When teaching maths, we encourage the children to realise that their method and process are equally as important as the answer. We ensure that our pupils have a bank of strategies and the mental fluency to confidently solve mathematical problems in a range of contexts. We encourage our pupils to explain their methods, talk to each other about how they solved a problem and find relationships and patterns in their processes and solutions. Mathematical vocabulary is at the heart of each of our lessons; ensuring pupils understand and use the correct terminology in order to communicate confidently in a shared mathematical language. Pupils also work in mixed-ability groups, giving every pupil the opportunity to challenge themselves and extend their own thinking through working with a range of their peers.
A strong relationship between conceptual understanding and procedural fluency are key for pupils to truly gain ‘mastery’. In order to extend, we believe in deepening thinking within the area of study, rather than accelerating onto the next topic. To deepen knowledge and understanding, we ask questions such as: How did you get that answer? Can you prove it to me? What strategy did you use? Is there another way? Can you show me?
We believe that Mathematics is an essential tool for life. We strive to develop great mathematicians, who use their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills with confidence, throughout their school career and into their adult life. You can find a copy of the Calculation Policy that we use below.
“Success in math does not depend on how many answers you know,
but by what you do when you don’t know the answer.” (Unknown)
Without Mathematics, there is nothing you can do.
Everything around you is mathematics.
Everything around you is numbers.(Shakuntala Devi)
The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
- Are able to reason mathematically
- Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics
At Trottiscliffe C of E Primary School, these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the beauty and power of Mathematics.
The content and principles underpinning our Maths curriculum reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China. These principles and features characterise this approach and convey how our curriculum is implemented:
- Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.
- 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.
- Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.
- Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts.
- Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up.
To ensure whole school consistency and progression, the school follows the DfE approved 'Power Maths Scheme' which is aligned to the White Rose Maths Scheme.
New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem, which children are able to discuss in partners. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of mathematics in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning.
In KS1, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Children are encouraged to continue to use manipulatives in KS2 often as a tool to assist and explain their thinking. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems.
Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Children can underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. Our maths curriculum addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset. Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 well above the national average and a high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.
We monitor the impact of this subject through:
- Monitoring of annotated plans
- Pupil voice
- Regular oral and written feedback
- Book looks
- Lesson drop ins
- Summative data from end of year assessments