At Newton Poppleford Primary School, we promote mathematics as a crucial lifelong skill with the aim to develop resilient and resourceful learners with lasting mathematical foundations, who grow to love maths. We deliver a curriculum, meeting the aims of the National Curriculum, in which all children:
Develop mathematical fluency skills, through varied and frequent practice, to help children think faster and more clearly, giving them the energy, attention and focus to make connections and accurately engage with increasingly complex problems.
Use reasoning skills as a bridge between fluency and solving problems, by logically making sense of mathematical ideas, following lines of enquiry and developing explanations or proofs using mathematical language - being able to apply them to solve unfamiliar problems.
Solve mathematical problems by applying their understanding in a variety of contexts, breaking down problems into a series of smaller steps and explaining processes used to arrive at solutions, rather than just remembering and applying a set of procedures.
Our mastery approach to teaching mathematics is coherently structured to develop children's knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts from their early years through to the end of Year 6. We use White Rose Maths schemes as a basis for our curriculum progression, planning and assessment; breaking down learning into smaller steps in order to consolidate deep understanding incrementally. This is implemented through a discursive approach throughout the primary age range. All pupils work together on similar problems and progress together. Once children have a deep understanding of the mathematical concepts taught, they move on to more advanced questions or lessons. For SEND children who are working significantly below their year group curriculum, appropriate individual learning activities are provided to ensure their progress.
Lessons taught using the Maths mastery approach at Newton Poppleford will include elements of:
- Retrieval - a link to the previous lesson to remind children of previous learning.
- Exploration - tackling an accessible question in pairs or small groups with shared feedback to exemplify good practice and address misconceptions;
- Guided - teacher-led instruction with engaging questioning to elicit children’s oracy of mathematical understanding and accurate key vocabulary and worked examples leading to shared worked examples with children;
- Independent work - children engage independently with questions related to the other lesson elements;
- Diving deeper - children who excel have an opportunity to engage with a question which introduces increased challenge.
No matter what a child’s starting point is, we strive to achieve excellence. In each part of the lesson, staff will provide an appropriate scaffold for children who need support, with the aim that they can master the required skills independently and secure real progress. This can take a variety of forms including showing children possible representations to help understand the structure of what is being asked or using appropriate resources to manipulate to help see the answer visually.
Throughout children’s maths learning, we undertake a discursive approach. Key questions are introduced to encourage children to articulate their thinking. Children challenge and encourage each other, by agreeing or disagreeing and teachers insist that children justify their mathematical exposition. Children are expected to answer in full sentences using accurate mathematical language. Teachers encourage this in many ways including modelling the use of stem sentences or subject specific vocabulary, which ensures that classrooms are rich in mathematical language.
In Years 2 to 6 (and Year 1 in the summer term) all children are encouraged to journal their understanding of how to solve a problem. This will look different in different age stages. Years 1 and 2 may represent structure of understanding by drawing it or completing scaffolded sentences; Years 3 and 4 using more examples of visual representations along with more written understanding in complete sentences; Years 5 and 6 using more sophisticated representations and more succinct writing to express understanding. These opportunities encourage children to explore how they can represent and structure their mathematical thinking and show them that different children think about maths in different ways. Children show a high level of pride in the presentation and understanding of work.
Children develop mathematical fluency in our currriculum, in different age stages;
Reception and KS1
Children in Year R are taught using mastery approaches that promote fluency and early number sense. This is adopted and progressed in Years 1 and 2 following a Mastering Number programme to develop solid number sense, including fluency and flexibility with number facts which will have a lasting impact on future mathematical learning for all children. They can also use an online resource - Numbots - to practise subitising, number bonds and addition and subtraction. We also encourage children to play mathematical games to introduce fun and strategy. Children are assessed regularly for understanding of number bonds and teaching is adapted to meet any needs.
Lower Key stage 2
Years 3 and 4 develop their multiplication tables knowledge through daily practice led by staff who demonstrate effective and efficient ways to learn through association and repetition. We also use Times Tables Rock Stars, an online resource, to augment learning through quick recall of times table facts. Children also practise arithmetic daily through answering ‘Flashback 4’ questions, in class. We also encourage children to play mathematical games to introduce fun and strategy.
Upper Key stage 2
Years 5 and 6 use Times Tables Rock Stars, an online resource, to augment and solidify their learning through quick recall of times table facts. Children also practise arithmetic daily through answering ‘Flashback 4’ questions, in class. We also encourage children to play mathematical games to introduce fun and strategy. Children in these year groups are more likely to take part in local and national competitions and attend events to develop depth of learning in mathematics and prepare them for secondary mathematics education.
As a school we utilise the connective model to enable pupils to make connections between mathematics and journal effectively for understanding.