Mathematics

Aims and objectives:

Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected subjects that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity around the subject.

Here at Abbots Ripton, we firmly support the three core National Curriculum aims to ensure that pupils can:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including 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.
  • 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 series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions. 

Maths Mastery

We firmly believe that all children can master mathematics and achieve. We structure our lessons so that they:

  • are achievable for all
  • develop deep and sustainable learning
  • create the ability to build on something that has already been sufficiently mastered
  • develop deep mathematical understanding
  • develop both factual/procedural and conceptual fluency.

Teaching and Learning:

In all classes, pupils will use a range of concrete, pictorial and abstract forms. They will explore these in depth through careful variation (conceptual and procedural). All pupils, regardless of prior experiences of mathematics, will utilise concrete and pictorial resources; they are used as a key tool to develop the pupils’ depth of understanding and the visualisation of a mathematical topic.

The expectation is that all pupils use the correct mathematical terminology and this is reinforced by all teaching staff. In school, pupils frequently use stem sentences; these are recited back to the teacher as a whole class, in groups or individually. The correct use of mathematical vocabulary supports the children’s verbal and written reasoning, alongside the understanding of key concepts.

Units of lessons are planned in careful sequences, with longer periods of time being spent on each topic. Small steps are taken and teachers plan for misconceptions prior to lessons, enabling pupils to access rich learning experiences.

Lessons are often taught in a ping-pong style, where pupil voice is frequently used to explain, reason and discuss an enquiry. Teachers structure lessons so that they facilitate a high level of understanding and depth of learning through both investigation and discussion.

Time in the school day, outside of usual mathematics lessons, is dedicated in each class to arithmetic and mathematical fluency of key skills, such as times tables and number bonds. This may take the form of a ‘Number Talk’ or early morning work.

Inclusion:

In all classes, Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, it is usually expected that the majority of pupils will move through the programme of study at the same pace, focusing on objectives from their year group. However, decisions about when to progress are always based on the depth of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through the offering of rich and sophisticated problems, rather than accelerating onto new content.

Teachers carefully utilise scaffolds to ensure that all pupils are engaged and accessing the learning. Pupils may be taught prior to the lesson (pre-teaching) or have a short session after the lesson in order to support their learning (look back and learn). Extra concrete resources, word banks, guided groups, teaching assistants and low floor – high ceiling activities are used to both engage and support all learners.

Planning and Assessment

Teachers plan their sequences of lessons using the White Rose schemes of work. The NCETM planning spines are also utilised, with small steps and key models and images from these being used in class.

Across the school, teachers assess pupil’s depth of understanding through the children’s verbal and written responses; this may be in the form of written marking after the lesson, verbal feedback or noting observations. Assessment can take place across a variety of curriculum areas, such as science, due to the cross curricular nature of certain concepts (such as statistics).

Following a unit of work in mathematics, teachers may use the White Rose ‘end of block’ assessment. At the end of a term, teachers may also utilise the ‘end of term’ White Rose assessment.