At St George’s, we are determined to equip the pupils of St George’s with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. We recognise that mathematics is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind; we endeavour to ensure that our children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them.
At St George’s, we use the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) as the basis of our mathematics programme. We cover the Maths curriculum in units with enough flexibility to spend as long on a unit as dictated by the children’s learning and progress. We follow a Maths Mastery approach which has been developed in school by our Maths Subject Lead. We teach Maths daily in mixed ability classes following our Maths Curriculum which is based on the White Rose Scheme of work.
We are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve mastery in the key concepts of mathematics, appropriate for their age group, in order that they make genuine progress and avoid gaps in their understanding that provide barriers to learning as they move through their education.
A detailed, structured curriculum is mapped out across all year groups, ensuring continuity and supporting transition. Effective mastery curricula in mathematics are designed in relatively small carefully sequenced steps, which must each be mastered before pupils move to the next stage. Fundamental skills and knowledge are secured first. This often entails focusing on curriculum content in considerable depth at early stages.
As a school, we are passionate about children acquiring the basic skills of mathematics that will be valuable to them as they move on to further education and beyond.
We hold the following skills in high regard and children are encouraged to:
- have a well-developed sense of the size of a number and where it fits into the number system (place value)
- know by heart number facts such as number bonds, multiplication tables, doubles and halves
- use what they know by heart to figure out numbers mentally
- calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and in writing,
- draw on a range of calculation strategies
- make sense of number problems, including non-routine/’real’ problems and identify the operations needed to solve them
- explain their methods and reasoning, using correct mathematical terms
- judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary
- suggest suitable units for measuring and make sensible estimates of measurements
- explain and make predictions from the numbers in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables
- develop spatial awareness and an understanding of the properties of 2D and 3D shapes
To provide adequate time for developing mathematics, maths is taught daily and discretely. However, application of skills are linked across the curriculum where appropriate and staff are keen to capitalize on opportunities in subjects such as science and geography where learning becomes purposeful and encourages application.
Mastering the Curriculum
Mastery of maths means a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Developing mastery consists of three main elements:
- fluency(rapid and accurate recall and application of facts and concepts)
- a growing confidence to reason mathematically
- the ability to apply maths to solve problems, to conjecture and to test hypotheses
Mastery of maths, builds gradually as a child goes through school, is a tool for life, and immeasurably more valuable than the short term ability to answer questions in tests or exam. We are not in favour of labelling pupils as ‘high ability’ or ‘low ability’ and always put the ownership of learning on the children themselves. This approach is now the basis of each maths lessons and children are always given a choice of where they will begin their learning and are encouraged to take charge of the progress they make during the lesson by moving themselves on.
When walking into a typical maths lesson it is evident that there is a challenging, engaging ethos that promotes a positive and confident attitude to maths as an exciting, creative and relevant subject. We also want to ensure that all our children realise their potential, becoming confident and enthusiastic mathematicians. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that there is a focus on promoting core maths skills; such as multiplication tables, number bonds and place value; as well as practical maths and ‘using and applying’ skills which promote independent problem solving skills and mastery.
Times tables are taught throughout the school in a consistent manner which focuses on recall, fluency and eventually speed. An online programme is used to enable children to practise their times tables online, at home and at school. Children are tested on a regular basis to ensure that they know all of their times tables by the expected stages in their education. It is expected that children will know all of their times tables to 12 x 12 by the end of Year 4. Children beyond Year 4 focus on learning multiples of larger numbers, square numbers and cube numbers and they continue to consolidate their knowledge of division and multiplication facts up to 12 x 12.
At St George’s we use an exciting, interactive maths programme to teach the children the essential skill of recalling their multiplication and division facts. The national expectation is that every child will be able to answer any times table question or division fact mentally within a five second period. Times Tables Rock Stars is an online programme which also requires the children to answer multiplication and division questions on paper at least three times per week, whist listening to rock music to motivate and engage them.
The online programme contains a competitive element where the children collect coins for every answer they input correctly. The more coins they earn, the more accessories they can buy for their avatar and the higher up the school leader board they will go. This resource is accessible and is a fun and engaging way to learn a vital mathematical skill. We hold TT Rockstar House Challenges during the year.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Mathematics within the EYFS is developed through purposeful, play based experiences and will be represented throughout the indoor and outdoor provision. The learning will be based on pupils’ interests, schemes and current themes and will focus on the expectations from the Early Years Outcomes. As the pupils progress through, more focus is placed on representing their mathematical knowledge through more formal experiences. Pupils will be encouraged to record their mathematical thinking when ready and this will increase throughout the year. Assessment in the Foundation Stage is carried out through planned observations; incidental observation during child initiated activities and during teacher directed activities, which are informed through planning. All information obtained from these assessment strategies is transferred into the children’s individual profiles and recorded against the relevant Early Learning Goals. All assessment evidence is stored within the individual learning journeys. This includes observations, photographs and children’s work.
Assessment is an integral and continuous part of the teaching and learning process at St George’s and much of it is done informally as part of each teacher’s day-to-day work. Teachers integrate the use of formative assessment strategies such as: effective questioning, clear learning objectives, the use of success criteria, effective feedback and response in their teaching and marking and observing children participating in activities. Findings from these types of assessment are used to inform future planning.
We assess using teacher assessment and more formal assessments (PUMA) throughout the year. We plan daily mental maths skills activities each day in each class.
Statutory End of Key Stage Assessment.
The National Curriculum requires that each child is assessed at the end of KS1 and KS2. Statutory tests determine whether the children are working below, at or above the expected standard. In KS1, the assessments coupled with teacher assessment form the overall standard the children reach. In KS2, teachers submit a separate teacher assessment judgement based on the interim frameworks. To show that pupils have met the standard, teachers provide evidence that a pupil demonstrates consistent attainment of all the statements within the standard.
We encourage positive attitudes towards mathematics by developing pupils’ confidence, independence, persistence and co-operation skills in both mental mathematics and written calculations.