Our aim is to equip all pupils with the skills and confidence to solve a range of problems through fluency with numbers and mathematical reasoning. Children are encouraged to see the mathematics that surrounds them every day and enjoy developing vital life skills in this subject.
At Settle C.E. Primary School, we believe that children should leave primary education as confident, resilient mathematicians with a deep conceptual understanding of the skills required to approach any maths problem. Our mission is to enable all learners to enjoy and succeed in mathematics. We want learners to think about maths beyond what is tested in national examinations and to be equipped with an understanding of mathematics that will be relevant and useful in their future studies and in the world of work. We understand that a deep grasp of mathematics is essential to enabling greater social equity and mobility. Because of this, we aim to embed mathematics across the curriculum through enrichment activities and through our STEM work.
We want our pupils to be successful not only in their schooling career, but throughout their adult lives. Through carefully designed lessons, our teachers are able to make meaningful connections between content with a high emphasis placed on problem solving. Through our lessons, we aim to develop a deep conceptual understanding of mathematical principles, the ability to confidently communicate in precise mathematical language, while becoming mathematical thinkers. We want our pupils to be able to remember more and do more maths, in whatever context they encounter it.
The three aims of the NC should be addressed most lessons– Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving. However, at times, there may be a specific focus on fluency if children need additional practice, for example. At our school, pupils develop their basic number skills and understanding of patterns throughout EYFS that lays the foundation for future mathemetaics learning in KS1, KS2 and enables them to be secondary ready.
To ensure whole-school consistency and progression, Mathematics is planned and sequenced using a combination of Mastering Number and White Rose in the EYFS and KS1, and the use of White Rose small step progression is continued into KS2. This is fully aligned with the National Curriculum and the school’s ongoing engagement with the local maths hub continues to ensure that staff at all levels understand the pedagogy of the approach. In EYFS, KS1 and KS2, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) and pictorial representations. Lessons focus on both conceptual and procedural knowledge and 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. Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts. Every class from Year 1 upwards do regular spaced retrieval through 'Flashbacks' to help them recap and retain knowledge.
Our calculation policy includes CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) strategies, as well as a 'Thinking CAPS' document that gives a really clear overview of the progression in calculation and problem solving. This is our key document to accompany the White Rose planning. We used the DfE Ready to Progress criteria to ensure key concepts have been mastered post COVID and continue to use these as our broad 'end points' we expect children to achieve by the end of each year.
Also see Mathematics and Calculation Policy attachments below.
Whole class together – we teach mathematics to whole classes and do not label children (this includes within the classroom). Lessons are planned based on formative assessment of what students already know and we include all children in learning mathematical concepts. At the planning stage, teachers consider what scaffolding may be required for children who may struggle to grasp concepts in the lesson and suitable challenge questions/activities/open-ended investigations for those who may grasp the concepts rapidly. Decisions are not made about who these children may be prior to the lesson.
Longer and but deeper – in order to address the aims of the NC, our long/medium term plans have been adjusted to allow longer on topics. Each lesson focus is on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across mathematical topics. To outsiders it may appear that the pace of the lesson is slower, but progress and understanding is enhanced. Our assessment procedures recognise that the aims of the curriculum cannot be assessed through coverage (ticking many objectives off a list) but through depth within a topic. We use daily flashbacks, regular mental maths sessions and WR end of block assessments to identify any gaps and to aid knowledge retrieval and retention. We follow the White Rose Scheme of Work and use PUMA Assessments that are fully aligned to White Rose.
Key learning points are identified during and a clear journey through the maths is shown (with examples, key vocab/stem sentences and top tips on working walls). Concrete resources and pictorial images are used to unpick the mathematical structures and relationships and challenge learning. Questions will probe pupil understanding throughout. ‘Tricky bits’ are identified during the planning process and children will be supported through these.
Fluency – We recognise that ‘fluency’ is not just about remembering facts and develop all aspects of fluency through lessons; additional practice is given when children need more time to become more fluent in a particular area. We aim to automaticity with procedures and key knowledge to reduce cognitive overload. Please also see our Progression of Number Fact Fluency and Times Tables document that summarises the knowledge learnt through the Mastering Number sessions in EYFS and KS1, continuing into times table knowledge to be learnt throughout KS2.
Flashback retrieval practice can be done at the start of a lesson or at a different point in the day.
- Recap of previous learning
- Anchor problem (contextualise from the start, rather than start with the abstract)
- Time spent on Anchor problem and one or two more guided practice examples that move pupil’s learning forward/introduce a further idea. Sometimes more if fluency is a focus.Time is spent on here to assess where children are at and to tailor questioning to scaffold/challenge pupils where necessary. Concrete/visual resources are key to ensure ALL children understand the concept. This is where we are trying to develop and show procedural and conceptual variation, as well as in any independent work.
- Independent work (layered, rather than segmented differentiation). Core task for most (some may need adult support and concrete resources to embed understanding, whilst the same resources can be used to challenge pupils explanations) whilst offering questions that promote deeper thinking or more open ended challenges and investigations for the more able children (still working on the same content).
- Plenary if needed to consolidate learning, address misconceptions or challenge pupils learning further.
