‘A high quality mathematics education 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.’
(National Curriculum 2014)
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.
- Understand the interconnectedness of mathematics across subjects as well as understand its importance in everyday life, within communities and our world.
Our aim at Overleigh is to ensure that children should experience the awe and wonder of mathematics as they learn to solve problems; develop ways of looking at patterns; discover efficient strategies and make links between the different areas of maths. We believe all children can achieve in mathematics, and teach for secure and deep understanding of concepts through fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Where possible, we try to make our maths ‘real maths’, making our learning and experiences relevant to everyday life. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning and provide challenges through rich and varied problems. We encourage children to use approaches, which work for them, by equipping them with a range of efficient strategies and ensuring an understanding of them. We intend to make maths practical, relevant and engaging, so that our children are excited by maths and understand how mathematics is a vital life skill and is necessary and useful throughout their life.
We use the Power Maths resources, which have been judged as fully delivering a mastery approach and are on the Department for Education’s list of recommended textbooks. The curriculum overview outlines what each year group is learning and when. The Power Maths scheme is written so that careful sequencing of content, instruction and rehearsal shows pupils new and consistent patterns of useful information. These then form the basis of further concepts, rules and principles that pupils store in their long-term memory.
In the Foundation Stage, children are encouraged from an early age to investigate and play with numbers, shapes and measures. A hands-on, explorative approach is at the heart of learning in EYFS - an approach we seek to foster throughout the primary school journey. During the early years of Power Maths, there is a deliberate focus on foundational knowledge, particularly proficiency in number as this gives pupils the ability to progress through the curriculum at increasing rates later on. Therefore, the curriculum is designed to focus on depth over breadth, covering fewer topics but in more detail.
To ensure consistency and progression, Overleigh uses the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme. This is fully aligned with the White Rose Maths scheme and the school’s ongoing engagement with the DFE funded Maths Hubs programme. At the heart of Power Maths is a clearly structured teaching and learning process that helps make certain that every child masters each maths concept securely and deeply. It sees all children learning the same concept in small, cumulative steps, each finding and mastering challenge at their own level. Rapid interventions or extending the use of manipulatives can help support learners who need support during a lesson. Those who grasp a concept easily have time to explore and understand that concept at a deeper level. Power Maths’ mastery approach values real understanding and richer, deeper learning above speed. The whole class therefore moves through the curriculum at broadly the same pace.
A series of stimulating lessons are planned, with clear learning objectives, to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving and the use of subject-specific vocabulary.
Children are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts using concrete resources, pictorial (models and images) to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
Concrete - Examples include structural apparatus such as cubes, counters, 3D shapes or weighing scales as well as contextual objects such as teddies or coins for counting or sorting.
Pictorial - Examples include children’s own mark making and simple drawings, sketches, number lines and diagrams.
Abstract - Examples include young children’s emergent graphics, early number formation, number sentences and written expanded methods.
Fluency is a fundamental aspect of mathematics, ensuring that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately. Children become confident in the two types of fluency:
Conceptual fluency, e.g. exploring the five strands of place value, (counting, recognition of cardinal numbers, knowing what each digit in a number represents, understanding our base-10 structure and exchanging), what an equivalent fraction is and identifying key features of different representations of data.
Procedural fluency, e.g. +- x ÷ calculation methods linked to whole numbers, fractions and decimals and exploring step-by-step mental and written methods.
Children are given regular opportunities to recall known facts, develop number sense, know why they are doing what they are doing and know when it is appropriate and efficient to choose different methods and will apply skills to multiple contexts e.g. multiplying and dividing by 10 to convert units of measurements.
Reasoning and problem solving is planned and interwoven into the mathematics curriculum. Reasoning questions are explicitly taught and modelled through the use of discussion, maths partner talk, manipulatives, written words using ‘stem sentences. When children learn to talk purposefully together about maths, barriers of fear and anxiety are broken down and they grow in confidence, skills and understanding. Building a healthy culture of ‘maths talk’ empowers their learning.
Through a rich and engaging environment in EYFS, centred around play, we aim to enhance children’s natural interest in Mathematics and their disposition to explore and use it to make sense of their physical and social worlds. Maths is taught within the Mathematics area of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. We follow a Maths Mastery Approach with an emphasis on exploring keys skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep understanding and use mathematical language. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied during independent exploration. These collaborative and practical mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help pupils remember the content they have been taught and to support them with integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into larger concepts. Teaching Mathematics in such a kinesthetic and practical way, supports our children to become logical problem solvers that can demonstrate resilience and reasoning when learning.
Please see the 'Power Maths' section to see the Power Maths Lesson Sequence or follow this link: Overleigh St. Mary's CofE Primary School: Power Maths (overleighstmarysce.cheshire.sch.uk)
Through our teaching and learning of mathematics, all children have a positive view of the subject; are able to enthusiastically discuss and explain their mathematical learning using key vocabulary; become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics; and can solve problems by applying their mathematics to increasingly complex problems.
At the end of KS1 and KS2 students will:
- Be in line with national (expected and greater depth) with progress and attainment to be at least good across KS1 and KS2.
- Develop a love of maths.
- Be able to have discussions and “think mathematically” – have a deep understanding of maths concepts, structures and procedures.
- Have learned maths as something that is fundamentally useful and can link it to real life situations (keeping track of time, financial matters, graphs depicting geographical/historical/scientific information [e.g. climate change], patterns in art, etc.).