The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
- Are able to reason mathematically
- Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics
Mathematics teaches children how to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to calculate, reason and solve problems.
Mathematics 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 and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
We aim to support children to achieve economic well-being and equip them with a range of computational skills and the ability to solve problems in a variety of contexts.
At Allendale Primary, children are encouraged to make mistakes in a safe and supportive environment. They are supported to discuss these misconceptions with their peers and staff alike. Following the mastery approach, we place oracy at the heart of our learning through shared work and class discussions. Use of appropriate vocabulary is modelled throughout lessons by both staff and children, allowing everyone to ‘talk like a mathematician’. Once a child can articulate their understanding of a concept, they can truly begin to make connections within their learning.
At our school, the majority of children will be taught the content from their year group only. They will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge in multiple ways.
To ensure whole consistency and progression, the school uses the nationally recognised White Rose Maths scheme, although we adapt this approach according to the needs of our pupils. The White Rose curriculum is a cumulative curriculum, so that once a topic is covered, it is met many times again in other contexts. For example, place value is revisited in addition and subtraction and multiplication and division. The curriculum recognises the importance of children’s conceptual understanding of number. It is therefore designed to ensure that time is invested in reinforcing this to build competency.
Lessons are planned to provide plenty of opportunities to build reasoning and problem solving elements into the curriculum. When introduced to a new concept, children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing. Alongside this, children are encouraged to use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems. Both concrete and pictorial representations support children’s understanding of abstract methods.
Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. These teaching blocks are broken down into smaller steps, to help children understand concepts better. This approach means that children do not cover too many concepts at once which can lead to cognitive overload.
Each lesson phase provides the means for children to achieve greater depth, with children who are quick to grasp new content, being offered rich and sophisticated problems, within the lesson as appropriate.
Our 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. Pupils can underperform in Mathematics because they think they cannot do it or are not naturally good at it. The school’s use of White Rose Maths addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing their confidence and resilience.
Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as 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 above the national average, as well an increasingly high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.
As our journey towards embedding and sustaining our mastery approach continues, we have teachers and support staff who fully understand and support the pedagogy of the subject. We have children who are increasingly engaged in maths lessons and talk passionately about the subject, making links with other subjects and with the wider world and they tackle mathematical challenges with resilience, confidently using concrete resources and visual representations. We have children who are more articulate when discussing mathematical concepts and consequently we see progress becoming more accelerated due to the way lessons are structured and the impact of tailored interventions. We will have a greater proportion of our reception children achieving age-related expectations within the early learning goals, and a greater percentage of our children achieving the higher standard scores at the end of each key stage.