Exploration - instead of ‘Let me teach you…’ as a starting point, children are encouraged to explore a problem themselves to see what they already know. At the beginning of each lesson this exploration is referred to as the ‘anchor task’. Lesson objectives are not shared with the children at the beginning of the lesson, because we want the children to reason for themselves. At some point from the middle or even at the end of the lesson, the children will be asked what they’ve been learning that day. These are recorded on the teachers flipcharts and children can add them to their books.
Develop reasoning and deep understanding (contexts and representations of mathematics) – problems are usually set in real life contexts - carefully chosen representations (manipulatives and images) are used by all to explore concepts. The use of practical resources, pictorial representations and recording takes place in most lessons (the CPA approach)if and when it helps to show the mathematical structures. This may be seen on flipcharts, displays, on tables and/or in books.
Structuring - the teacher will organise the findings of the exploration, compare/contrast strategies and guide toward the most efficient strategy (or the one being learnt that day).
Step by step approach – journey through the mathematics (these steps may appear small, especially at the beginning of a lesson, there are points when suddenly a jump appears to have been made, or an extra challenge appears – this is normal). Teachers’ flipcharts will clearly show this step by step approach.
Questions to challenge thinking – teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to check understanding – a variety of questions are used, but you will hear the same ones being repeated; How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Is that right? ‘What’s the value? What’s the same/different about? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Can you imagine? Can you persuade others? Can you give me another example? How many possibilities?
Questions are also used to challenge children who have grasped the concept. Children are expected to listen to each other’s responses and may be asked to explain someone else’s ideas in their own words, or if they agree/disagree etc.
At times, children may record work during the teaching input. At times, this will be an independent task, depending on concept being taught. The recording that does take place however, shows greater depth of understanding and intelligent practice. We do not want children to attempt independent recording until we believe they are secure with the concept.
Discussion and feedback – pupils have opportunities to talk to their partners and explain/clarify their thinking throughout the lesson, but are expected to complete written work independently (unless working in a guided group with the teacher).
Books – in Y1 – Y6 you will see maths books used for both journaling activities and practice.
Practising - not drill and practice but practice characterised by variation – will be recorded in maths books, supported by detailed medium term plans & ongoing CPD.
Rapid intervention (same day/next day catch up) – in mathematics new learning is built upon previous understanding, so in order for learning to progress and to keep the class together pupils need to be supported to keep up and areas of difficulty must be dealt with as and when they occur. We do this through intervening in the lesson mainly, or at times in same day/next day interventions of up to 20 minutes in DIRT time (directed independent reflection time). In addition, we still run intervention sessions outside of the maths lesson for some targeted children. Work done in these sessions will often be done in purple pen.
Marking – the marking policy for mathematics acknowledges the different style of teaching in maths, and follows the NCETM guidelines published April 2016. The policy requires that learning is ticked and a comment is only made if/when a teacher feels this is necessary to move learning forward. Highlighting the ‘title’ shows if the learning objective has been achieved (green – ‘super green’ can be used if a child is showing evidence of working at a greater depth) or more practice is needed (amber). Gap tasks may appear for individual children in their books, but usually gaps are addressed through same day/next day catch up and therefore will not necessarily be recorded in books. The most valuable feedback is given during a lesson. Children are encouraged to self/peer assess and will often self mark/correct where able to do so.
Planning – teachers plan by structuring flipcharts and thinking about lesson structure, small steps, variation and the sequence of a lesson and to plan for when it is beneficial to work with concrete and pictorial resources. Challenge activities are highlighted green, whilst ways to support pupils struggling to grasp a concept is highlighted purple.
SEN pupils – may be supported by additional adults or different resources. They may also complete additional activities outside of the mathematics lesson. Ways to support these pupils are highlighted purple. Maths packs are available in every class with additional resources such as multiplication squares, etc. We have high expectations of all children and strongly believe that all children are equally able in mathematics. Some may take longer to grasp concepts and may need careful scaffolding or extra time/support but they can still achieve!
Number Skills/Times Tables and Home Learning –EYFS and KS1 use Numbots to help secure confident subitising and number sense. Y3-6 work on Times Table Rockstars regularly as well as weekly quizzes. Both of these also support home learning alongside use of MyMaths. We also have a comprehensive 'Maths at Home' section on our website.
Assessment and Knowledge Retention–PUMA assessments aligned to WR are used to give a maths age and a standardised score and this is uploaded to FFT which converts this to a scaled scor, enabling us to closely track progress against pupils FFT 20 scaled score targets. Teacher assessment is shown through marking and end of block WR tasks in pupil books. We use daily flashbacks, regular mental maths sessions/quizzes and end of block assessments to check gaps and aid knowledge retrieval and retention.
As well as assessment for learning during lessons, regular and ongoing assessment of the pupils’ outcomes informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child.
We use a variety of strategies to evaluate the knowledge, skills and understanding that our children gain as they progress from Nursery to Year 6:
- Regular feedback marking and pupil voice feedback
- Subject monitoring, including planning scrutinies, book looks and learning walks
- Regular low stakes knowledge assessments, using WR end of block tasks and flashbacks
- Termly PUMA tests to support our teachers’ assessment
These factors help us to maintain high expectations and high standards in Mathematics, with achievement at the end of KS2 normally in line with the national average and an increasingly higher proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.
Please see also the below attachments: