The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can 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.
At Hook Junior School, we teach to the National Curriculum expectations, but also aim to inspire children to foster a love for mathematics and recognise the importance of mathematics today and in their future lives. We want children to appreciate that mathematics is a creative and highly inter-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, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.
We want all children to achieve within mathematics and continue to further develop their curiosity and wonder of the subject both within school and beyond. We are committed to ensuring that all children are able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of contexts.
Maths is taught with a focus on mastery teaching, encompassing three main dimensions for depth: conceptual understanding, mathematical thinking and mathematical language, with reasoning and problem solving at the heart of our curriculum.
For these reasons, we teach mathematics daily through real-life contexts and problems where possible. Mathematics is interactive and involves rich hands-on learning. This is achieved through a mastery approach to teaching, where children are encouraged to use a range of resources and representations to develop their conceptual understanding, which will support the development of procedural fluency.
Mathematics teaching within the school is based on the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETEM) with the five big ideas for teaching mastery, outlined below:
Teaching for Mastery
We recognise that mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. When planning and designing lessons, careful consideration is made to the way that the mathematical structures and concepts can be represented to support children’s understanding. Children are encouraged to think mathematically through completing tasks which involve variation to draw out children’s understanding and to support with making connections. Common misconceptions are planned for and modelled to challenge children’s thinking. Children become fluent in their number facts by chanting these and playing games, as well as looking at the connections, sequences and patterns to support their conceptual understanding. This way, learning is embedded and retained overtime.
To support with securing understanding in the long-term memory, mathematics is taught in longer unit blocks, to enable children to explore domains in depth. These domains are broken down into small, progressive steps which enable children to develop their knowledge and skills overtime. Children are then provided with opportunities to revise these facts after they have been taught by making connections across the curriculum, with other aspects of mathematics and through mini quizzes or questions at the start of lessons. Geometry and measure are integrated throughout the curriculum to support children to make connections and apply their mathematics in a range of contexts.
Children are taught together in mixed ability classes to support all children to achieve. The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the school’s programme of study at broadly the same pace. However, teachers use their assessments to decide when it is appropriate for children in their class to progress. Scaffolding and additional support is provided for children who may be struggling to grasp a concept, which may include differentiated work, additional resources or pre-teach and closing the gap interventions. More able children are challenged to think more deeply about the concepts and apply them to unfamiliar contexts. This supports children to develop their mathematical thinking and language alongside each other, with children of all abilities challenged to reason and think deeply.
Please see the medium term plans below which outline the skills, knowledge and understanding within mathematics for each individual year group.
Mathematics Curriculum Impact
During each lesson, formative assessment takes place and feedback is given both throughout the lesson and when reviewing books. Where appropriate, next steps and misconceptions will be addressed through verbal and written feedback, although this will often be built into the next lesson so children have the opportunity to practice and apply the skills. Staff constantly use their assessments to inform planning to enable all children to progress. Year teams will work together weekly to agree the next steps for children by discussing learning and reviewing the outcomes in books.
At the end of each term, a summative teacher assessment is made and data is analysed to also support with planning and intervention. The end of the academic year sees children sit end of year group papers to monitor children’s standardised scores and to support with measuring progress and impact. Year 6 children will sit the end of key stage two statutory assessments and they will have an opportunity to practice these and monitor their progress prior to the test.
The teaching of mathematics is also monitored regularly, at least half termly, through the data, book and planning monitoring, learning walks or observations. This information is used to identify strengths and areas for development. From this, an action plan is drawn to support with any areas for development.
These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of key stage two to well above the national average and a high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth. See the assessment page on the school website for further information on our results.
Progression aims for Maths are explained in these skills progression documents: