10, to avoid cognitive overload on the working memory and ensure pupils can focus on new concepts. Children take part in a 15 minute arithmetic session daily. These are to ensure that key number skills are revisited and consolidated. During the beginning of the year, previous year group objectives are consolidated, then as new number skills have been taught these are planned for as well. This work is largely self or peer marked.
Learning objectives and Steps to Success
The learning objective identifies the curriculum objective being taught. The steps to success show the small steps progression towards achieving that objective. The final ‘step’ on the ladder identifies a challenge which deepens learning for pupils demonstrating that they have grasped a concept more quickly. If children have met the success criteria, it is highlighted in green. The next step for that learner is identified by being highlighted in pink. Objectives and success criteria may carry over into subsequent lessons until the majority of children have achieved the small steps and met the objective.
Times tables Rockstars
Times tables Rockstars is used throughout KS2 and from the Spring term in Year 2 (after the teaching of multiplication and division). The intention is to increase children’s fluency in multiplication and division facts. Children are encouraged to access TT Rockstars at home and success is celebrated and rewarded in school through displays and assemblies.
Children in the Early Years work towards the early learning goals. This is achieved through discrete teaching sessions, continuous provision and enhancements within the maths area. Children take part in a daily Mathematics session lasting approximately 15 minutes. Children then access maths through their continuous provision and enhancements are used to provide opportunities for children to practise skills from the taught sessions. Planning follows the small steps set out the White Rose Reception guidance to ensure that there is continuity with both KS1 and KS2. Key representations such as number lines, tens frames and part whole models are introduced and embedded in Early Years which help to develop children’s number sense; providing the basis for future learning to build on.