At Greenbank, we have adopted an engaging and accessible style of mathematics teaching. Mathematical concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give pupils a richer and deeper learning experience. We strive for our pupils to master mathematics so that they can represent a concept or skill in multiple ways, have the mathematical language to communicate related ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. This fits in very well with our school vision, that ‘We aim to provide a learning environment where all children can achieve their highest potential and to foster a climate where all children, regardless of class, race, gender or disability feel secure and can grow in confidence and self-esteem’.
Our Vision of Mathematics at Greenbank Primary School
At Greenbank, we have very high standards of Mathematics, based on the latest Maths Curriculum, the introduction of Teaching for Mastery and supported by our Maths Calculation Policy. This vision is shared with the parents of our pupils, and shared with our staff, who receive Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in all relevant areas.
A child’s ability to calculate; apply knowledge; to communicate fluently; to reason and to solve problems mathematically, forms the backbone of their education for life. As our children implement their mathematical skills, they should be able to identify the practical relevance of this subject and be able to apply their knowledge in an ever wider set of familiar and new contexts. Yet, this will only be possible if the children’s appreciation of the subject is also nurtured, such that they gain a sense of enjoyment and a curiosity about maths. A solid mathematical knowledge and understanding can be seen in the fields of science, engineering and technology but is an element in most forms of employment, as well as being a crucial part of personal financial literacy and household management. Maths is so much more than a school subject.
‘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.‘ (National Curriculum July 2014)
Our intention here at Greenbank is to help children:
· enjoy maths through practical activity, exploration and discussion
· understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life
· become confidence and competent with numbers and the number system
· become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
· develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
· to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry,
· spot relationships across domains, make generalisations and express an opinion using mathematical language
· solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps
· keep persevering in seeking solutions and be aware that there are often many or even no solution
· develop an appreciation of the creative aspects of maths; awareness of its aesthetic appeal
· see the historic context and present day relevance of mathematics
Maths is a core subject, given significant time on the timetable, with a daily lesson in every class, and Basic Skills sessions placed strategically throughout each week. We follow Mathematics Mastery, a primary school programme which is fully aligned to the new National Curriculum. Our school has embedded the Mathematics Mastery curriculum in Years 1 to 6. Each area is progressive, with topics from the curriculum and skills identified and built upon year after year. The sequence of calculations in terms of size of number and complexity is also identified by year group. Children learn calculation methods, but then look at the inverse, see these applied in real-life situations, in problems including missing-box questions, and in open ended investigations.
The concept of teaching mathematics to mastery is to ensure that topics are well developed. Pupils will spend enough time to fully explore a concept before moving on to a different topic. As ideas are well formed they are reinforced by ample practice. New knowledge is then used on subsequent lessons so that all ideas build on top of each other and pupils have ample opportunity to develop relationships between the topics. Ideas are revisited in a spiral as pupils progress through the years, each time at a higher level. This ensures that the children see maths in a wider context, in different formats and in increasingly complex forms. Links are made with other subjects and the maths used cross-curricular, is of an appropriate standard for the age group.
The subject is well resourced with practical materials, and children are expected to learn when and where to use these resources. Plus, they should over time, identify which calculations need a practical tool for support; which should be completed using a formal method; and which should be done mentally or with jottings. Teachers use and emphasise mathematical vocabulary, and link the teaching to real-life situations, wherever possible.
There are three key features within our teaching of mathematics that enable pupils to gain a deep understanding of mathematics.
Objects and pictures: Children use concrete manipulatives (objects) and pictorial representations (pictures), before moving to abstract symbols (numbers and signs).
Language development: The way that children speak and write about mathematics has been shown to have an impact on their success. Mathematic Mastery uses a carefully sequenced, structured approach to introduce and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. Every lesson includes opportunities for children to explain or justify their mathematical reasoning.
Problem solving: Mathematical problem solving is at the heart of the approach – it is both how children learn maths, and the reason why they learn maths. By accumulating knowledge of mathematics concepts, children can develop and test their problem solving in every lesson. Pupils are encouraged to make connections across mathematical procedures and concepts to ensure fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving problems.
