“All things in nature are written in the language of mathematics.”
At Christ Church C of E Primary School, we have adopted a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of Mathematics. Underlying this approach is the belief that all children should work together to become fluent mathematicians, able to reason and solve a variety of problems by applying what they have learned in a range of contexts.
We plan to ensure that all children develop a secure and deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations. We encourage our children to have a positive mindset and advocate that all children are able to succeed in mathematics, regardless of their prior attainment. We recognise that success is linked to effort, so we challenge and support children to gain a greater depth of understanding, valuing mistakes as a key part of learning.
Our curriculum is mapped out across each term, ensuring longer time is prioritised for key topics. Typically, our lessons are planned to be approximately 45 minutes daily and focus on key learning objectives, which progress from day to day in small steps. We also plan separate fluency and skills practice sessions, which are designed to enable our children to become fluent in working with number and the four operations.
At Christ Church C of E Primary School, our overall aim is to equip all of our pupils with the life skills they need to be able to flourish in the real world and promote a love of maths. We aim to ensure that, regardless of background and ability, every pupil has a rich and meaningful mathematics education. Both staff and pupils understand the importance of automaticity and fluency within maths and this is taught through real life contexts to enable pupils to apply their understanding, reason about maths, problem solve and make connections across the subject and the wider curriculum. We believe in a language rich environment and our pupils will leave us with the confidence to talk maths, do maths and apply maths to their everyday lives.
Our maths curriculum is based on White Rose which is a whole-class mastery programme designed to spark curiosity and excitement and help children develop confidence in maths and is supplemented by primary stars, mastering the curriculum and NCETM. Each year group builds on previous learning and staff have received training from the maths lead who has been trained by the Glow maths Hub and is a previous Gloucestershire Education Maths Lead.
.Teaching sequences are based on small steps to ensure a good level of coherence, understanding, application of understanding and transference of skills to a range of mathematic problems and contexts.
White Rose maps out a long term plan based on 12 weeks in a term. At Christ Church, individual teachers have tailored this scheme to suit our pupil’s needs by mapping out the actual weeks in a term, and adding in extra blocks where needed such as problem solving, consolidation or revisiting skills taught earlier on in the term, as well as giving them the opportunity to ‘linger longer’ on a block if need be.
Every one of our maths lessons is based on the principals that all children can achieve. Children are taught in mixed ability groups, with all children accessing the same learning. This allows all children to be exposed to the same content and be offered the same opportunities, rather than placing a cap on children’s learning. Pupils are then given tasks to enrich and stretch this learning in the form of ‘deepen it’ challenges to further challenge the pupils working at greater depth, and those who may need extra support are supported through scaffolding such as using mathematical manipulatives or by requiring teacher/TP support within sessions and after sessions in the form of ‘mop up’ intervention. No pupils will be given different objectives unless they have an EHCP or SEND and require a personalised curriculum.
General lesson structure:
· Each lesson begins with a revisit of previous learning in the form of a flashback 4 (something from last year, last month, last week and the last lesson) or teacher’s own revisit questions. This enables pupils to exercise their working memory and to better retain facts taught previously.
· The new lesson content is then introduced in the form of small steps and a ‘I do, you do’ style session. There are opportunities for guided practice and independent practice and concrete materials are always on hand if pupils need them. KS1 pupils are guided to use appropriate equipment as an aid and shown how to use it efficiently, whereas KS2 pupils are given more of an opportunity to make that choice themselves to enable them to own their own learning. Each slide takes the pupils through learning rapidly but the small steps mean that pupils are all brought along together as a whole.
· The independent tasks are then explained and the pupils complete their work using a ‘do it’, ‘twist it’, ‘deepen it’ style. This starts on questions that show their understanding (do it), then move on to a ‘prove it/explain it/what is it not’ style question (twist it) to deepen understanding further, before answering an open ended deep thinking question that requires the pupils to have an established and deep understanding of the small step being learnt (deepen it). The tasks are high ceiling low entry, so that everyone can access the first questions and then go as far through them as they can, completing the deepen it activities if possible.
· Teachers live mark through the lesson to provide immediate feedback and intervention where needed. TP’s do not always sit with a group as we aim to ensure that all pupils develop independence. So once they have introduced and supported certain pupils, they may leave them for independent practice and revisit them to monitor. TP’s will also live mark in class and provide immediate feedback to pupils and the teacher where needed.
· Mini plenaries are used effectively to address common misconceptions identified by live marking.
· All teachers use live marking and TP discussion to inform future planning and to identify who may need targeted intervention or to work in a smaller group the next day. We do not provide written feedback to pupils in books or expect this from staff and research shows that verbal feedback at the time of the misconception is more beneficial to move learning forward. Pupils are encouraged to correct their mistakes and are given opportunities to do this.
In addition to the maths lesson, we also hold fluency and skills sessions every day. Some of this learning has been pre planned based on content that has been missed due to covid and is delivered in different ways over the half term to develop fluency in the skill. The other sessions are made up of content/mis conceptions that the teachers feel need to be given more time to embed.
· Teachers and TP’s actively assess daily and provide immediate feedback to move learning forwards.
· End of unit assessments are carried out from the White Rose scheme and supplemented with other activities where needed. These are completed at the beginning and end of blocks to track progress further and in order to fill gaps during fluency and skills sessions.
· We complete a NFER or SATs (Year 2 and Year 6) assessment at the end of each term (Year 1 is spring and summer terms only) which also feeds into our assessment process to inform/support our teacher assessment judgements.
