HOW IS MATHEMATICS TAUGHT?
The new National Curriculum states that:
“Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. 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.”
At Kidsgrove Primary School we recognise that Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. The intention of the Maths curriculum at Kidsgrove Primary School is that children are taught to become confident, competent, independent and happy mathematicians equipped with the skills to become lifelong learners. The ‘mastery approach’ to teaching maths is the underlying principle of Mathematics Mastery. Instead of learning mathematical procedures by rote we want pupils to build a deep conceptual understanding of concepts which will enable them to apply their learning in different situations. There will be lots of opportunities for children to consolidate and reinforce learning within a curriculum that is built on a progression of skills. Through mathematical talk, children will develop the ability to articulate, discuss and explain their thinking and we will provide them with the resources to access the curriculum and encourage the use, where appropriate, to explain their logic and reasoning.
Maths is taught in accordance with the objectives set in the National Curriculum 2014 for KS1 and KS2 and the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance 2012.
At Kidsgrove Primary School maths is taught as a daily discrete subject. In EYFS, we ensure that maths is part of their daily diet and the children are given a wide range of experiences and opportunities to apply their mathematical skills. In addition to their daily maths lesson, KS1 and KS2 have a separate arithmetic (numbers and patterns) lesson. However, opportunities for application of maths are further maximized through other subjects / topics.
For the mastery approach to be successful, we develop children’s understanding from the Concrete (actual physical manifestation of the maths), to the Pictorial (being able to approach the maths using pictures rather than physical resources), and finally the Abstract (being able to approach mathematics without physical or pictorial resources).
Formative assessment takes place daily and helps teachers decide on what should be done next with pupils, how to adjust planning accordingly to meet the needs of the class and ensure progress. These assessments allow teachers to understand how to support and extend children appropriately. These assessments are recorded on formative assessment sheets and used as an integral part of the lesson to set targets, identify gaps in learning and celebrate achievements.
There is a difference between performance and learning. Teachers understand that pupil performance in the current lesson does not necessarily translate into the type of learning that will be evident tomorrow. As a result, the use of low stakes tests enables teachers to regularly assess what learning has been retained by pupils over longer periods of time. This also provides pupils with the regular opportunity of retrieving information from memory, which consequently facilitates learning. These include:
assessment for learning
quizzes, multiple choice and start/ end of unit questions
standards of learning in books
Fix it Fridays.
Summative assessment takes place at the end of each term. At the three assessment points, pupils also sit a standardised test so that gaps can be analysed and used to inform the planning of Fix-it Fridays. These assessments address the three key elements of the curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Children’s progress and attainment is discussed with senior leaders in pupil progress meetings.
At the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils carry out statutory assessments in Maths indicating individual progress.
In the Foundation Stage assessment is recorded in each child’s Assessment Profile.
The Maths Lead and Senior Leadership team are responsible for the monitoring of maths and the standards achieved by pupils. Monitoring takes the form of:
• Lesson observations
• Resource scrutiny
• Book scans
• Data analysis
• Discussion with pupils and class teachers
As an academy trust we are fortunate to be able to call on the support of other Maths leads and specialist teachers. Through moderation of planning, lessons and books, we can be sure that progress is made across all year groups. If progress is not being made, support is immediate, and steps are provided to ensure all pupils achieve and make progress.