How do we teach Mathematics?
At Bromham CofE Primary School we aim to teach children how to make sense of the mathematics in the world around them by developing their; ability to calculate, reason and problem solve, whilst developing the linguistic skills to articulate their mathematical thinking accurately and precisely. We aim to ensure maths is accessible to pupils of all backgrounds, with all areas of the mathematics curriculum consolidating on previously acquired knowledge, leading to extension and challenge, to deepen children’s mathematical thinking. We promote this at every stage of their academic life. We ensure this through the use of a mastery curriculum, which is underpinned by the five big ideas: structures of mathematics, mathematical thinking, variation, fluency and coherence through small steps.
Our aims in the teaching of mathematics are:
- To promote enjoyment of learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion;
- To develop confidence and competence with numbers and the number system;
- To become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice, including retrieval practice;
- To develop a curiosity about the nature of number alongside the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts;
- To reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- To stretch and challenge children’s thinking through a growing complexity of concepts over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding, the resilience and confidence to apply learning in new contexts;
- To develop a practical understanding of the ways in which mathematics supports other areas of the curriculum in a range of contexts;
- To help children understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life and how their skills can support them in developing economic stability and success in adult life.
Teachers are provided with the foundations for effective mathematics teaching through ‘Essentials: Maths’ from Herts for Learning. This scheme of learning has been developed by consultants, with expertise in the effective teaching of Primary Mathematics, who undertake current research to ensure classroom pedagogy reflects current good practice in the subject. Teachers are allocated Planning, Preparation and Assessment time (PPA) weekly in order to plan the specifics of their year group’s curriculum and to tailor the learning to the needs of their own class to ensure progress.
At our school, we teach mathematics to all children, personalising learning to their ability or individual need, with the expectation that ‘children will keep up-not catch up.’ Through quality first mathematics teaching and the cyclical nature of concrete, pictorial and abstract, applied in lesson design, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress, narrowing the gap between the most and least able learners. 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 will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage, in order to avoid cumulative dysfluency. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged to deepen their understanding by being offered rich and sophisticated problems and not accelerate through to new content.
At our school we encourage children to identify that Mathematics can be a symbolic, abstract language. To decode this language, the symbolism of numerals needs to have tangible meaning that has context in a child’s world. We believe that all students, when introduced to a key new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach:
Concrete – students should have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.
Pictorial – students should then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, students should be able to move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
All classrooms have a varied range of concrete resources that can be used in the teaching of mathematics. It is the expectation that these resources are accessible to children every lesson. At times resources will be modelled directly by the teacher and their use explicit in teaching, however once children are competent and confident in a concept, they may use a manipulative of their own choice and should have the ability to communicate why this was their preference.
Wherever possible, we provide meaningful contexts and encourage the children to apply their learning to everyday situations. Although mathematics is best taught discretely, it has many cross-curricular links. Teachers need to use opportunities in other subjects to rehearse skills in a context, particularly in Science and Design Technology.
As the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum feeds into the National Curriculum, it is good practice to make use of cross curricular links from an early age, to enable children to naturally use their learning in a real-life context, as they get older. Therefore, pupils should be given plenty of opportunities within continuous provision to use and apply the mathematical skills and concepts they have learned with their teachers.
All classrooms will have a display area specifically for mathematics. This is called a working wall and will display items that children need to support and develop the unit's learning. For example, key vocabulary, success criteria, models, key questions. In the Early Years’ Foundation Stage there are also specific mathematical areas for children to access in their everyday learning.
Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers
All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.
Assessment for Learning is fundamental to the essence of Mathematics at Bromham CofE Primary, as well as quality Maths teaching, in order to have impact, raise standards and enable children to reach their full potential. Assessment in mathematics takes place daily using a range of strategies such as: retrieval quizzes, fluency practice, verbal questioning and discussion and marking and feedback of work. Teachers should be ready to respond to the needs of all, either through providing scaffolding or further challenge to ensure progress.
At Bromham CofE Primary, teachers mark following the designated school marking policy, however in Maths lessons, the emphasis should be on verbal feedback and intervention at the point of understanding. Incorrect answers should be identified and discussed with children, and where appropriate it may be necessary to address groups of children, particularly where some wrong answers may be part of the process a child/children goes through to solve a complex problem. Children should then be given appropriate time to respond to marking or intervention. Children may self/peer assess, which is completed in a different colour to their work, this allows them to have immediate feedback.
Throughout the academic year, assessments will be completed, which act as diagnostics to inform planning and to identify gaps in children’s knowledge. Teacher assessment is completed termly after formal assessments in order to ensure judgements on attainment are accurate. This data is used by the Mathematics Subject Leader, Senior Leadership team and Headteacher to review children against Age Related Expectations based on their Key Stage starting points. Children who are not on track are identified for intervention/target teaching on teachers’ Provision Maps.
Leadership and Management
The subject leader's role is to empower colleagues to teach mathematics to a high standard and support staff in the following ways:
- By keeping up to date on current issues; disseminating relevant information and providing training for staff members (either directly or through other professionals)
- Leading by example by modelling lessons or styles of teaching
- Having a knowledge of the quality of mathematics provision across the school and using this to provide a coaching and mentoring role
- Identifying and acting on development needs of staff members
- Monitoring expectations, provision and attainment across the school and providing feedback to develop practice further in order to raise standards
- Providing necessary equipment and maintaining it to a high standard
Monitoring and Evaluation
The quality of teaching and learning is monitored as part of the appraisal process through lesson observations and through the progress and attainment documents. In addition, continuity and progression across the school is monitored by the mathematics subject leader as is the implementation and impact of Assessment for Learning. The mathematics action plan and external advisors identify actions intended to raise standards.
The Mathematics Subject Leader will also provide regular reports to the Senior Leadership Team in which s/he evaluates the strengths and weaknesses in mathematics and indicates areas for further improvement.
A named member of the governing body is briefed to oversee the teaching and learning of mathematics. The mathematics governor meets, at least termly, with the subject leader to review progress.
Partnerships with parents
Parents are kept informed of topics that are being covered through a curriculum overviews, which are sent termly. During Parents' Evenings curricular targets are shared and a written report is completed annually in the Summer Term. Homework in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is a weekly set task from a Maths workbook, as well as times table practice on Times Tables Rock Stars. Children in Year One through to Year Four also have homework set on the Mymaths platform. Upper Key Stage 2 have their learning supplemented through Mirodo/SATS Companion and Complete Maths Tutoring.
Programme of Study EYFS - Year 6
Vocabulary Progression EYFS - Year 6
Mental Arithmetic Progression EYFS - Year 6
Times Table Rock Star Guidance