Maths

Mathematics Policy

 

Updated October 2021

 

 

 

What is mathematics?

Mathematics is a creative and highly-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life and critical to science, technology and engineering. Furthermore, it remains a constant necessity for financial literacy and the majority of employment today and in the future.

 

Aims

Tredworth Junior School aims to provide our pupils with a Mathematics curriculum which will allow them to become increasingly more confident individuals through developing their mathematical skills to their full potential.

The presentation of mathematics as a challenging, exciting, creative and relevant subject is at the core of this aim and is crucial in fostering a positive and confident attitude towards the subject.

Tredworth Junior School values the individuality of all children and are committed to giving all of our children every opportunity to achieve the highest standards. We take into account of pupils’ varied life experiences and needs to develop a broad and balanced curriculum that ensure that challenging and realistic expectations are set for all children. In line with the Inclusion Policy, this aims to ensure that we promote the individuality and learning of all our children, irrespective or ethnicity, attainment, age, disability, gender or background.

We aim to be an inclusive school that actively seeks to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude pupils from making progress. This means equality of opportunity must be a reality for pupils at Tredworth Junior School. This reality is achieved through the attention we pay to the different individuals and groups of children within our school to ensure the risk of underachievement is minimised and the opportunities for accelerated progress are enhanced.

Below outlines our Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement for Mathematics based upon our aims.

 

 

Intent

Our initial outlook

When teaching Mathematics at Tredworth Junior School, we intend to provide for all children’s needs using their current skills and knowledge as a starting point and building upon these so that we can broaden and deepen their reasoning and problem solving skills. In order to develop this confidence, we make sure that children are completely secure and confident with the most essential mathematical skills first. Once children are fully secure with these, we then begin to link in other skills that build upon this. It is expected that all lessons have an element of problem solving to allow our children the opportunity to use their mathematical skills in a realistic and meaningful situation.

The expectations is that the majority of pupils will move through the age related objectives at a broadly similar pace. We recognise that this is not the case of each individual pupil so decisions about when to progress are carefully made based upon the scrutiny of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage of learning. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly need to be challenged through being offered rich and wide ranging problems that allow them to become more creative mathematical thinkers before acceleration into new content. Those pupils who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding through additional practice and varied teaching approaches before moving on.

We recognise that it is not just a written solution of the calculation that shows mathematical development but also the importance of spoken language in the pupils’ development in mathematics and the whole curriculum. Developing pupils cognitively and linguistically is at the heart of mathematical teaching and learning. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and use are key factors for increasing their mathematical vocabulary and in presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof. Pupils must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as others. In order to achieve this, teaching must incorporate discussion and explanation in order to build secure foundations and remedy misconceptions.

We believe that our pupils should:

  • Have a sense of size and number and where it fits into the number system
  • Develop rapid recall of number facts including number bonds, multiplication tables, doubles and halves
  • Develop an understanding of number patterns, relationships and links between numbers
  • Calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and in writing drawing on a range of calculation strategies
  • Make sense of contextualised problems in order to choose appropriate calculations to find a solution
  • Explain their methods and reasoning using correct mathematical vocabulary
  • Judge whether answers are reasonable through estimation and check using a variety of strategies
  • Explain and make predictions from varying representations of data
  • Develop spatial awareness and an understanding of the properties of shape in both 2 and 3 dimensions
  • Measure accurately using a range of units and be able to understand the relationship between different units of measures

 

 

Question styles

Our daily independent, paired or group task has a 3-part structure to it, as detailed below.

Do it!

Secure it!

Deepen it!

We intend for our children to show confidence, fluency and ease with being able to answer a variety of question styles that focus on their basic recall of mathematical knowledge.

We then intend for our children to be able to develop their factual recall through the reasoning of any concepts or processes. This is stimulated with the use of misconceptions, convincing, proving and justifications for a mathematical argument. As a starting point, children often encounter a character (who appears across the school) who has difficulties with mathematical thinking. This in turn allows children to see that we can learn from mistakes.

Finally, we intend for our children to be able to take their mathematical thinking further into a range of problem solving tasks, which may include missing number tasks, drawing on links to other areas of the Mathematics curriculum and other subjects. We also intend for our children to be able to produce their own generalised statements that support and show their learning from the lesson.

 

Implementation

Planning and resourcing

All staff have access to the White Rose Scheme of Learning to help map out their yearly overview alongside linking it to our own objective grids, which allows for all National Curriculum objectives to be covered in each year group. Teachers know that they have to be reactive to their children’s needs and may deviate and branch off from this pre-mapped overview in order for children to make the progress that they are capable of. All teachers have access to Year 1 – 6 Progression Grids of all strands of Mathematics so that they know where each objective fits in relation to the whole Primary Curriculum and ultimately, have well-sequenced lessons.

