There should be no such thing as boring mathematics.
Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
Mathematics teaches children how to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to calculate, reason and solve problems. We aim to support children to achieve economic well-being and equip them with a range of computational skills and the ability to solve problems in a variety of contexts.
At Padstow, children are encouraged to make mistakes in a safe and supportive environment. They are supported to discuss misconceptions with their peers and staff. We place oracy at the heart of our learning through shared work and class discussions. Use of appropriate vocabulary is modelled throughout lessons by both staff and children, allowing everyone to ‘talk like a mathematician’. Once a child can articulate their understanding of a concept, they can begin to make connections within their learning.
A typical Maths lesson will provide the opportunity for all children, regardless of their ability, to work through Fluency, Reasoning and Problem-Solving activities. Objects, pictures, words, numbers and symbols are everywhere. The mastery approach incorporates all of these to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experiences and deepen understanding. Together, these elements help cement knowledge so pupils really understand what they’ve learnt.
In our lessons:
1. Children start each lesson with retrieval practice to support the development of long-term memory.
2. Teachers clearly model using direct instruction.
3. Children have the opportunity to practise processes and skills.
4. Teachers & teaching assistants 'live mark' to provide instant feedback and to move learners on where necessary.
5. Work is pitched to enable individuals to be stretched and challenged.
6. Once knowledge and processes are acquired, children move onto reasoning questions.
7. Children receive feedback to act upon.
To build a curriculum for all pupils to enable them to:
Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. including the varied and regular practice of increasingly complex problems over time.
Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
Problem solve by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions – including unfamiliar contexts and real-life scenarios.
At Padstow 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.
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 carefully planned curriculum design and supported by well planned lessons and resources to embed 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.
The mathematics curriculum in Early Years delivers a balance between child initiated and teacher directed activities. Children access mathematics provision within both the indoor and outdoor areas. This enables children to develop interests around mathematics during child-initiated play.
Teachers provide a daily maths session, of at least 60 minutes, that seeks to reinforce previous learning and allow children to take on new skills and apply these in a range of contexts. We use the White Rose Scheme as the basis of our planning. Where children are taught in mixed age classes, careful consideration of planning ensures that the pitch and pace of each lesson is appropriate to individual year groups and the specific needs of each cohort. Problem solving and reasoning are also a daily feature in our lessons.
It is important that children can not only recall facts but can also apply them. We use multiple representations to embed conceptual understanding.
Concrete, pictorial, abstract
All pupils, when introduced to a key new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking this approach. Pupils are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.