Maths

Intent

At Bathford Church School our vision of ‘Grow, Care, Serve, Share’ frames our maths curriculum.

The maths taught at our school is based on the 2016 National Curriculum.

It aims to ensure that all children grow:

  •  to become fluent in the fundamentals of maths, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • to be able reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
  • to be able to solve problems by applying mathematics to a variety of routine and not-so-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering to find solutions.

By having access to a high-quality maths curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable, children are inspired to continue to grow by leading, taking risks, and flourishing on, their learning journey.  It is through mathematics that children gain a foundation for understanding the world. Children are encouraged to see the mathematics that surround them every day, learning to appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics, as well as gain a sense of awe and wonder about the world. This in turn leads to a clearer understanding of values such as kindness, respect and perseverance, which reflect the core Christian values of both our school and the Bath & Wells Multi Academy Trust.

Our curriculum helps children to make deep connections between their own learning, the school community and the world they live in. In doing so we support them in becoming active, collaborative and responsible citizens that will be better equipped to be of service to others and the wider world.

Throughout our lessons, children are given the opportunity to listen to and articulate their mathematical thinking with others, developing a shared connection to one another, their local context and the wider world. By promoting a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about mathematics, the children will acquire the skills needed to succeed in the next stage of their life and beyond.

Implementation

The implementation of the maths curriculum at Bathford is delivered through our teachers’ secure understanding of the curriculum and appropriate teaching strategies.  Children are taught as a whole class in their own year group.

Mastery – We follow a mastery approach for our teaching and learning of mathematics. Mastery learning breaks subject matter and learning content into units with clearly specified objectives. By using a range of strategies, we help children develop a deep and secure knowledge of maths. At Bathford we work through blocks of learning as set out in the White Rose Maths Schemes of Learning, in a series of small sequential steps, with teachers adapting lessons to meet the needs of their children. The expectation is that all children will master each step. Some children may take longer to grasp concepts, requiring careful scaffolding or extra support. This may be through guided groups, same day catch-up or intervention groups. Other children may grasp the material taught more rapidly, so suitable challenge is provided for these children to explore and apply their understanding to a deeper level.

A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. Once a concept is mastered, all of the children move onto the next step together.

Early Years – In the Reception classroom we also use White Rose Maths to guide and give ideas for teaching key mathematical learning. It builds and develops key skills in line with the Early Years Curriculum. Allowing children opportunities to explore number and calculations is an essential part of meeting their Early Learning Goal for number.

Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) – One of the key elements we use in maths mastery is the CPA approach. This is a highly effective method in developing a deep and sustainable understanding of maths. It builds on children’s existing knowledge and involves moving from concrete materials, to pictorial representations, and finally to abstract symbols and problems.

The concrete phase is the ‘doing’ stage. During this stage, children use concrete objects to model problems. This brings concepts to life by allowing children to experience and handle physical (concrete) objects. For example, if a problem involves adding different coloured socks, children first handle actual socks. From there, they progress to handling abstract counters or cubes which represent the socks.

Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage. Here, visual representations of concrete objects are used to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object they just handled and the abstract pictures, diagrams or models that represent the objects from the problem. Building or drawing a model makes it easier for children to visualise abstract problems and make them more accessible.

Abstract is the ‘symbolic’ stage, where children use abstract mathematical symbols (e.g. +, –, =) to model problems. We do not progress to this stage until the children have demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the concrete and pictorial stages of the problem.

Although the CPA model has three distinct stages, teachers will go back and forth between each stage to reinforce concepts. Teachers vary the apparatus that children use in class, how they represent maths problems and the methods used to solve them, so that children can craft powerful mental connections between the concrete, pictorial, and abstract phases.

Resources – Alongside the White Rose Schemes of Learning, teachers use a collection of complementary resources. These include: concrete resources (such as Unifix cubes, counters, Numicon, Base 10, Place Value Counters, Dienes Equipment and Fraction Circles) and online resources (such as ClassroomSecrets, N-Rich, NCETM, Third Space Learning). In addition, we subscribe to the personalised online maths programmes DoodleMaths/DoodleTables that children can access at home, as well as Times Tables Rock Stars. Teachers use the school’s ‘Calculations Policy’ for progression in written and mental calculations.

Vocabulary – Teachers know that the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof. Teachers therefore skillfully assist children in making their thinking clear to themselves and others, ensuring that they build secure foundations by using discussion to probe their understanding, remedy their misconceptions, as well as take their learning further and deeper. We use well-rehearsed stem sentences where appropriate to enable children to articulate their thinking.

Assessment – Formative assessment takes place on a day-to-day basis throughout maths lessons. Using the information gained from their observations, teachers address misconceptions in real time and guide children in the next step of their learning. For Years 1-6 summative assessment takes place at the end of each block of work, in the form of White Rose Maths end of block assessments, in order to check progress and understanding of content. Further summative assessment takes place towards the end of Terms 2, 4 and 6.  At the end of Term 6, Years 2 and 6 complete end of Key Stage SATs papers, whilst children in other year groups undertake another published paper check.

In the Reception class children’s mathematical learning is assessed against the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework using the Development Matters document. The children’s maths learning is posted onto the online learning journal, Tapestry. The journal enables the teacher to link an age band in the Development Matters document to each math’s observation. Using this the teacher tracks and identifies gaps or areas for development in the child’s learning. The information that is collected is added to a record of the child’s achievement, which is related to the EYFS Framework. At the end of the Reception year, the summative data on Tapestry is used to inform the teacher’s judgement of a child’s attainment against the Early Learning Goal for mathematics in the EYFS Framework.

Impact

The aim of our mathematics curriculum is that children understand the relevance of what they are learning in relation to the real world. We foster an environment where maths is fun and accessible to all. Children recognise that it is OK to take risks and to be ‘wrong’, because the journey to finding an answer is most important.

With our support children will develop a growth mindset to their learning. Children will show confidence in believing they will achieve with a ‘I can’ and a ‘just have a go’ attitude to their learning. They will develop the ability to choose both the equipment they need to help them learn, as well as the strategies they think are best suited for solving problems. In addition, children will use the correct mathematical language to explain their ideas and independently apply a concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.

Children will demonstrate a quick recall of facts and procedures. This includes number bonds to 10 and 20 as well as the recollection of times tables up to 12 x 12.

We understand that mathematics is an interconnected subject and aim for children be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should be able to make rich connections across mathematical ideas and have the flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations.

Our feedback and interventions will support children to strive to be the best mathematicians they can be, ensuring a greater proportion of children are on track to achieve age-specific targets.

Children will show a high level of pride in the presentation and understanding of their maths work.

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