At St Joseph’s, our intention is to deliver a high quality mathematics curriculum that fosters children’s curiosity and stimulates interest and enjoyment of mathematics as it broadens and deepens pupils’ maths knowledge. We recognise that mathematics underpins much of our daily lives and therefore it is of paramount importance that we support all of our children in developing a sound understanding of all areas of mathematics. This begins in Early Years where we build foundations for mathematical understanding using songs and games in a way that is engaging and age-appropriate.
We aim to develop children’s ability to use and apply mathematical knowledge and language in a variety of contexts and situations. Teaching styles and lesson structure provide opportunities for pupils to consolidate their previous learning and use and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills. They will also be given regular opportunities to pose and ask questions, investigate mathematical ideas, reflect on their own learning, collaborate and make links. We want to support all of our children to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, to develop resilience and to achieve the highest standards possible.
At St Joseph’s we understand the importance of early experiences of maths. In EYFS, activities and experiences are frequent and varied, and allow children to build on and apply understanding of numbers to 10. Concrete manipulatives are a key focus within sessions, as is the use of pictorial representations including Tens Frames and Part/Whole Models. Children are actively encouraged to use mathematical terminology within their understanding, with a focus on developing positive attitudes and interest in the subject. Mathematics is all-encompassing with opportunities for reinforcement of learning embedded in classroom routines and continuous provision.
The NCETM Mastering Number programme is used in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to develop fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number which is further developed as they progress through the school.
At St Joseph’s in Years 1-6, children study mathematics daily following the White Rose Maths Scheme of Learning. White Rose Maths is a blocked scheme, which allows for depth and breadth of learning within each strand of mathematics.
We engage parents with their children’s mathematical learning through sharing planning on our website and inviting them to parent workshops throughout the year. Parents are also invited to join ‘Curious Maths’, a service which provides videos and suggestions to help parents support their children’s mathematical learning at home.
One of the hallmarks of the mastery approach which we follow is concrete, pictorial and abstract learning. Children engage with a wide and varied range of concrete manipulatives, pictorial representations and abstract methodologies within each session. Cohesive use of this range of methodologies is a fundamental part of mastery in mathematics for all learners.
Every learning session includes the opportunity to develop fluency skills, construct chains of reasoning using relevant knowledge alongside relevant terminology and solve increasingly complex problems in a systematic and coherent way.
Lessons include explicit reference to vital mathematical vocabulary and the use of stem sentences to support and encourage all children to communicate their ideas with mathematical precision and clarity.
WRM is a blocked learning scheme and as a consequence certain strands of maths are not covered until later in the term. To ensure frequent revisiting of concepts, we use starter sessions at the beginning of each lesson to recap learning from previous weeks, terms and years in a range of strands.
We are committed to ensuring that pupils secure their knowledge of multiplication tables and related divisional facts by the end of Year 4. Our pupils engage in regular low stakes testing through Times Tables Rock Stars to practice fluent recall. We also take plan regular opportunities for enrichment activities, quizzes and cross-curricular learning.
At St Joseph’s, decisions about when to progress are always based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
Teachers carry out assessment for learning in each session and feedback is given to children verbally, through self/peer assessment and through marking. Teachers then use this assessment to influence their planning. Children are rapidly identified as needing further challenge or additional support, and we ensure that this is provided in lessons or in advance of the next lesson.
Teachers believe that all children can achieve in maths, and focus on whole class teaching. Where prerequisites are not secure, pre-teaching and support in lessons will scaffold children’s learning.
We use a range of low stakes testing throughout the teaching cycle to assess attainment and progress. From Year 2 to Year 6, children complete regular tests in Arithmetic and Times Tables. Results are used to further inform planning and allow for tailored intervention groups to take place to ensure the objectives are secured. Our Assessment Calendar also includes 3 key dates for capturing progress and attainment against National Curriculum Objectives. Assessments are carried out in Autumn, Spring and Summer terms.
We regularly monitor the quality and impact of our mathematics curriculum through targeted learning walks, book scrutiny and collecting pupil voice. In addition to this, we survey our staff and pupils to identify their perception of mathematics and identify CPD needs.