At St.Swithun’s School, the intent of our Maths curriculum is to ensure that children develop an enjoyment and enthusiasm for maths that will stay with them throughout their lives and empower them in future life. We believe that unlocking mathematical fluency is an essential life skill for all learners and is a pre-requisite to being able to reason and solve problems mathematically. Our maths curriculum aims to develop a deep understanding, confidence and competence in maths that produces strong, secure learning. As a school, we recognise that the key to unlocking the potential in our children is through the development of basic mathematical skills and the understanding of mathematical concepts.
Our maths curriculum is progressive; at KS1 it is designed for pupils to learn the fundamental maths skills needed for KS2. At KS2 it is designed to develop competencies to equip pupils for KS3 where they will build on KS2, make connections and solve increasingly sophisticated problems.
We intend to create a vocabulary rich environment where talk for maths is a key learning tool for all pupils. Teaching key vocabulary is a driver for childrens’ understanding and develops their confidence to explain mathematically and to use mathematical vocabulary to reason and explain their workings. They are taught to explain their choice of methods and develop their mathematical reasoning skills. We encourage resilience, adaptability and acceptance that struggle is often a necessary step in learning.
Our Maths curriculum is structured by the White Rose scheme of learning which provides all the necessary steps (however big and small).
The White Rose scheme of learning embraces these National Curriculum aims and provides guidance to help pupils to become visualisers, describers and experimenters. We place great emphasis on the use of concrete resources and pictorial representations at all ages, to enable children to fully understand the concepts and principles, when presented with abstract calculations and questions. As a school, we believe in the importance of following the concrete-pictorial-approach (C.P.A.) as a means to developing a solid understanding of mathematical concepts which can be applied in a variety of contexts through reasoning and problem - solving challenges. This approach encourages students to explore their thinking using a variety of manipulatives and pictorial representations that suit their style of learning. They then move on to the abstract. Manipulatives support children of all speeds of learning. For faster graspers, it gives them the opportunity to explore the steps being taught in different ways and enables them to decide on the method most suited to their efficiency of learning. This also allows them to demonstrate their mathematical reasoning.
Our maths lessons start with a short practice of known facts and a revisit of prior learning that we have already covered. This helps our children to develop their ability to recall rapidly and accurately as well as continued revisiting to ensure no learning is left behind. Constantly revisiting previous learning helps keep our children’s maths skills at their fingertips and enables them to apply their understanding to new learning as it arises.
Every lesson focuses on steps outlined in the White Rose Maths scheme of learning. These steps continuously build upon each other to ensure fully rounded coverage of the National Curriculum as well as demonstrating varied fluency. White Rose uses ‘small steps’ to break down the teaching sequence into small achievable steps. For children who understand a concept quicker, challenges are used to deepen and challenge learners further.
The recording of their maths learning is dependent on the age and stage of their mathematical learning journey. In Saplings and Year 1, this can be seen in the form of a photograph showing their practical learning and, where suited, Year 1 may complete a worksheet either from the White Rose Maths resources or inspired by the varied fluency shown in the steps. From Year 2 upwards, the recording of learning may be seen in their maths folders in the form of worksheets or within their maths journals which provide a place for the children to show their working and understanding, but also allow them to practice the presentation and format of their mathematical writing. Additional activities may be used to consolidate and deepen their conceptual learning. Throughout all recording of their learning, the children continue to have access to a wide variety of manipulatives to aid in their learning and understanding.
We want pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, to be able to reason and to solve problems, therefore problem solving and reasoning feature throughout the children’s learning of each step. The use of reasoning and problem solving enables the children to demonstrate their understanding of the steps being taught in a variety of formats. This then encourages the use of key language to explain and deepen their understanding further.
Daily assessment is incorporated throughout the lessons through live marking and verbal feedback. Where children require additional support, pre-teaching and ‘catch-up’ sessions are used to support children ensuring that they are ready for the next ‘small step’. Termly assessments are used as a diagnostic tool to ensure that teachers are adapting learning to meet the needs of all children and ensure that any necessary interventions are targeted specifically to meet the needs of children.
Times tables play an important part in our maths learning, with children developing their fluency in rapid recall of tables up to 12 x 12 by the end of year 4. This includes weekly times tables assessments in Years 3 and 4 – and use of strategies such as ‘Times Tables Rockstars’ and ‘Hit the Button’ to practise rapid recall of times tables facts.
By the end of Year 6, transitioning to secondary school, we aspire that a St.Swithun’s mathematician will:
- have developed a bank of efficient and accurate skills that can be used to calculate effectively.
- be able to apply calculation skills and understanding of other areas to become confident and resilient problem-solvers with the ability to reason and articulate their ideas mathematically.
- have the language to be able to justify, reason and explain their answers.
- make progress in mathematical skills from their starting points.
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry
- 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.
secure long-term, deep and adaptable understanding of maths which they can apply in different contexts