The National Curriculum emphasises the importance of all pupils mastering the content taught each year and discourages the acceleration of pupils into content from subsequent years. Our aim is to provide a curriculum which broadens and deepens pupil understanding, ensuring that mathematical learning is built on solid foundations.
Our staff have high expectations of all children, irrespective of ability and encourage them to be successful learners and achieve their full potential. Our aim is to ensure challenge for all pupils by developing deep, rather than superficial, conceptual understanding. We believe that it is possible to develop successful mathematicians who achieve high standards by espousing a mastery-based curriculum.
To help us deliver our mathematics curriculum, our teachers adapt the ideas outlined in the Power Maths scheme of work to meet the needs of our pupils.
We aim to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, 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
- 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 a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
We aim to develop mastery of the mathematics curriculum through:
- a fascination and enjoyment of mathematics as a subject in which all children can achieve and be successful
- the children’s abilities to use mathematics effectively, using specific mathematical vocabulary, to communicate their ideas
- independent and co-operative ways of working encouraging children to explore ideas and activities in a variety of groupings
- developing the children’s ability to recall key number facts with speed and accuracy and use them to calculate and work out unknown facts (see our Progression in Calculation policy)
- increasing the confidence of our pupils and their ability to apply their mathematical knowledge and skills in a variety of challenging and real-life situations
- the children’s awareness of the broad cultural background of mathematics
- the children’s ability to use mathematical concepts, facts and procedures appropriately, flexibly and fluently
- ensuring children have sufficient depth of knowledge and understanding to reason and explain mathematical concepts and procedures and use them to solve a variety of problems.
How we plan for and teach mathematics:
We use the principles of the Power Maths scheme of work to ensure that our maths is broken down into small, progressive steps that are built upon daily. We feel it is essential that our children experience maths in a variety of situations and that they understand concepts using the concrete, pictorial and abstract model. Our teaching staff tailor our curriculum to meet the needs of our pupils so lessons and ideas are adapted as required.
What is Power Maths?
Power Maths is a resource that has been designed for UK schools based on research and extensive experience of teaching and learning around the world and here in the UK. It has been designed to support and challenge all pupils, and is built on the belief that EVERYONE can learn maths successfully.
How does this support our approach to teaching?
The philosophy behind Power Maths is that being successful in maths is not just about rote-learning procedures and methods, but is instead about problem-solving, thinking and discussing. Many people feel they were taught maths in a way that was about memorising formulas and calculation methods, then having to apply them without any real understanding of what or how these methods actually work. We adapt ideas from the Power Maths resources to help our children develop fluent recall and develop their conceptual understanding. We believe the approach helps to spark curiosity, engage reasoning, secure understanding and deepen learning for all through the use of Maths Characters which promote a Growth Mindset approach to learning.
Meet the Power Maths Characters and find out about their Learning Powers:
Ash: is eager, interested and creative. He likes to imagine real life situations when solving problems and revise different areas of Maths, so they are fresh in his mind.
Flo: During Maths lessons Flo likes to persevere and look for many different ways to solve problems. When planning her work, she likes to think carefully to ensure that she uses the most effective strategy to solve the problem.
Astrid: Astrid’s favourite lesson is Maths. She is brave and likes to listen carefully to other people’s opinions. When she is given a challenge she becomes absorbed in it and perseveres until she succeeds.
Dexter: Dexter loves numbers. She likes to use questioning to deepen her understanding. She likes to collaborate with her peers as she doesn’t always choose the most efficient method.
How are mathematics lessons delivered?
Each lesson has a progression, with a central flow that draws the main learning into focus. There are different elements, informed by research into best practice in maths teaching, that bring the lessons to life:
- Discover – each lesson begins with a problem to solve, often a real-life example, sometimes a puzzle or a game. These are engaging and fun, and designed to get all children thinking.
- Share – the class shares their ideas and compares different ways to solve the problem, explaining their reasoning with hands-on resources and drawings to make their ideas clear. Children are able to develop their understanding of the concept with input from the teacher.
- Think together – the next part of the lesson is a journey through the concept, digging deeper and deeper so that each child builds on secure foundations while being challenged to apply their understanding in different ways and with increasing independence.
- Practice – now children practice individually or in small groups, rehearsing and developing their skills to build fluency, understanding of the concept and confidence.
- Reflect – finally, children are prompted to reflect on and record their learning from each session and show how they have grasped the concept explored in the lesson.
- What if my child needs a confidence boost, or wants to be challenged further?
Power Maths is based on a ‘small-steps’ approach, sometimes called a mastery approach. This means that the concepts are broken down so that your child can master one idea without feeling overwhelmed. There are a range of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving questions in each lesson that are designed to support the different needs and confidence levels within a class, while at the same time fostering a spirit of working and learning together. Each lesson includes a challenge question for those children who can delve deeper into a concept.
How we evaluate learning in mathematics:
Where possible, children will self-mark their work at the end of each lesson to offer immediate feedback. This will be shown in books by the use of green pen marking.
At the end of each unit of work, children will complete a short ‘end of unit’ test. This will support teachers with identifying the strengths and areas of development of each child based on the learning that has taken place. Class teachers will use this information to support the pitch of future lessons and identify any scaffolding required to develop key concepts.
There is an assessment grid for each class where progress in mathematics is recorded. These are Excel grids developed internally by the school and are based on the work of Michael Tidd (a Headteacher from Nottingham who was part of the Assessment Change Programme). The expectations for the year group are recorded in the left hand column of each grid with the pupil names across the top. As the pupils demonstrate some understanding of the skill, the teacher enters a level 1. If a pupil is able to further demonstrate their understanding of the skill with minimal support, the teacher will enter a level 2. Once the teacher feels that the element is secure, they will enter a level 3. Excel will calculate each pupil’s progress over that year group as a percentage of the whole.
At each checkpoint, teachers will convert the percentage shown into a checkpoint assessment level: WTS (Working Towards Standard), NYS (Not Yet Secure) EXS (Expected Standard), GDS (Greater Depth Standard) to help identify the current working level of each child and support class teachers and members of the SLT team in identifying where additional help and intervention is required.
Class teachers are also asked to indicate each pupil’s disposition for learning using a graded 1-4 score as follows: 1 where the child is regularly disengaged and displays a poor attitude towards learning, 2 being a child who applies minimal effort, 3 where the child displays the expected level of focus and engagement and 4 where a child is always engaged, focused and ready to learn.These files are held centrally on the MLE (Office 365) in each year group’s Assessment File and are available for class teachers, teaching assistants, learning assistants, the Inclusion Manager, subject leaders and SLT. Anonymised data will be shared with Governors who are responsible for ensuring effective pupil progress.
This process is part of the school assessment cycle: