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Maths

St Edward's - A caring Christian Community where children achieve their potential, are confident in themselves and their abilities and are set on a positive path for life. 

Success in maths does not depend on how many answers you know, but by what you do when you don't know the answer.

At St Edward’s we believe that mathematics teaching is crucial because it gives opportunities for developing important intellectual skills in problem-solving, reasoning, creative thinking and communication. We would like to develop and hone our pupils’ reasoning and critical thinking skills so they can engage in the world around them and feel empowered. Mathematics can provide children with more career options later in life.

At St Edward’s we aim to provide all children with a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject through a mastery approach.

Our approach rejects the idea that some children can’t do maths. It recognises that by nurturing positive attitudes and building confidence in mathematics, all children can achieve.

Mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas

When choosing the curriculum for our children, we wanted to ensure that our decisions were informed by our overall vision for the school. We identified the following themes which support this:

Explorers – We want our children to be curious. We aim for them to be on the lookout for patterns and trends, and to ask mathematical questions. We want them to be able to generate hypotheses and explore them with confidence. We want to equip them with skills to be explorers and to develop a life-long love of learning.

 

Resilience – We would like our children to see learning as a life-long path and to embrace challenge. We would like them to develop independence in their learning and have confidence to … We aim for them to have plenty of opportunities to share misconceptions and be able to explore and learn from them without fearing failure.

 

Creativity – We would like our children to make links within their maths learning and also to be able to think ‘outside the box’ in their approach to solving problems.

 

Competence – We want to ensure our children are equipped with the language, secure mathematical understanding and confidence to be able to apply maths learning in a range of contexts. We want them to develop fluency and accuracy in readiness for high school                                and beyond. We aim for them to be articulate when explaining their reasoning                                                and strategies.

Maths Coverage

Children in Years 1 to 6 are taught a daily mathematics lesson using the NCETM endorsed Power Maths scheme. The curriculum is designed to enable children to work confidently with a range of mathematical concepts. The learning content is arranged into the following areas:

  • Number and place value
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Multiplication and division
  • Fractions (including decimals from Year 4 onwards)
  • Measurement
  • Geometry
  • Statistics (from Year 2 onwards)
  • Ratio and proportion (Year 6 only)
  • Algebra (Year 6 only)

See the attached Year group overviews and the ‘Power Maths to National Curriculum’ documents to see the distribution of blocks for each year group.

In addition to a daily maths lesson, fluency sessions are delivered in each key stage with the aim of developing children’s automaticity with recalling number facts and applying them effectively:

EYFS and KS1 – Daily Mastering Number sessions (10 minutes)

KS2 – Daily 10 (3 times a week) and daily times tables booklets

A curriculum for our children

We have identified some core barriers that the children of our school face when they are accessing the curriculum, and we intend to deliver the mathematics curriculum with an approach that addresses these:

  • Vocabulary – whenever a new topic is introduced, we share the relevant mathematical vocabulary and check understanding. This vocabulary is then left on display and referred to throughout the topic. We provide children with mathematical stem sentences so that they have the language with which to explain their mathematical thinking.
  • Communication and teamwork skills – In our classrooms during maths lessons, there is a ‘buzz of learning’. Children are given many opportunities to discuss and explore mathematical concepts. Children work as talk partners and often explain their thinking to the class as a whole. During independent sessions, children who are confident in a concept are encouraged to support other children and explain their reasoning. Across school, children are taught to give responses in full sentences when speaking, and they are expected to acknowledge and respond to other children’s contributions.
  • Resilience – Lessons emphasise the process rather than the answer. This enables children to focus on the structure of the maths rather than rushing to learn rules and quick strategies. Mistakes are valued and shared. Children frequently volunteer information about the errors that they have made – they are familiar with the mantra ‘Mistakes are expected, respected, inspected and corrected’. All children are expected to attempt the challenge questions in all lessons. 

A Curriculum for All Children

Ambition

Our ambition for children with SEND in mathematics is broadly in line with our ambitions for all pupils. We want these children to develop a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.

Some of our children arrive at school with the preconception that they are 'just not mathematicians'. We aim to dispel this myth and help them to develop strong skills and an equally strong self-image of themselves as capable mathematicians. 

Access (What support may be provided to children with SEND in Mathematics)
  • Inclusive, whole class, high quality teaching and learning - seeing how other learners solve problems and interacting with their peers has huge benefits.
  • Low-floor, high-ceiling tasks - all children have the opportunity to experience some success 
  • Teachers encourage a growth mindset by:
  1. Seeing mistakes as an opportunity to learn
  2. Praising effort rather than getting an answer right
  3. Emphasising progress rather than speed
  4. Using the word ‘yet’ — you haven’t mastered this yet, this answer isn’t right yet
  • Collaboration and peer tutoring are actively encouraged within maths lessons
  • The 'small steps' approach to teaching maths supports pupils with SEND
  • Teachers are prepared for potential misconceptions, and identify and address them swiftly
  • Rich questioning and a discussion-rich classroom allows misconceptions to be aired and explored as a matter of course
  • The design of the curriculum means that children frequently revisit and revise prior knowledge in the context of new concepts. Teachers deliberately and explicitly point out these links for the benefit of pupils who may not have spotted them.
  • The use of physical and pictorial representations supports SEND learners
  • Some children may receive support in the form of scaffolding via additional adult support, additional prompts such as times tables grids or additional use of manipulatives to help them to understand a concept
  • High expectations in terms of the use of precise mathematical language by all learners (even those who experience language difficulties) scaffolded by the use of displays or language prompt cards etc.
  • pre or post-teaching sessions may be used where necessary so that children can access the main lesson

