Education systems have always recognised the value of Mathematics, and it continues to be given the time, status and profile of a core subject: its use and understanding underpins many careers -of the present and of the future- and better allows people to live productive, independent lives. Indeed, according to the World Economic Forum, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving -both inherent in high quality Mathematics teaching and learning - are the top two skills required for the jobs of the future.
At Upwood Primary, we aim to ensure that every lesson is accessible to every child and builds their knowledge, understanding, enjoyment and confidence, using a ‘next step grouping’ approach. Children are taught using high quality concrete resources to gain conceptual understanding, before being taught to represent and interpret others’ thinking pictorially, before ultimately being able to apply concepts in an abstract way. During this process of learning, children are taught mental and written methods to aid their fluency and are given opportunities to reason and problem solve to deepen their Mathematical thinking. Learners’ natural curiosity is harnessed and developed and they are supported in strategising, drawing their own conclusions, and working logically and systematically.
Lessons are planned following the National Curriculum Framework for Mathematics in Key Stage one and two. The curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure that knowledge and skills are progressively built upon each year. The use of White Rose is used by members of staff to structure the unit. Power Maths is used as the method which all staff have been trained in to ensure the consistently high approach to teaching Mathematics. Staff also refer to the Calculation Policy when teaching formal methods, understanding that sometimes children find their own efficient methods along the way. Each week, in Years 2 to 6, a times tables focus is planned to give staff the opportunity to assess children’s understanding of times tables, and to provide children with the opportunity to practise and improve their rapid recall skills within facts up to 12x12. All children from Years 2 to Year 6 have access to their own personal account of ‘Times Tables Rockstars’ and ‘Tackling Tables’, and from Year 1 Mathletics online.
At Upwood, lessons are taught daily for one hour and 15 minutes. Lessons consist of Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving. Using White Rose, children develop each of these areas with an equal weighting. Staff use the Power Maths approach to place children in a ‘next step grouping’ approach. The use of refined groups allows for mastery of understanding. The learning objective is used and contains two parts. The first part is a generaliser, which identifies the unit of learning and could be applied to any of the year groups. The second part contains the specifier that gives the exact level of learning, which is in line with the National Curriculum, for the required year group. The Success Criteria is broken down into detailed steps for children to be successful during the lesson.
Using Power Maths, we employ a variety of teaching styles and opportunities for children to learn and develop their Mathematical skills and competencies, both individually and collaboratively. These include through modelled practice, guided practice, partner practice and independent practice. The main aim of all lessons is to develop children’s knowledge, understanding and skills, applying these to a variety of contexts. One of the key elements in lessons throughout the school should be developing the children’s mental calculation strategies alongside developing the written calculation strategies laid out in the Calculation Policy.
Our pupils are taught to manipulate a range of resources before representing mathematical concepts and writing and forming Mathematical equations in what is known as the Build it-Draw it-Write it progression: Build it– children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing; Draw it– children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems; Write it– With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
The Maths Subject Lead is responsible for using learning walks, book and slide scrutiny's, pupil voice activities and assessment activities to monitor the quality of teaching and learning, using this information to put support in place where necessary.
All children in the Foundation Stage have daily opportunities to develop their mathematical understanding, primarily through play, to meet the needs of Development Matters. The 2 strands of Mathematics taught in the EYFs are Numbers and Shape, Space and Measure, using White Rose to support planning.
Each lesson should give children increased competence and confidence in Mathematics- whether that be a new or existing area of knowledge. Given the cumulation of well-taught, well-sequenced lessons, using ‘next step grouping’ approach, the children will have a readiness for the next stage of their learning. Speedy recall of number facts will give them confidence and free-up working memory space. They will recognise how to use their knowledge in a range of contexts and situations, including everyday ones relevant to them, and have a conceptual and procedural understanding of the skills and knowledge they apply. They will show pride in their learning and in themselves as learners. They will specifically recognise the skills of a Mathematician that may be distinct from other subjects.