The 2014 National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all children:
· Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
· Are able to reason mathematically
· Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics.
At Isle of Ely Primary School we aim to ensure our Mathematics curriculum is fully inclusive of every child, empowering each one to enjoy and experience success in the subject in order to develop a positive and confident attitude towards mathematics.
Our Mathematics curriculum seeks to ensure that every child becomes confidently numerate as they progress through school. Lesson sequences are planned in ‘small steps’ so that knowledge is taught in relation to all of our children’s cognitive loads and is built cumulatively over time. Time is spent ensuring children understand and develop the correct mathematical vocabulary. This combination enables our children to develop logical thinking in order to solve problems and record in a systematic way; use maths to interpret, predict, explain and solve problems practically and develop skills to explain their thinking or strategies they’ve used and be able to reason mathematically.
We support children to recognise the importance of mathematics in the wider world and use and apply their mathematical ability by making appropriate choices in real-life situations. In turn, children develop their ability to work both independently and collaboratively preparing them for adult life.
We aim to inspire children to be ambitious with their learning and appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics.
The content and principles underpinning the 2014 Mathematics curriculum and the Maths curriculum at Isle of Ely Primary School reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China. These principles and features characterise this approach and convey how our curriculum is implemented:
· Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.
· The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.
· Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.
· Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts.
· Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up.
To ensure whole consistency and progression, the school uses the DfE approved ‘Power Maths scheme. This is fully aligned with the White Rose Maths Hub scheme. This ensures that there is a detailed, structured curriculum mapped out across all phases, ensuring continuity and supporting transition. The curriculum is 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.
Our maths mastery curriculum is underpinned by the five big ideas as illustrated below:
Teaching and Learning
A typical lesson using Power Maths lasts approximately 1 hour. Maths is taught daily during the morning. Children begin with a short ‘Power Up’ activity which supports fluency in and recall of number facts. Following this, the main lesson begins with a ‘Discover’ task in which a contextual problem is shared for the children to discuss in partners. This helps promote discussion and reasoning and ensures that mathematical ideas are introduced in a logical way to support conceptual understanding. In KS1 and when a new concept is introduced in KS2 these problems are almost always presented with concrete manipulatives for children to use. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning and the children learn from misconceptions through whole class reasoning. The teacher leads children through strategies to solve the problem during the ‘Share’ part of the lesson. Following this, the children are presented with varied similar problems which they might discuss with a partner or within a small group. At this point, scaffolding is carefully reduced to prepare children for independent practice. This is the ‘Think together’ part of the lesson and the children might record some of their working out in their maths books or on a mini whiteboard. The teacher uses this part of the lesson to address any initial errors and confirm the different methods and strategies that can be used. The children are then shown a ‘challenge’ which promotes a greater depth of thinking. The class then progress to the ‘Practice’ part of the lesson, which is designed to be completed independently. This practice uses conceptual and procedural variation to build fluency and develop greater understanding of underlying mathematical concepts. A challenge question and links to other areas of maths encourages children to take their understanding to a greater level of depth. The final part of the lesson sequence is a ‘reflect’ task. This is an opportunity for children to review, reason and reflect on learning and enables the teacher to gauge their depth of understanding.
In KS1 and KS2, children record their work into their own Power Maths Practice book. Teachers mark outcomes of work in the practice books and assess whether children have achieved the small step taught in that lesson in line with the school’s marking and feedback policy. Where appropriate, children will record their responses to the ‘think together’ part of the lesson in their maths books. Strengthen and deepen activities and any same day interventions or next steps children have been given as a result of teacher marking to support, consolidate or extend learning are also recorded in the children’s own maths books. This provides further evidence of differentiated learning.
Children in Nursery have a short daily Maths teaching session, during which time they begin to develop their understanding of simple mathematical concepts such as counting to 20, maintaining 1 to 1 correspondence, simple addition and subtraction facts, to recognise and describe simple 2d and 3d shapes. Children are taught these concepts using physical resources, pictorial resources, songs, games and role-play. There is no focus activity linked to these sessions. In Reception, the Power Maths scheme for EYFS is followed which follows the same structure as KS1 and KS2 but over a longer period of time. For example, children might do the ‘discover’ and ‘share’ aspect one day and the ‘practise’ aspect the next. Children are encouraged to record their learning practically and in their maths journals. In both Nursery and Reception, the independent activities at the maths table link to the focus for the week. For example, if the focus for the week is addition, then activities on the Maths table will often link to this. In addition to these planned independent activities, children also have the opportunity to self-select Maths resources to consolidate their learning during child initiated activities. We recognise the importance of play-based learning and therefore encourage children to develop their understanding during their play. Such opportunities are provided in both the inside and outside environment. Regular observations and assessments help to ensure that children that need additional intervention to consolidate their mathematical understanding are identified and supported by appropriate interventions.
Curriculum Organisation and Planning
Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate. There are five dedicated maths sessions per week. As the school follows the Power Maths scheme, teachers follow the planning set out in the teacher guides. However, to ensure that planning is adapted to suit the needs of individual classes, teachers complete a maths planning proforma each week with notes about which resources they will use for different parts of the lesson, how they plan to adapt any activities for children, questions to support/consolidate/extend and any next step questions to use when marking. Teachers should ensure planning is saved in their year group folder on the server before the end of Friday each week with the following week’s plans.
As well as daily maths lessons, teachers will also practise key number facts such as number bonds and times tables throughout the day e.g. when lining up for lunch or as an early morning activity. Teachers can also use the White Rose ‘Flashback Four’ questions to revise previously taught concepts. Mathematical skills should also be applied in other areas of the curriculum.