OUR AIMS IN MATHEMATICS
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
· become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including thorough, 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
· can 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. (Aims, National Curriculum 2014)
At Well Green, these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically.
The content and principles underpinning the Maths curriculum at Well Green reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally. These principles and features characterise a mastery approach and convey how our curriculum is implemented:
To ensure consistency and progression, the school uses both the DfE approved ‘Maths No Problem’ scheme in Years1-4 and White Rose Maths in upper KS2. Teachers use these resources to plan lessons and prepare resources and anchor tasks as required. Mathematical topics are taught in blocks carefully planned with clear coverage in our long term overviews, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Children in early years develop their mastery of numbers to 20 with continuous provision and number enhancements and regular focus sessions. A predominant focus is on number in the curriculum, with all teachers following a mastery approach to the sequence of maths over the year. Weekly Maths planning is recorded, with daily evaluations and outcomes for learning, which are monitored weekly by the headteacher.
The school’s ongoing engagement with the DFE funded Turing Maths Hub continues to ensure that staff at all levels understand the pedagogy of the approach and benefit from work with other schools to enhance teaching of mathematics. The Maths leader is an NCETM trained mastery specialist and has weekly non-contact time to lead training, scrutinise books, collaboratively plan with teachers and observe maths teaching in conjunction with other maths leaders. Concepts are shared within the context of an initial problem; which children are able to discuss. Problem-solving activities in every lesson prompt discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of maths in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning. In KS1, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Children may also use manipulatives in KS2. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning and guides children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, with varied questions progressing to more complex related problems. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.
Assessment in mathematics is a crucial tool in developing the teaching and learning, as in other subjects, is inseparable from the teaching process. Daily records are kept on teacher’s maths planning and children’s work is marked on a daily basis. Summative assessments are made at the end of each term, as outlined in the assessment policy.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Children can underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. The mastery approach at Well Green with Maths No Problem and White Rose addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset. Children’s books show their ability to explain mathematical thinking and problem solve through varied fluency. Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as timely intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 well above the national average and a high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.