 

Implementation

Mathematics Teaching and Learning

Concepts are built in small, logical steps and are explored through clear mathematical structures and representations. Children are taught together as a whole class and the focus is on depth - not acceleration - so that all children have a chance to embed learning. Teaching is supported by high-quality resources which present the flow of lessons coherently and provide opportunities for plenty of intelligent practice.

We are using the NCETM (National Centre for the Excellence of Teaching in Mathematics) endorsed textbooks and scheme – Power Maths. Children are given opportunities for rich discussion throughout lessons. Mathematical language is modelled and expected from all children. The level of challenge is high, and we are working to develop a culture in which children understand that mistakes are a valuable part of the learning process.

What a Maths lesson looks like at St Edward’s

• Whole class together – we teach mathematics to whole classes and do not label children (this includes within the classroom). Children work through the same questions and we differentiate by support rather than task. At the planning stage, teachers consider what scaffolding may be required for children who may struggle to grasp concepts in the lesson and suitable challenge questions for those who may grasp the concepts rapidly. Decisions are not made about who these children may be prior to the lesson. Some SEN children may have a differentiated task if this has been deemed necessary by the SENCO or another linked professional.

• Longer but deeper –Each lesson focus is on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across mathematical topics. To outsiders it may appear that the pace of the lesson is slower, but progress and understanding is enhanced. Our assessment procedures recognise that the aims of the curriculum cannot be assessed through coverage (ticking many objectives off a list) but through depth within a topic.

• Questions to challenge thinking – teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to check understanding – a variety of questions are used, but you will hear the same ones being repeated; How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Is that right? ‘What’s the value? What’s the same/different about? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Can you imagine? Deep questioning is designed to expose misconceptions and then those misconceptions will be further explored. Questions are also used to challenge children who have grasped the concept. Children are expected to listen to each other’s responses and may be asked to explain someone else’s ideas in their own words, or if they agree/disagree etc. We also expect children to use mathematical language confidently, and as much as possible expect answers in sentences.

Lesson Structure:

Discover and Share – Hands on problems which the whole class tackle and discuss, ironing out misconceptions – this ensures that all children are exposed to word problems on a daily basis, and have abundant opportunities to develop the skills of problem solving and reasoning

Think Together - At this point, scaffolding is carefully reduced to prepare children for independent practice. Children consider solutions as a class, with partners and independently. This is done through an ‘I do… We do… You do…’ approach.

Challenge – This task encourages the children to deepen their learning and builds resilience and links. Many children struggle with this part of the session, but all are encouraged to give it a try, and are exposed to explanations.

  • Practice - Designed to be completed independently, practice books use conceptual and procedural variation to build fluency and develop deeper understanding of underlying mathematical concepts. A challenge question encourages children to take their understanding to a greater level of depth. All children complete the same work, but the level of support and scaffolding will be differentiated.
  • Reflect - This is an opportunity for children to review, reason, and reflect on learning and to help teachers to gauge depth of understanding.

Teachers and TAs have received training in the principles underpinning the Mastery approach and have an understanding of how to implement the scheme effectively, but this is seen as an ongoing journey

Resources

All classrooms in school have a wide range of mathematics resources. These include base ten, counters, number lines, place value counters etc. Classroom displays reflect current learning and are functional so are regularly referred to and used by pupils and adults within class.

MATHS IN EYFS

In our Reception class, teachers deliver the Power Maths scheme which has been adapted to fully cover the new Early Learning Goals and the non-statutory guidance in the revised Development Matters document. This ensures children are fully prepared for the approach to teaching maths in Year 1, and are already familiar with some of the key representations and structures.

 

Impact

Assessment in maths

  • Teachers integrate the use of formative assessment strategies such as effective questioning, clear learning objectives and effective feedback and response in their teaching.
  • Teachers use Insight Tracking to record assessments of maths objectives and to track progress. These judgements are based on discussions within the classroom and also work in children’s books and identify whether children are working below, at or above agerelated expectations.
  • PUMA tests are used twice a year to measure progress across the year and give us mathematical ages for all children.
  • Parents are informed of their child’s progress in the end of year school report.

Monitoring and Review

The quality of teaching and learning in mathematics is monitored and evaluated by the head teacher, senior leaders and the maths leaders as part of the school’s agreed cycle of lesson observations and pupil progress meetings.

This cycle includes:

  • pupil voice
  • work scrutiny
  • lesson observations/ learning walks
  • discussions with teachers
  • planning scrutiny
  • assessment data analysis
  • action planning to develop mathematics curriculum development and teaching and learning based on the outcomes of monitoring.