Our lessons follow a 6-part structure. This structure keeps the lesson pacey, gives flow and allows more opportunities to teach creatively, give feedback and assess learning.
The part are:
- DO NOW
- NEW LEARNING
- TALK TASK
- DEVELOP LEARNING
- INDEPENDENT TASK
All of this allows for cumulative, scaffolded learning where assessment is crucially feeding in to subsequent segments. Pupils are ‘doing’ straight away and no time is wasted.
Assessment takes place during every lesson, so that children are moved on quickly; at the end of a topic; and formally each term, to ensure that the children have achieved and continue to achieve. Support and intervention (for those who need it) is key in maths lessons, but the children are encouraged to work independently and strategically through their tasks.
Mathematical confidence, with the ability to take on new challenges and yet draw on previous experience, ensures that the children are ready to face the mathematical realities of everyday life. The impact and success of maths teaching is seen in the high scores in test situations; the monitored progress of each child; the positive outcomes of the pupil voice questionnaires and interviews; and the children’s independence in lessons.
As as school we use Times Table Rockstars to help us with the assessment of pupils understanding of their multiplication tables up to 12 x 12, staff use data analysis tools on the system to highlight weaker areas, which need to be focused upon. Pupils will have a weekly multiplication tables focus that will be taught throughout each week (5 sessions). A weekly multiplication tables test will take place for Y2 to Y6 pupils.
It is expected that pupils will have rapid recall of the following multiplication and division facts –
Year 1 – To count in 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s.
Year 2 – To recall multiplication & division facts for 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s.
Year 2 – To count in 3s and 4s.
Year 3 – To recall multiplication & division facts for 3s, 6s, 9s, (by the end of Autumn 2).
Year 3 – To recall multiplication & division facts for 4s, 8s and 12s, 7s, 11s and to count in 25s, 50s and 100s (by the end of Summer 2).
Year 4 – recall and use all multiplication & division facts up to 12 x 12, but including 25s, 50s and 100s (by the end of Spring 2).
For more any more information speak to Mrs Plant (Mathematics Lead).
Following the school closure in March 2020, teachers are incorporating any objectives children missed during the school closure into their planning to ensure children receive a comprehensive and broad Mathematics Curriculum. As a school we are also using the DfE Mathematics Guidance documents released in July 2020 as well as the Ready-to-Progress materials released by the NCETM around the same time.
Maths Recovery Curriculum Coverage
Maths provision in EYFS-R will focus upon embedding 30-50 months knowledge expectations before moving onto 40-60 months (the usual starting point). This speed of transition from 30-50 to 40-60 will be cohort dependent, based upon initial Baseline and ongoing Assessment. Focus upon 40-60 months provision, will however be no later than the start of Autumn 2, to ensure pupils are able to reach ELG expectations by July 2021 and be Y1 ready.
As the units covered in the Mathematics Mastery programme recap and build upon previous content covered in EYFS, it is not necessary for Y1 to undertake any pre-learning tasks. For example, Unit 1 looks at Numbers to 10 – something which has already been covered in EYFS. As this unit is to be taught again, it is not necessary for them to carry out a prior assessment. Therefore, Mathematics Mastery will be launched with an increased emphasis on practical application and resource use to bridge the gap from EYFS to Y1. This approach will ensure that by the end of the academic year, pupils will have accessed learning at the expected age related standard.
Y2 to Y6
As maths is taught across units, the start of each new unit will focus upon embedding previous learning before moving on to new learning – which will be rapid to avoid further slippage . Each year group (Y2-6) will undertake ongoing a maths assessment this will enable staff to identify gaps in learning and structure teaching and interventions as appropriate. Teaching of a new unit will begin, following a brief recap of expected knowledge against the previous year groups objectives. This structure will continue throughout the year when the teaching of a new unit is about to begin.
Remote Learning Contingency
Guidance and expectations regarding Remote Learning Contingency is available within its own document.