Maths Curriculum Statement
Wychwood Primary School
At Wychwood Primary School we recognise the importance of Mathematics throughout each child’s everyday and future life. The intent of our Mathematics curriculum is to provide children with a foundation for understanding number, reasoning, thinking logically and problem solving with resilience so that they are fully prepared for the future. We follow a Mastery Maths approach with the aim that all children, regardless of their starting point will maximise their academic achievement. As part of this approach, we do not set for Maths. We aim to empower our children with a can-do attitude and believe that all children can be successful at Maths. This approach means that we are not putting a ceiling on children’s learning and that all children have the opportunity to achieve. It allows for an inclusive approach for all, whilst children who rapidly grasp topics will be given opportunities to extend their thinking and explore topics in greater depth.
Following the Mastery approach means we spend a longer amount of time on topics in Maths, developing and extending children’s knowledge of a topic before moving on to new concepts. In the past, moving through content quickly meant that some children started to develop gaps in their knowledge because they had moved on to another area before they had understood the concepts being taught. The Mastery approach encourages a depth of understanding and gives children time to apply their knowledge of a topic in different ways. Our school follows the White Rose Scheme. This is a blocked scheme, which allows for depth and breadth of learning within each strand of mathematics. Please see our overviews for the coverage in each year group. Teachers will take the coverage strands from White Rose and create personalised lessons meaning they may supplement the White Rose Scheme with resources from other places.
At the start of a maths lesson children will have a ‘skip counting session’. The children will practise counting in different ways. In each phase, this will progress in difficulty and challenge. For example, in Foundation Stage one session may include practising counting in 2s, 5s and 10s and in UKS2, one session may include counting in decimals. As part of this session, children will also take part in a flashback where they recap on previous learning. This will often require them to practise fluency or ‘quick sums’.
After this, the children will move on to the main part of the lesson. The learning objective will be introduced and then the children will learn about the objective using a range of strategies. High quality questioning is at the heart of the Mastery approach and this is woven through maths lessons from the beginning to the end. We aim to use a variety of question openers to expose children to a range of language e.g. ‘Why do you think that?’, ‘What is the same?’, ‘What is different?’, ‘Which is more difficult and why?’, ‘How do you know that is the answer?’, ‘Convince me’, ‘Prove it’, ‘Show me’, etc. Children are encouraged to share their responses to these questions using the statements ‘I support that because’ or ‘I challenge that because’. Using this high quality questioning gives children the opportunity to reason mathematically by justifying, reasoning and explaining and to use mathematical language to support their answers.
We use the ‘I do, we do, you do’ mantra where possible in our lessons where the teacher will model a concept before the children have a chance to practise this with a partner before completing an independent task. Throughout the lesson children will have opportunities to rehearse learning following teacher modelling and will often do this using their whiteboards. This enables the children to practise mental calculations and written procedures and gives them plenty of opportunities to perform calculations efficiently, fluently and accurately to allow them to be successful and competent mathematics. This is another key part to the Mastery approach and allows for children to have plenty of opportunities to practise the skill being learnt before moving on to independent work.
Children will practise these skills using the CPA approach, another aspect to the Mastery approach. This stands for concrete, pictorial and abstract. The concrete stage is the ‘active doing stage’ and children will handle concrete resources. This brings concepts to life by allowing children to handle the objects. Examples of this could be adding two numbers together using numicon or using place value counters to multiply two numbers together. The pictorial part is where children will use visual representations to work out an answer. Children will use what they have learnt in the concrete stage to support them in this step and draw a representation to work out an answer. Examples include, using a bar model to work out a fraction needed, using a number line to subtract or drawing pictures to work out an addition sum. The abstract stage is where children will use mathematical symbols to show an answer. Children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 will use this three step approach when being exposed to new learning.
At particular points in the lesson, the teacher will include ‘a twist or challenge’. This is an opportunity for the teacher to see whether the children have understood the concept being taught at a deeper level. This may be presented as a support/challenge statement or through a ‘spot the mistake’ or working on a problem backwards. Including these in the lessons means that children are exposed to learning that is not ‘surface level’ learning. Continually learning methods and the procedures to complete a mathematical problem are important but we want children to think widely and deeply about the maths they are learning. Presenting the maths they have learnt but from a different perspective enables the children to become better mathematical thinkers and have a deeper understanding of maths.
The children will then move on to an independent activity to practise the skills they have been using throughout the lesson. This is the ‘you do’ part of the lesson. Teachers provide children with a choice of three activities, labelled step 1, 2 and 3. Our children are active and reflective thinkers and are able to make informed choices about the step that they pick. If necessary, an adult will support them with a step they are struggling with before having a discussion about moving to another step.
At the end of the lesson, the children will be asked to reflect on their learning. We believe this is important because it means the children are being encouraged to think actively and assess their own learning. They may be asked to pinpoint easier or difficult parts of the lesson or to discuss methods or strategies that helped them. This allows the teacher to move the learning forward for the next lesson.
Staff assess Maths formally three times a year and the data is used to identify any children in need of additional support. Targeted intervention is then provided to those who need it. In KS2, teachers circulate the room whilst children are working on their independent task and daily feedback is given to children. The children mark their own work which supports the teacher’s assessment about the learning. In FSU and KS1, children work in small groups which allows the teachers to give immediate feedback. Every day, teachers identify children who need further support or challenge and these children are given this extra support in the afternoons as part of our ‘Maths Mop Up’ sessions.
We also use Times Tables Rockstars and Numbots programmes. These are online apps which can be played at home. Numbots is played by FSU and KS1 children and is used to practise key fluency facts from the KS1 curriculum such as number bonds or adding and subtracting within 20. Children are asked to play three times a week at home. During the year, when appropriate, Year 2 transition to Times Table Rockstars to embed learning the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. Times Tables Rockstars is used both at home and in school by KS2. In school, children complete their times tables worksheets daily with the aim that children try to beat their score over the course of a week. This is supplemented by children playing at home on the app and regular competitions are held to ensure children remain engaged with this.
At Wychwood we understand the importance of early experiences of maths and so our FSU unit also follows a Mastery approach. Their lessons follow a similar format to the rest of the school but this is adapted to be delivered in an age appropriate way. Children have daily half an hour lessons. In line with the rest of the school, they use whiteboards to rehearse their learning, have the opportunity to reason by answering I support/I challenge questions and complete a mini task with their partner which has been modelled by the teacher. The children have the opportunity outside of the Maths lesson to work with the teacher once a week in a small group where they are challenged or the learning content from the carpet is consolidated. Alongside the direct teaching of Maths, opportunities for children to explore Maths are provided in provision. There are ‘Maths Areas’ both inside and outside where there are a range of mathematical resources for children to explore. There is also a Maths activity which is changed weekly and gives children the chance to embed learning from the previous week. Maths can be seen in numerous other areas of provision such as the construction, water and sand areas and staff will use these areas to develop children’s mathematical language throughout the year.
Children are confident mathematicians and enjoy learning maths. They are able to demonstrate a quick recall of fluency facts and times tables. Learning walks demonstrate that children use acquired vocabulary in lessons and they have the skills to use methods independently and show resilience when tackling problems. Books evidence a high standard of work and both books and planning show that each teaching sequence demonstrates a range of strategies from the CPA approach as well as opportunities for fluency, reasoning and problem solving.