The Teaching of Maths in the Bramham Shadwell Federation
Please also refer to our Teaching and Learning, Marking and SEND policies and our Maths Calculation Progression document, Maths ‘Guide on a Side’ and Maths Objectives Progression documents.
We believe Mathematics is integral to all aspects of learning and forms the foundations for children to go on to be successful through primary and secondary school and beyond. We want all of our children to feel confident and secure in their maths knowledge, and to enjoy learning and applying mathematical concepts at school and in ‘real-life’ situations.
There is an expectation that the overwhelming majority of children leave Key Stage 1 with confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value, with the emphasis on use of practical apparatus to carry out the four operations with understanding. In Lower Key Stage 2 the emphasis is on developing efficient written and mental methods with an expectation that pupils show increasing precision and fluency in their work including memorising their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 times multiplication table.
The connected nature of mathematical topics, whilst emphasised throughout, is developed further in Upper Key Stage 2 through work on multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. Pupils also develop their ability to solve increasingly complex problems, which require efficient written and mental methods of calculation. Algebra, whilst taught from the early years, is formalised in Upper Key Stage as algebraic language is introduced and its use as a means of solving a range of problems consolidated. Wherever possible, geometry and statistics are taught in context.
As a result of this learning, we want all of our children to leave us as confident, rounded and able mathematicians with an interest in maths and an awareness of its importance in all areas of life.
Using the National Curriculum as a framework, we use a Mastery approach to teaching through school, with flexibility, creativity and different learning styles built in to accommodate the needs of individual children.
Teachers are of the belief that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards and challenge is part of everyday maths for all pupils. Topics are introduced and assessed through use of low threshold, high ceiling activities, which ensure that all pupils develop the ability to reason mathematically as well as developing resilience when meeting non-routine problems with increasing sophistication. Precise questioning ensures that pupils’ thinking is developed using mathematical language. Teachers are quick to intervene in enabling children to identify and correct misconceptions in order to develop a clear understanding of their own. Application of wider ‘metacognitive’ strategies is used to encourage recall and retention of knowledge.
The teaching of maths is strong across the school. The Early Years Foundation Stage Leader has received training on developing maths for mastery and pupils develop early number sense through a range of rich child initiated and adult led opportunities in areas of provision. Pupils are taught independence from the beginning through well planned resourcing and use of independent recording opportunities. Sharing methodologies with parents from the early years along with a strong focus on speaking and listening skills ensures that pupils begin to explain their thinking using correct terminology from the outset.
Planning for Fluency, Mathematical Thinking, use of Representation and Structure, Procedural and Conceptual Variation and Coherence based on a spiral curriculum, is supported by the use of Maths No Problem planning tools and resources, alongside NCETM, NRich and White Rose resources. Mastery teaching addresses the needs of all pupils on a daily basis; support is provided through same day intervention for those who did not grasp concepts and challenge is provided through depth of both planned activities and higher order questioning for those for whom concepts were well understood.
In all classes, children receive daily whole class teaching in mixed ability pairs. Intervention is provided as required in order to enable the majority of pupils to move through the curriculum at the same pace. Teaching assistants are used well in order to provide additional support for struggling pupils outside the maths lesson, in addition to working alongside these pupils to ensure they can respond at their individual level of ability whilst accessing the whole class learning.
Teaching aims to develop conceptual understanding alongside procedural fluency. Use of practical apparatus to support understanding of number and calculation is embedded across school with regular training sessions to develop shared methodologies. This, along with clear calculation guidelines, ensures that pupils are moved through concrete, pictorial and abstract representations in a planned sequence and at an appropriate pace, with clear progress demonstrated over a series of lessons.
Recap starters and Oral Mental Maths are a feature of every day to ensure pupils develop the ability to retrieve number facts rapidly; catch-up, intervention and differentiated sessions are planned for pupils as required. Times table activities and tests are routine from Year 2 including the use of TT Rockstars in Years 2-6.