Welcome to maths at Halsnead!
At Halsnead Primary School the design of our mathematics curriculum is to deliver a curriculum, which is accessible to all, maximising the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement. The curriculum ensures our children encounter a wide range of mathematical experiences that promote a deep understanding, enjoyment and enthusiasm of maths. Our lessons are engaging and support our children to make rich connections to develop fluency, reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems through a wide selection of practical activities, exploration and discussion. We strive for our children to become confident, logical and critical thinkers and for them to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to other subjects. We believe a high-quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about maths, to develop life- long learning. We have adopted a mastery approach to maths using the 'Maths No Problem!' series which has been assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, who judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery.
Our mathematics curriculum aims that all children are:
- Confident and competent with numbers and the number system
- Fluent in a range of different calculation strategies
- Able to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts and have a good understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and presented
- Explore features of shape and space, and develop measuring skills in a range of contexts
- Understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life.
The National Curriculum sets out the programme of study for each year group. The programmes of study ensure all pupils become:
· Fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
· Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
· Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
In line with the National Curriculum, it is our expectation that all pupils acquire mathematical knowledge appropriate to their age and starting points and enables them to recall it rapidly and apply it fluently and accurately, including when calculating efficiently. The ability to calculate mentally is an important part of mathematics, however, we aim that by Year 6, as many children as possible, will understand, and use successfully, effective written strategies, to carry out and record calculations they cannot do mentally.
To enable children to move towards effective and efficient methods of more formal written calculations, with full understanding, a step by step approach is taken and is progressive across the school.
Decisions about when to move a child forward should always be based on a secure knowledge of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, through additional practice and targeted intervention, before moving on. Concrete resources are used in all year groups. The decision to remove a concrete resource is made in response to the pupils’ improved knowledge and understanding, not their age.
We also aim for our pupils to love the challenge of learning and to be resilient to failure. Our pupils will become curious, interested learners who seek out and use new information to develop, consolidate and deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills.
We have has recently implemented the ‘Maths – No Problem!’ scheme. The focus is on teaching to mastery. It is based on the research of Jerome Bruner, Richard Skemp, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Zoltan Dienes. The programme emphasises problem-solving and pupils use their core competencies (Visualisation, Finding Patterns, and Mental Strategies) to develop a relational understanding of mathematical concepts. One of the key learning principles is the concrete – pictorial - abstract approach (CPA). The CPA approach, suggests that there are three steps (or representations) necessary for pupils to develop understanding of a concept. Reinforcement is achieved by going back and forth between these representations.
The textbooks have been researched in great detail and the varied examples have been specifically chosen to stretch pupils into harder concepts, create depth and generate dialogue. The workbooks allow pupils to work independently, demonstrate their understanding and assess their own learning. The teachers have access to the 'Maths No Problem!' website which contains all the pupil materials along with extra teacher resources. Resources used frequently include, number lines, counters, dice, multi-link cubes, dienes, hundred squares, shapes, numicon. These are located in classrooms, where they are accessible to all pupils. Further resources (often larger items shared by the whole school) are located in our Maths Hub. The use of manipulatives is integral to the CPA approach and thus planned into our teaching and learning.
Our approach to teaching is to deliver a dedicated mathematics lesson every day (approximately 60 minutes) based on the CPA approach; the initial part of the session (10-15 minutes) consists of a retention task which includes questions from the previous lesson, week, topic and term. A daily counting activity in included in this part of the lesson and a key vocabulary activity. High-quality direct teaching is interactive and lively. It is a two-way process in which children are expected to play an active part by answering questions, contributing points to discussions, and explaining and demonstrating their methods to the class.
The children at Halsnead are enthusiastic about maths and can reason mathematically. Pupils are confident and enjoy sharing their methodologies, thoughts and ideas with others to solve problems. Our pupils are resilient learners who make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop their fluency. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the Mathematics Programmes of study of the National Curriculum.
Impact of our Maths Curriculum:
- Children are fluent mathematicians.
- Children can articulate their learning.
- Children have a growth mindset towards maths and feel proud of the progress that they have made.
- Children understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ to what they are learning.
- Children can make connections across their learning and be systematic in the methods that they use.
- Children can apply their learning to a variation of mathematical concepts.
- Children are confident when recalling mathematical facts.
- Children are confident with high-level maths vocabulary.
- Children are confident when reasoning and can justify, explain and prove using mathematical language.
- Children can tackle open-ended maths problems systematically.
- Children are independent learners.
- Children know the relevance and importance of maths in everyday life.