Mathematics Subject Leaders: Jen Middleton & Andrea Jackson
We firmly believe that mathematics is a tool for everyday life. It is a whole network of concepts and relationships which provide a way of viewing and making sense of the world. The 2014 National Curriculum sets out the following aims:
‘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. 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.
It is therefore our aim 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.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. Pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.’
(2014 National Curriuculum Programme of Study for Mathematics in KS1 & KS2, DfE, 2013)
Using a range of flexible and innovative teaching approaches, it is our aim to develop pupils who have:
- A positive attitude towards mathematics
- good number sense leading to fluency in both mental and written calculations
- a love of and fascination with the power of mathematics
- competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills
- an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately.
- initiative and an ability to work both independently and in cooperation with others
- an ability to communicate mathematically
- an ability to use and apply mathematics across the curriculum and in real life
- an understanding of mathematics through a process of enquiry and experiment
We have adopted a ‘Mastery’ approach to teaching and learning and through this, ensure that all parts of the National Curriculum Programmes of Study are taught to a high standard.
Through careful planning and preparation, we aim to ensure that throughout the school children are given opportunities for:
practical activities and mathematical games
- problem solving
- individual, group and whole class discussions and activities
- open and closed tasks
- a range of methods of calculating e.g. mental, pencil and paper, use of algebra
- working with computers as a mathematical tool
We encourage children to make clear and explicit links between different disciplines in mathematics, for example, when teaching multiplication, we use real life scenarios which allow us to revisit other areas of maths such as measure or geometry.
Rather than using a prescribed scheme of work for maths, teachers use their in-depth knowledge of the pupils they teach coupled with high expectations to develop bespoke teaching sequences across the year.
Whilst this process of adaptation allows for personalised learning to take place and encourages a mastery approach, it is vital that we have appropriate coverage of key areas of maths across the year with an 80% weighting towards number based disciplines and a 20% weighting towards other areas of maths.
The number based areas of maths (the 80%) are to be taught each term and are as follows:
- Place Value
- Fractions, Decimals & Percentages
- General properties of number (sequences, algebra, primes, square, factors, multiples etc)
The other areas of maths (the 20%) are to be covered across the year and are as follows:
We predominately use materials from the following sources to enrich our teaching and challenge our pupils:
Each class teacher is responsible for the mathematics in their class, in consultation with and guidance from the mathematics subject leader.
Planning will be monitored by the subject leader in line with a whole school monitoring timetable
In the Early Years Foundation Stage mathematics is a specific area of learning, with two strands of mathematics ‘number’ and ‘shape, space and measure’. To ensure a ‘good level of development’ at the end of the Foundation Stage, children should be achieving the expected level of development in these areas. Therefore, teachers of the Reception & Nursery classes base their teaching on objectives in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile – towards the end of Reception, teachers should aim to draw the elements of a daily mathematics lesson together so that by the time children are settled in Year 1, they are familiar with a 45-60 minute lesson.
From Y1 upwards, pupils will have a daily maths lesson of 45-60 minutes
Olympic Maths is a times tables activity which helps pupils to learn their times tables whilst developing fluency through the use of missing number problems and inverse operation.
- Olympic Maths is done in every class from Y3 upwards – Y2 should introduce it by the Summer term at the latest. (With the increased focus in maths across the school, it is our expectation that in the academic year 2017-18 Olympic Maths will be introduced during the Autumn term of Y2)
- It is a 3 minute times tables challenge and is to be carried out at least three times per week.
- Teachers should keep a running record of pupil scores to show progression through the different levels.
- Levels are organised as follows:
-Y2 Qualifying 1 (School Championships) 1 – (2s and number bonds – 16 Qs)
-Y2 Qualifying 2 (Yorkshire Finals) – (5s and number bonds – 15 Qs)
-Y2 Qualifying 3 (North of England Championships) – (10s and number bonds – 15 Qs)
-Finalist (2s, 5s & 10s – 24 Qs)
-Bronze (2s, 3s, 4s, 5s & 10s – 30 Qs)
-Silver (3s, 4s, 5s, 6s & 11s – 30 Qs)
-Gold (7s, 8s, 9s & 12s – 36 Qs)
-European (All tables – 60 Qs)
-Olympic (All tables – 100 Qs)
-Guinness World Record (Beat your time on Olympic Level)
-Solar System (All tables, Sq numbers, Sq roots, multiples of 10 – 120 Qs)
-Milky Way (Tables up to 13 x 13, Sq numbers, Sq roots, Cube numbers, multiples of 10/100, decimals, primes & triangular numbers – 150 Qs)
-Universal Maths Champion (Beat your time on the Milky Way level)
- Pupils need to score 100% in order to move to the next level
- In order to move onto the ‘greater depth’ levels (Solar System & Milky Way) pupils need to score 100% on the Olympic level in under 2 minutes
In terms of age related expectations, once Olympic maths is embedded, pupils working on the following levels at the end of the academic year would represent ‘Working at Age Related’:
- Y2 – Bronze
- Y3 – Gold
- Y4 – European
- Y5/6 – Olympic & above
BIG Maths challenges are a weekly challenge which develop fluency through regular practice and application of key number skills (+ – x ÷ PV, ordering, FDPs etc)
- Weekly BIG Maths challenges will be carried out from Y1 upwards.
