Mathematics is like an ocean, with our number system counting for little more than the surface. In fact, the true depth and wonder of mathermatics makes it by turns a fun, exciting, exhilarating, empowering and often truly amazing playground.
At St Mary’s, we deliver our Maths curriculum to ensure it follows the key aims of the National Curriculum. We aim to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that pupils develop solid conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. Within every area of Maths, we ensure that all children are fluent, can reason mathematically and are able to solve problems. We encourage children to become independent and resilient thinkers, who develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards Maths that remains throughout their lives.
Children at St Mary’s are taught to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, finding connections and establishing relationships whilst using mathematical language. Our Maths curriculum carefully sequences knowledge, concepts and procedures to build mathematical knowledge and skills systematically over time. We endeavour to make Maths as meaningful and exciting as possible for children within our school using practical resources and real-life application.
Our Mathematics curriculum intends to maximise the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement by delivering daily lessons that are creative and engaging, allowing them to know more and remember more. We want our pupils to know that Maths is essential to everyday life and, as they progress, have an appreciation of the beauty and power of Maths.
Our curriculum intent for Maths reflects the purpose and aims of the national curriculum by helping our pupils to:
• become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils 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.
• 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.
Our ambition at St Mary’s is that all children will develop a lifelong appreciation of the importance of this subject in their worlds and become confident mathematicians who:
• have a strong conceptual understanding of Maths, its structures and its relationships.
• can recall and apply their knowledge confidently and efficiently.
• are secure in using written methods for which they have a clear understanding.
At St Mary’s, we use unit planning. To help us map the units out across the year, we use the White Rose schemes of learning as a starting point and adapt them to suit the needs of our pupils. For each unit, we use the Small Steps on White Rose. We then check against the National Curriculum statements to ensure all objectives are covered. We complete S plans for each unit. These plans sequence the objectives to enable pupils to master each concept.
During the teaching of these units, teachers are encouraged to use formative assessment to adapt the sequences of lessons where required.
Teachers also use the NCETM Exemplification of Ready-To-Progress Criteria resources to review, practise and consolidate learning.
At St Mary’s, we are building a culture around celebrating misconceptions. The structure of our Maths lessons has a strong emphasis on this.
The openings of our lessons include:
a) Quizzes based on prior knowledge of key facts to improve long-term memory.
b) A carefully chosen true or false question to explore a misconception from the previous lesson.
c) High quality modelling of that lesson’s learning based around a mathematical representation, pictorially or through concrete apparatus.
d) A hinge point question (in KS2) containing common misconceptions used as an assessment tool and to ensure appropriate levels of challenge for all pupils.
Children work on tasks that provide opportunities for them to enhance both their fluency and reasoning skills. Activities are organised into TAD Tasks: Try It, Apply It and Deepen It. To allow all children to experience reasoning questions during Maths sessions, some Apply It questions are also added to Try It activity sheets.
We believe that high quality vocabulary needs to be at the heart of every lesson. Key vocabulary will be modelled and promoted through regular use of sentence stems and a ‘My turn…, your turn…’ approach. This key vocabulary will also be displayed on the Working Wall. Our classrooms all have a Maths Working Wall that can be written on and also can be updated daily.
Activities in Maths books will be consistently marked and will provide regular feedback for pupils and give them opportunities to respond with their Purple Pen of Progress. It is essential that pupils address any misconceptions and also that they correct mistakes in the spelling of key mathematical vocabulary. Marking Stations are used in KS2 to allow pupils to assess their own understanding within sessions and to identify misconceptions independently. When misconceptions are identified within sessions, pupils will immediately respond through carrying out Purple Pen Error Analysis. This involves recording their mistake, analysing and explaining their misconception and then demonstrating what they should have done.
Number Sense Maths takes place daily in EYFS and KS1 for 15 minutes outside of the Maths lesson. This scheme gives the children opportunities to develop strategies to help increase their fluency in learning number facts through subitising, helping pupils to build images for numbers and to visualise. Our aim is for pupils to develop multiple strategies to avoid counting.
Pupils receive regular opportunities throughout the week outside of the daily Maths lesson to practise their knowledge of number facts through using Numbots and Times Tables Rock Stars.