We use a range of mathematical resources including NCTEM, Third Space Learning and NRich, which allows our children the opportunity to see questions presented in a variety of ways and enrich their learning and thinking. Equally, teachers are encouraged to write their own questions which makes the lesson highly personalised and meaningful to their children.

To further develop our teaching of times tables, we also have our own, tailor-made multiplication resource which helps children understand the concept and application of times tables.

 

Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract representations

In addition to the teacher based resources, we have a range of manipulatives to give further meaning to concepts to children of all levels. We believe that it is important that even the more able children have access to these concrete materials as it promotes greater discussion and therefore greater use of language surrounding a particular concept. These resources include: Base10 objects, clocks, counters, dice, measuring scales with varying degrees of increments and Numicon. Once children are confident in their understanding, they are presented with pictorial representations before the abstract representation of pure numbers on a page.

 

Working environments

Across the school, each year group is split into four Maths groups: SEND, Recovery group (set up specifically due to the recent impacts of COVID19 lockdowns) and 2 mixed ability groups. All groups are taught by qualified Teachers or HLTAs and follow the same question structure of Do it! Secure it! Deepen it!  

All SEND children have their specific needs met through differentiated work in conjunction with targets on their individual Learning Plans. TA support is planned for and provided in relation to identified needs for individual groups.

The Recovery group in each year group is aimed at closing the gaps between children of a similar ability within a smaller working environment whereby they have time to secure core objectives. Progress is reviewed regularly so that children who have made significant progress and are felt can return to the main mixed ability group do so. However, if it is felt that their well-being and confidence would be impacted then they continue within the Recovery group for a little while longer. It is imperative that progress made within the smaller working group is not lost on return to the main class group.  

In classrooms, specific vocabulary to the focused area of teaching is displayed and referred to in various ways. This may include modelling of how to use it in a context or seeing the variations of how to ask the same question.

Our Mathematical characters are also displayed and used as prompts to key learning that has taken place during the week.

 

Broad and balanced curriculum

Mathematics is a core subject with a huge range of cross-curricular links (eg: statistical analysis in Science, measure and scales within Geography). Developing confidence and competence in Number, Geometry, Statistics and Measure are at the centre of learning. However, it is the use and application of these computational skills in solving contextual problems that truly shows a pupil is developing as a mathematician and as a thinker. It is with this belief, that we have also adopted a continuous provision approach to Mathematics within the classroom, which allows pupils to be drawing on these wide mathematical connections throughout the day.

 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

It is important that all staff are up to date with current practices and feel confident themselves in the teaching of Mathematics. CPD for staff is offered through feedback from the Maths Lead attending regular network meetings and other staff members sharing useful ideas and strategies. Discussions with teachers allows them the opportunity to share how they are getting on with the new question style and resourcing and for the Maths Lead to offer any suitable advice.

 

 

Impact

Assessment 

As professionals, teachers are continually assessing the progress of children in their class, from formative assessment during the marking process to inform their next lesson, right through to the formal annual end-of-year summative assessments, which provide teachers with a broad understanding of both children’s mathematical content knowledge and their understanding and application of mathematical processes through reasoning and problem solving. It highlights those children who are not making as much progress as expected but equally highlights those who have made greater than expected progress. Therefore, these children can be offered a suitable intervention to match their needs. Whatever the assessment type, it serves the purpose of making sure that we give all children the best provisions we can.

 

End of year results

By the end of the year we expect most children to meet their Age-Related Expectations (ARE) in terms of progress and these results are shared so that any particular intervention that is required for a child at the start of the following academic year is considered, be it to support SEND children, those who have not made the expected progress or for those who displayed Gifted and Talented qualities.

 

Pupils’ day to day working

When talking with children in class, teachers should see that pupils are drawing upon previous knowledge and applying it to the current teaching sequence – they should be becoming more confident, articulate and accurate with the vocabulary they use in their mathematical reasoning. As time goes by, we envisage that children will become more confident and excited in accessing problem solving questions and having the stamina to find the solution. Furthermore, we would like to see children become more resilient and accept that making an initial error may actually aid them in their learning.

 

Staff and pupil feedback

Questionnaires and interviews with both staff and children will allow them the opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions about the subject and provide us with an insight of how we can further improve the subject as an exciting, meaningful and explorative subject where there is more than one route to a solution.  

 

Tredworth Junior School Maths Policy