- From Y2 upwards, these should be carried out in Basic Skills time as an independent activity
- Pupils should monitor their progress using the given progress graph
- Teachers should keep a record of pupil progress
- Pupils need to score 100% three times consecutively to move onto the next level
- Regular mistakes should become maths targets
Cross Curricular Maths
Throughout the whole curriculum opportunities exist to extend and promote mathematics. These opportunities should be drawn to the children’s attention to help them understand that mathematics exists across the entire curriculum. For example, in a Science lesson you may have a maths based objective ‘As mathematicians we are getting better at using tables and graphs to present and analyse data’, in a Topic lesson you may discuss how we use our mathematical knowledge of positive and negative numbers when making a timeline including BC and AD and in Computing you should make the mathematics involved in coding, robotics & data handling explicit to the pupils.
In addition to cross curricular links in topic, science, PE and DT, teachers should seek to take advantage of all opportunities within the maths lesson to make the learning ‘real-life’ by working outdoors or with hands-on activities.
Inclusion & Special Educational Needs
We aim to provide for all children so that they achieve as highly as they can in mathematics according to their individual abilities in order to enable their future life opportunities. We will identify which pupils or groups of pupils are under-achieving and take steps to improve their attainment. Gifted children will be identified and suitable learning challenges provided. Pupils identified with SEN have work differentiated and be given targeted interventions as appropriate.
Children with SEN are taught within the daily mathematics lesson and are encouraged to take part at an age appropriate level where possible.
Where applicable, children’s IEP targets will incorporate suitable objectives to support and consolidate key learning; teachers keep these objectives in mind when planning work.
When additional support staff are available to support groups or individual children, they work collaboratively with the class teacher. They are provided with copies of planning to ensure they are aware of the objective of the lesson. Feedback is completed with the class teacher and support staff at the end of each lesson. This may be written or verbal.
Within the daily mathematics lesson, teachers not only provide activities to support children who find mathematics difficult but also activities that provide appropriate challenges for children who are high achievers in mathematics.
The national curriculum states that ‘the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.’
(2014 National Curriuculum Programme of Study for Mathematics in KS1 & KS2, DfE, 2013)
This should always be incorporated into all mathematics lessons and can be done in various ways:
- Stepped Activities which become more difficult and demanding but cater for the less able in the early sections.
- Common Tasks which are open ended activities/investigations where differentiation is by outcome.
- Resourcing which provides a variety of resources depending on abilities e.g. counters, cubes, 100 squares, number lines, mirrors.
- Grouping according to ability so that the groups can be given different tasks when appropriate. Activities are based on the same theme and usually at no more than three levels.
- Support from additional adults may be provided for children to ensure they can access the lesson or to challenge gifted and talented pupils to make further progress.
We incorporate mathematics into a wide range of cross-curricular subjects and seek to take advantage of multi-cultural aspects of mathematics.
In the daily mathematics lesson, we can support children with English as an additional language in a variety of ways, e.g. repeating instructions, speaking clearly, emphasising key words, using picture cues, playing mathematical games, encouraging children to join in counting, chanting, finger games, rhymes etc.
Pupil’s recording of their work
There are occasions when it is both quick and convenient to carry out written calculations, it is also important to record aspects of mathematical investigations.
Children are taught a variety of methods for recording their work and they are encouraged and helped to use the most appropriate and convenient method of recording.
Children are encouraged to use mental strategies & note making before resorting to a written algorithm.
Whilst whiteboards are useful resources for ‘quickfire’ whole-class work, they should not be used extensively to record ‘workings out’ as these are a vital part of the mathematical process and should be shown in maths books.