· Maths lead takes part in regular maths pupil voice meetings, learning walks and regularly tracks teacher judgements and NFER scores on INSIGHT (our school online tracker)
· Book scans are carried out by the maths lead and support put in place for any staff who need it in the form of coaching.
Extra opportunities and SEND:
Some pupils may receive extra support to try to catch up/fill gaps from previously missed learning due to COVID or SEND. We have been working with our TP’s to implement the ready to progress criteria in our small group interventions and we use the NCETM/National college videos and resources to upskill them. They use resources from the Sandwell, In Gloucestershire Children Count scheme and Plus 1/Power of 2 books.
All children have regular access to Times Table Rock Stars (KS2 and Year 2) in school and at home and Reception and KS1 have access to Numbots (after Christmas for Rec and Yr1)
In Year 6 we have a Maths ambassador who helps to promote maths throughout the school with the support of the maths lead.
A maths day (or week) is held once a year to promote maths in the wider world, famous mathematicians and problem solving.
Regular feedback on maths is given to parents/carers during our termly parents evenings and at the end of the year in their school report.
National Curriculum for Mathematics in England
At Christ Church, we follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics and use White Rose Maths throughout the school as a scaffold for planning. In following the curriculum, we aim to ensure children:
We follow EYFS curriculum guidance for Mathematics using the EYFS (new for September 2021) and supplemented by Development Matters. However, we are committed to ensuring the confident development of number sense and put emphasis on mastery of key early concepts. Pupils initially explore numbers to 10 and the development of models and images for numbers as a solid foundation for further progress. They also explore mathematics through continuous provision and carefully selected provision. They are introduced to the ‘do it’, ‘twist it’, ‘deepen it’ format that is used by the rest of the school in the summer term, although the ‘deepen it’ is usually done through questioning whilst in provision and notes made to show extension of learning.
Key stage 1 - years 1 and 2
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the 4 operations, including with practical resources [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools].
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.
By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency.
Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Lower key stage 2 - years 3 and 4
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the 4 operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number.
By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word-reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.
Upper key stage 2 - years 5 and 6
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.
By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all 4 operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.
We recognise the importance of establishing a secure foundation in mental calculation and recall of number facts before standard written methods are introduced. We use accurate mathematical vocabulary in our teaching and children are expected to use it in their verbal and written explanations.
Mathematics contributes to many subjects and it is important the children are given opportunities to apply and use Mathematics in real contexts. It is important that time is found in other subjects for pupils to develop their Numeracy Skills, e.g. there should be regular, carefully planned opportunities for measuring in science and technology, for the consideration of properties of shape and geometric patterns in technology and art, and for the collection and presentation of data in history and geography.
When it comes to times tables, speed and accuracy are important – the more facts your child remembers, the easier it is for them to do harder calculations. At Christ Church, all children in years 2-6 have a Times Table Rock Stars (TTRS) login, and this is part of the their homework.
Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help pupils master the times tables!
To be a Times Table Rock Star you need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds! The aim is to develop the speed and confidence of our children when recalling times tables, which will help them considerably in Maths as a wider subject
We advise that your child does a little bit of times table practice at least four times a week. In our experience, short bursts of daily practise are more effective than spending hours once a week.
Garage - the questions will only come from the times tables the teacher has set for the week. As pupils start to answer questions, TT Rock Stars works out which facts they take longer on and will give them more of these questions to answer. The Garage is best for getting quicker at a few facts. Players get 10 coins per question.
Studio - the questions in the Studio can be anything from 1×1 up to 12×12.
TT Rock Stars calculates each the mean speed from their last 10 games in the Studio and translates into a Rock Status.
They earn 1 coin per question and the Studio is the place for them to set their best time across all the tables.
NumBots equips each pupil with the set of core maths skills they require by building their knowledge from the ground up - starting at the very beginning with subitising.
Once pupils can recognise small quantities of objects (“counting-without-counting”), they are asked to subitise two groups, presented together. The deliberate use of previous arrangements helps introduce the idea of numbers being partitioned, laying the foundation for number bonds.
Familiar pictorial representations (including bar models and cherries) raise the difficulty of questions without affecting pupils’ confidence. Pupils begin to explore abstract number problems within 10, and practice automating their responses to “one/two more/less than...” questions.
This natural mathematical progression from one concept to the next ensures pupils are fully prepared to move on, from adding and subtracting within 10, to bridging 10, to finally answering questions involving two-digit numbers. Number lines and hundred squares are then used to explain more sophisticated addition and subtraction strategies, such as partitioning and compensation.
Instant recall of key number facts must be built on a secure and genuine mathematical understanding in order for pupils to move forward and solve increasingly complex problems.
Numbots Story Mode is designed to develop pupils’ understanding of the relationship between different numbers and concepts, such as partitioning and the part-whole model. NumBots’ deliberate teaching-for-mastery approach has led to carefully sequenced and varied levels that ensure pupils fully grasp each essential new skill. As a result of methodically layering up the complexity, pupils maintain maths confidence and are primed to learn the next concept.
As well as cementing their understanding, pupils’ recall is also significantly boosted. While Story Mode is underpinned by best practice in memory formation - i.e. short, spaced practice sessions on interleaved material - the quick-fire questions and low-stakes quizzing in Challenge Mode enhances pupils’ retrieval of number bonds and addition and subtraction facts and improves the efficiency of their mental strategies.