Our Vision for Mathematics
What is Mathematics?
Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It 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. (National Curriculum 2014)
At St Clare’s we see Maths as a multi-discipline, cross curricular, interconnected subject. As much revolves around the discussion about Maths, as it does the completion of calculations. We want the children to see Mathematics as being imperative, exciting and relevant to their world and applicable to everyday life. Mathematics is something that they will need, as they move on through their school life and ultimately to the world of employment. To that end, a high-quality, inter-related and creative Maths experience should be one that develops the children’s ability to think mathematically and one which allows them to apply the tools to which they have been exposed in a variety of ways.
At St. Clare’s the emphasis linked to the new National Curriculum in 2014 is to ensure that all children:
- become fluent in mathematics
- reason and explain mathematically
- can solve problems in mathematics and in other cross-curricular subjects: applying mathematics.
This means that children need to be regularly exposed to opportunities involving increasingly complex problem solving which allows them to apply their Maths knowledge. In doing so they should be encouraged to develop an argument and line of enquiry which they can prove and justify using mathematical vocabulary. This includes the ability to break down problems, both routine and non-routine, into a series of steps.
At St. Clare’s we aim to
- provide a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum through planning, delivering and evaluating the New Mathematics Curriculum 2014.
- provide a Numeracy Curriculum to which every pupil in the school has equal access regardless of ability, gender, SEND or culture.
- differentiate the curriculum, whenever necessary, in terms of learning objectives, learning outcomes, access to resources and teaching methods thus enabling all children to reach their full potential with a low-entry high-ceiling approach.
- encourage the ability to work individually and collaboratively.
- develop knowledge, skills and understanding of numbers and the number system, calculations, solving problems, measures, shape, space, and data handling.
- allow children to retain and recall mental maths facts with confidence.
- encourage and enable children to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding to practical tasks and real-life problem solving.
- enable opportunities to communicate confidently using key mathematical vocabulary.
- set challenging, yet achievable targets for all children on a termly basis.
- use ICT to enhance the numeracy curriculum wherever possible.
- ensure the delivery of Maths is filled with cross curricular opportunities.
- create working walls to stimulate, challenge and share learning in mathematics.
- encourage children to persevere and take risks in their problem solving approach to learning in Mathematics.
- make mathematics fun!
We want children to…
- develop an understanding of number and number notation including number operations, estimation and selecting appropriate methods of calculation in problem solving activities.
- develop understanding of patterns, sequences and algebraic relationships and use them to solve problems.
- develop measuring skills including estimating and apply them.
- recognise and use properties of 2D and 3D, identify them in real-life situations and use them to solve problems.
- collect, record and process data, and to represent and interpret data, making links to the real world.
- develop understanding and application of probability.
Maths lessons are delivered in a variety of contexts, guided by the White Rose scheme of work, which incorporates challenge for all learners. In the long term, blocks of teaching are planned to activate prior learning with specific content revisited throughout the year as appropriate. Nursery and Reception have a weekly focus which runs alongside White Rose Maths and can be seen below.
In Reception and Year 1 we use Number Sense Maths. This is a scheme of work focused entirely on number fact teaching, providing the structure and depth to number fact teaching that children need to achieve fluency. This is taught as a distinct lesson for 15 minutes per day.
We follow the five key areas of Mastery; Mathematical Thinking, Fluency, Variation, Representation and Coherence. In weekly planning, we include opportunities for pupils to use talk in maths lessons, using key vocabulary and stem sentences. Children are provided with varying manipulatives to enable them to grasp and understand maths concepts and apply them to problem solving and reasoning tasks. Using a variety of manipulatives enables variation, as well as teaching and using a variety of methods.
We are working closely with the Archimedes Maths hub to develop best practice and ensure our teaching is in keeping with the latest developments in the subject.
At St. Clare’s we have introduced ‘Mental Maths Goals’ which focuses on children knowing key facts fluently. This includes times tables, doubles and halves, number bonds for example. Children focus on these at school on a weekly basis and are expected to work with adults at home to learn them too. A goal system in school provides an incentive for children to learn these which leads to rewards during school assemblies. There are 5 booklets for children to work through whilst at St. Clare’s…
Children in school also have online access to Maths Whizz(at home and school) which allows children to learn and reinforce mathematics concepts at their own pace. We use this as an intervention for children who need extra support also.
Children from Years 1 to 6 have access to Times Tables Rockstars enabling them to learn and test times tables recall at their own pace. We expect all children to be able to recite and recall all multiplication facts to 12 x 12, within 6 seconds, by the end of Year 4. Children take part in a National Multiplication Check in June of Year 4.
Children take SATs tests in Mathematics Years 2 and Year 6. Within school, pupil data is recorded termly onto assessment grids, with the pupils being graded using a -, =, +, M scale. For example, a Y2 pupil with average attainment would receive a 2- in Autumn, 2= in Spring and a 2+ in Summer, showing that they have reached age-related expectations. The M grade is reserved for pupils demonstrating Mastery of the subject.