See Calculations Policy for further details of written algorithms
Exercise Books for Recording
It is school policy that the following pattern is used, although it is recognised that this will not suit every child and therefore is at the class teacher’s discretion.
- EYFS & KS1: plain exercise books moving to 1cm squares when considered appropriate
- Year 3: 1 cm squares
- Year 4: 1 cm squares – gradual move to 7 mm squares when individual children are ready
- Year 5: 7 mm squares
- Year 6: 7 mm squares
All children are encouraged to work tidily and neatly when recording their work. When using squares, one square should be used for each digit.
Work in mathematics can generate a great deal of marking and it is recognised that it is not always desirable to mark every piece of work. The children themselves can mark exercises which involve routine practice with support and guidance from the teacher. Children are encouraged to check & self-mark computational exercises when appropriate. This can foster independence in the children, who can seek help if they are unable to locate and correct their errors.
The quality of marking is crucial. A simple ‘x’ or ‘.’ is of little assistance to a child unless accompanied by an indication of where the error occurred, together with an explanation of what went wrong. Marking should be both diagnostic and summative and school policy believes that it is best done through conversation with the child but acknowledges that constraints of time do not always allow this (for more detail see the School Marking Policy). Wherever possible, the marking should offer the children a ‘next step’ in their learning and children should be given time to act on this. Good examples of using marking to deepen learning include asking pupils to ‘prove it’ or explain why.
Teachers are expected to make regular assessment of each child’s progress and to record these systematically using Target Tracker (KS1 & KS2) or Tapestry (EYFS). The following is the school policy for assessment in mathematics:
These are done through discussion or observation of the child as and when the class teacher feels it is appropriate. This information may be recorded in weekly planning or through annotation of the child’s work.
Half Termly Assessment
Teachers to plan assessment activities within their normal lessons towards the end of each half term. This could take the form of a short, informal written test, a maths investigation (which covers areas taught recently) or be of a more informal nature. The work set, combined with a scrutiny of children’s recorded work over the previous weeks, helps to review how well children have taken in the topics taught, identifies what has been achieved and identifies any remaining misconceptions.
The evaluation of termly plans/pupils’ books shows what has been taught and what has yet to be learned. When using the book scrutiny pro-forma, this serves as a class record of progress. The teacher may wish to make notes on individual children whose progress differs markedly from the rest of the class, and the reasons for it. These notes are particularly useful when a child changes school or preparing end of year reports.
Termly Formal Assessment
At the end of each term the children are formally assessed as part of the School’s Assessment Policy.
The analysis of these formal tests (NFER Assessments) allows the mathematics subject leader and class teachers to identify targets for the year group, class or individual pupil.
Termly assessments are recorded on pupil trackers. These allow the class teacher to identify areas of concern or strength for individual children and therefore assist in the target setting process.
Reporting to parents & parental involvement
A progress report is sent to parents in Spring & Summer Term & parents are given opportunity to discuss their child’s progress both formally (parents’ evening) and informally (as appropriate)
Teachers use the information gathered from their termly assessments to help them comment on individual children’s progress.
- Parents are invited into school twice yearly to look at their children’s work.
- Parents’ workshops are held to ensure parents understand the methods children use for mathematics in school.
- Parents are expected to support their children with their homework
- When significant changes have been/are made to the mathematics curriculum parents are invited to a meeting or sent information
The mathematics subject leader is released as required from the classroom in order to work alongside other teachers. This time is used to monitor and evaluate the quality and standards of mathematics throughout the school and enables the subject leader to support teachers in their own classrooms. The subject leader is to be sent termly data from each class in order to analyse progress made and any significant gaps in learning.
Opportunities for teachers to review the scheme, policy and published materials are given on a regular basis during staff meetings.
All teachers should organise an area within the classroom dedicated to mathematics. This area is to be easily accessible to all children and will allow them to become familiar with all resources.
Staff are able to request new, replacement or additional resources each year.
Governors are invited to visit the school to talk with the subject leaders & teachers and when possible, take part in some daily mathematics lessons. Visiting governors would then report back to the school improvement committee following a visit.
It is our school policy to provide parents and carers with opportunities to work with their children at home. These activities may only be brief, but are valuable in promoting children’s learning in mathematics.
Activities are sent home on a regular basis (see the separate school Homework Policy) and take the form of number games and tasks in Key stage 1 with some formal exercises for older children or activities to support work done in school.