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Maths at St. Stephen's

Mathematics at St Stephen’s C of E Juniors

 

Rationale

The aims of mathematics teaching at St Stephen’s CofE Juniors:

  • To develop a positive attitude to mathematics;
  • To develop a strong understanding of number and calculation;
  • To develop children’s reasoning, logical thinking and problem solving skills;
  • To ensure that all children will be given the opportunities to develop their mathematics skills regardless of gender, race, ability, culture or ethnicity;
  • To provide rich mathematical experiences, where children can apply their knowledge of mathematics to everyday life;
  • To explore and enjoy the patterns in mathematics and to solve a wide range of puzzles and problems.

 

 Organisation of the Curriculum

The new National Curriculum forms the basis for our long term planning: setting out the expectations in each year group. The medium term planning organises the topics systematically term by term. Short term unit plans are prepared for daily teaching.

Children are taught in mixed ability classes. 

The curriculum is taught through the units as follows with all year groups teaching the same units at similar times – except targeted teaching groups.

Number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, measurement, geometry, statistics.

Teaching

Teaching of mathematics at St Stephen’s has links with Shanghai/Singapore maths. We have embedded the CPA (concrete, pictoral, abstract) approach to lessons. All concepts are introduced with concrete resources for children to feel and manipulate. As their conceptual understanding develops, they move towards the pictoral and abstract stages. These are recorded in their books as ‘the real story’ and ‘the maths story’. Children are not pushed to move through these stages until they have shown understanding gained by the teacher through skilful assessment.

The teachers role in lessons is to:

  • demonstrate a clear model – this is to remain on display throughout the lesson for children to access and refer to and illustrates the success criteria.
  • create success criteria with the children
  • allow time for discussion and pair work
  • continually assess children’s understanding using multiple hinge questions
  • provide support or scaffolding when needed
  • present challenge and to develop understanding through expert questioning.

Visualisation is a core mathematical skill. Teachers provide many opportunities for children to explain their understanding by writing or drawing what they understand. Teachers use this to uncover misconceptions, assess and then challenge children.

In addition to this, teachers use ‘immediate application’ to embed concepts. Each lesson is delivered through a variety of vehicles/variation of materials/images and ensure children are applying instantly. E.g. 10 x10 = 100, 10 x 10 cats = 100 cats etc.

Developing a keen number sense is a vital part of our maths curriculum. Children are always asked to explain how they know an answer, if they can show it a different way/an easier way to build upon their conceptual understanding.

Calculation Policy

The calculation policy sets out a clear progression throughout the school for the four operations. It shows the expectations for the end of each school year. Below is a photo of each of the stages, showing both the real story and maths story.

Addition

Subtraction

Multiplication

Division

Mental skills

Mental skills are taught daily. This includes the modelling of mental strategies and time to practise key mental skills. To further develop mental skills, children complete a mental mathematics tests fortnightly.

 Times table practise happens daily. Children are tested on their timetables each week with the results being sent home so carers can support their practise.

 

Marking

Marking reflects the frequent assessment opportunities created in the lesson to monitor children’s progress. It also shows the end of lesson assessment completed by the child and teacher on their understanding through ’POGed’ and highlighted LFs.

 

When children need further support with a concept, the teacher will support them 1-1 or in a small group and this evidence will be recorded in books underneath that work. However, if the concept is to be revisited the next day this won’t happen; nonetheless, evidence of the child’s gains in understanding will be recorded. Marking by the teacher diagnoses errors, and sets further questions to address a misconception if appropriate.

 

Displays

Laminated squared display paper is used to model mathematical recording on display walls. Displays are broken down into sections:

  • Key vocabulary – specific to each unit, shared and explored with the children early on and then referred to throughout the unit;
  • Challenge – a clear illustration, question(s) or statement to show children the purpose of the unit – ‘we will be able to’;
  • Prior learning (‘we already know’) – clear visual demonstration of what children can already achieve;
  • Today’s learning – the daily model. This moves across the wall each day; likewise, so does the prior learning.

These display are pivotal in recording the learning journey throughout each unit, they are created with the children during the lessons so are relevant and purposeful. In addition to this, model and success criteria may be display on squared flipchart paper for reference.

Learning environment

Assessment

Teachers assess children’s understanding at the start of each unit to inform their planning and at the end of each unit to aid their understanding of the children’s attainment. This assessment provides opportunities for children to demonstrate their understanding at different levels: calculating, applying and understanding.

Teachers also assess children’s understanding in a test scenario using the Rising Stars assessments three times per year. This is analysed by the subject leader so weaknesses can be addressed. This will also provide a grade for internal tracking of children’s progress.

 

Resources

Children are all trained on the use of Numicon, Dienes and Place Value Counters to support their learning. These resources are always at hand in the classroom and the children should be trained to have the initiative to use them when they feel they need to.

 

Parental Involvement

Parental Involvement 1

We encourage parents to be involved in their child’s learning by:

  • Inviting parents to mathematics workshops about calculation methods and the use of Numicon  
  • Inviting parents with their child, to workshops where parents can work alongside their child
  • Working with parents in Y2 and Y6 to support children with the end of key stage assessments
  • Publishing information about the maths curriculum for each year group on our school website
  • Supporting their child at home with times tables

 

Conclusion

It is the aim of the school, to raise levels of achievement in mathematics by promoting a positive attitude and providing rich mathematical experiences. Children should view themselves as mathematicians that are able to apply knowledge, skills and understanding to everyday life, but to also enjoy and appreciate the abstract nature of mathematics.