St Peter’s aims to provide a high-quality maths education, teaching children the essential skills and knowledge to develop an understanding of the world and to create a natural curiosity and love for maths as a subject.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that children have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their 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 want all children to be able to see mathematics as an interconnected subject and be able to make connections to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving problems. We want our children to apply their mathematical knowledge in all areas of learning especially.
The expectation in the National Curriculum is that the majority of children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of the children’s understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Children who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding.
In St Peter’s, teachers in Key Stage 1 are using detailed schemes of learning published by the White Rose hub to plan effective maths lessons to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
The White Rose schemes support ‘Teaching for Mastery’.
The curriculum map and termly overviews showing the learning objectives for each year group can be viewed here.
At St Gildas’ we aim for excellence in mathematical achievement throughout the school. We foster and develop this through intelligent practice. This incorporates the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) approach to Maths, which is widely recognised as a highly effective approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths in pupils. It was developed by American psychologist Jerome Bruner and it is an essential technique within the Singapore method of teaching maths for mastery.
Pupils at St Gildas’ School we will teach maths in a way that:
- delivers maths in line with new National Curriculum guidelines
- ensures the delivery of maths is centred around a CPA approach
- creates a lively, exciting and stimulating environment in which the children can learn and enjoy maths
- encourages children to use mathematical vocabulary to reason and explain and to give answers in full sentences (eg: “How many faces does a cube have?” “A cube has 6 faces.)
- allows time for partner talk in order to stimulate and develop a curiosity for Maths
- challenges children to stretch themselves and take risks in their learning
- builds fluency and variation
- creates a sense of awe and wonder surrounding Maths
- provides children with the opportunity for low threshold-high ceiling challenges and exposure to routine and non-routine problem solving
Generally, the children are taught maths every day. Where this is not possible, two lessons might be taught in one day. Planning is based around the White Rose scheme for the medium and long term planning. This allows teachers to see the expected learning after the lesson and the progression of teaching throughout the year. We encourage teachers to not to move on to new topics until each is fully mastered. Following the White Rose scheme of planning ensures that all National Curriculum objectives are covered by the end of each year. Teachers are free to structure individual lessons as they deem fit with the requirement that the learning objective is clear and is met, all children are on task and all children are being stretched. There will be times when children need to rehearse and practise strategies learnt in previous lessons. Although some worksheets may be applicable – these should be carefully selected as fewer more meaningful questions which reveal a structure and a pattern is best practice.
All children are expected to use manipulatives during lessons whenever relevant as a means to fully mastering abstract concepts. Children use physical objects and manipulatives in the concrete “doing” stages and use and develop visual representations during the pictorial “seeing” stage. Visual representation includes use of the Singapore Bar Model. Some children may move onto abstract learning quicker than others.
Fluency with times-tables:
Children are required to secure and master their times tables by Year 4. To ensure conceptual understanding, times-tables should be taught using manipulatives so that patterns and relationships are understood. There should not be an over-reliance on rote learning, although we do not discourage parents from rote practising of times-tables at home.
Each year group should have access to the following manipulatives:
- Base 10
- Fraction resources
- Place-value counters
- Cuisenaire rods
- 3D and 2D shapes
Wherever possible, teachers will make links with other subjects across the curriculum. Science is particularly suited to this with measuring, recording and graphs. History too can provide links, for example while exploring Roman, Egyptian and Mayan number systems. Geography provides excellent opportunities for studying statistics and data and Art allows the concepts of symmetry, ratio and shape to be explored.