At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary Academy, we aim to provide a mastery approach and to deliver high quality Mathematics education for all our pupils in order for them to develop a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject through our ‘Curriculum Drivers.’ We want our pupils to engage in rich experiences which allow them to think critically and enhance their resilience. They will be provided with opportunities to develop their skills in fluency, reasoning and problem solving as stated in the aims of the National Curriculum for Mathematics.
Our aims in the teaching of mathematics are:
- to promote enjoyment of learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion;
- to develop confidence and competence with numbers and the number system;
- understand the four operations and be able to calculate both mentally and by using formal written methods;
- be able to recall an increasing number of facts over time;
- to develop the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts;
- to develop a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and presented; to explore features of shape and space, and developing measuring skills in a range of contexts;
- to help children understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life.
- to 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.
- to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- to 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.
Teachers will plan, deliver and assess the aims and programmes of study for the National Curriculum for Mathematics. Teachers will be provided with a long-term plan for Mathematics teaching and learning for their year group. They will use the White Rose Schemes of Learning as a basis for planning their weekly lessons. Teachers will also refer to and use the DFE/NCETM guidance in order to secure the key concepts needed to progress to the next stage of their learning.
Teachers will plan and deliver five 1 hour lessons each week.
Each lesson will follow this structure:
- Brain Warm Up: an opportunity for pupils to engage quickly in their Maths lesson.
- Revisit and Revise: an opportunity to recall skills and knowledge previously.
- Rehearsal: time for the teacher to model and for the children to practise the skill.
- Independent Work: pupils to work independently using the skills taught to calculate and solve problems.
We aim for pupils to master the key areas and domains in Mathematics, narrowing the gap between the most and least able learners. The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged to deepen their understanding by being offered rich and sophisticated problems and not accelerate through to new content. Pupils will be given extra practice through the use of intervention if and when they need it.
Approach to Learning
Mathematics is a symbolic, abstract language. To decode this language, symbols need to come alive and speak so clearly to children that it becomes as easy to understand as reading a story. We believe that all students, when introduced to a key new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach.
Concrete – pupils should have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.
Pictorial – pupils should then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations. Pupils will also be taught to create their own pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, pupils should be able to understand the links between the concrete, pictorial and abstract forms of Mathematics and then approach abstract concepts, using numbers, vocabulary and key concepts, with confidence.
All classrooms have some concrete resources that can be used in the teaching of mathematics. Some more topic specific resources are located in the central Maths store.
Using the Schemes of Learning provided by White Rose, teachers will plan each concept as a set of small steps, building on prior learning and embedding concepts as they move through the intended learning journey.
During our daily lessons we encourage pupils to count aloud, practice fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills and ask mathematical questions. We develop their ability to independently select and use appropriate concrete apparatus to support their conceptual understanding and build procedural fluency. Pupils will have the opportunity to independently access the appropriate resources to support their work. We develop the children’s ability to represent problems using visualisation skills, including jottings, pictorial representations and models. Wherever possible, we provide meaningful contexts and encourage the children to apply their learning to everyday situations.
Teachers will create useful opportunities in other subjects to rehearse and use Mathematical skills in a particular context.
Assessment for Learning is fundamental to raising standards and enabling children to reach their potential. Assessment in mathematics takes place daily using a range of strategies such as marking and feedback of work and verbal discussions with children.
At St Patrick’s, teachers mark Maths work daily following the school’s marking policy. Pupils are given the opportunity to respond to teachers’ marking by completing gap tasks, attempting a ‘Next Steps’ task or answering a question. Teachers will provide models in pupils’ books to demonstrate and scaffold concepts or calculations that a pupil may have misunderstood.
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 KS1 and KS2 in line with national average, as well an increasingly high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.