Purpose of Study:
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.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
The expectation is 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.
At Grange Junior School, Maths is taught following a clear progression across the key stage adhering to the National Curriculum and Hampshire Model. Maths links are made to other curriculum areas where possible to ensure that children see that maths is an integral part of the world around them. We aim to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in the key domains of fractions decimals and percentages, measures, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We aim for children to master understanding in these areas through the use of concrete, pictoral and abstract methods and in turn this supports their ability to reason in a mathematical way. Problem solving is used to develop deep understanding of mathematical concepts and improves fluency, reasoning and reading skills, through a coherent learning journey. There is an emphasis on using visual images when problem solving to help express and explain strategies and understanding. Our Maths curriculum is designed to re-visit domains regularly and this alongside routine teaching of the key facts, represented in different ways and contexts, improves children’s fluency.
Long and short term planning is taken from the National Curriculum and supported by the Hampshire Assessment Model which is designed to revisit different mathematics domains repeatedly throughout the year, thus flexing the working memory part of the mathematics brain. Teachers naturally adapt their daily mathematics lessons to fit the needs of their pupils. The curriculum is supplemented by a range of resources including Testbase, White Rose Mathematics, The NCETM mastery document, Mathletics and Times Tables Rockstars.
Pupils will use concrete, pictorial and abstract methods to reason and develop skills in a mathematical way underpinned by a coherent calculation policy. There is regular direct teaching and monitoring of the acquisition of key facts such as times tables and division facts, number bond complements and the relationship of measures (eg that 10mm = 1cm). The development of problem solving and reasoning with visual images, bar models and a varied approach to problem solving (when one problem is taken and varied a number of ways, usually keeping the structure the same) has had a big impact on pupil’s understanding of mathematical concepts and has allowed them to reason in a number of different ways. The planned learning journey allows for a number of mastery non-routine problems on the same area to be explored following such problem solving and reasoning, and this allows for learning to be deepened. A focus on reading and understanding mathematical vocabulary is vital in this process of learning.
Hampshire Assessment Model is used to track pupil progress and groups enabling closer scrutiny of the tracking of attainment and progress.
Transition matrices are used to ensure that children are making good progress. Venn diagrams are used to identify children ‘not on track’ in order to identify those requiring intervention to secure Age Related Expectations in all subjects. This has given staff greater ownership of their data and assists them in planning effectively.
Pupil progress meetings linked to milestones, allow teachers to identify those children who are at risk of not meeting ARE and identify appropriate interventions to support their learning, enabling children to make good progress.
Assessment cards linked to milestone objectives for each year group are used to record ongoing assessments of groups and individuals to inform next steps.
Quality first teaching and targeted group work is used to address needs as well as a range of interventions which are regularly monitored.
This approach is underpinned with professional development, regular staff meetings and a close relationship with Hampshire LEA for targeted support linked to school improvement.