All children – regardless of gender, starting point or background – will have the opportunity to engage with a high-quality mathematics education and foster a curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. They will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and vocabulary which supports essential skills to everyday life as mathematics is critical to science, technology, engineering, financial literacy and most forms of employment. We intend to inspire a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
At Westminster Community Primary School, our intent for mathematics is to teach a rich, balanced and progressive curriculum using maths to reason, problem solve and develop fluent conceptual understanding in each area. Our curriculum allows children to better make sense of the world around them by making connections between mathematics and everyday life. Our policies, resources and schemes support our vision and clearly outline where maths can be incorporated across different curriculum areas. The structure of the mathematics curriculum across school shows clear progression in line with age related expectations. Teaching curriculum content in blocks allows children to explore skills and knowledge in depth and gain a secure understanding of particular subject matter. Key knowledge and skills are also revisited regularly allowing repetition to embed learning. A concrete, pictorial, abstract approach provides children with a clear structure in which they can develop their depth of understanding of mathematical concepts. We aim to ensure that mathematics is a high profile subject which children view positively and with a ‘Can do’ attitude.
Our curriculum is frequently reviewed to ensure that is it current and effective. Curriculum maps are based on the Power Maths scheme of work which sets out clear yearly overviews which set the curriculum out in blocks enabling children to get to grips with different areas of maths through extended periods of time. Alongside Power Maths materials, we use other resources to ensure that our offer is rich and varied. These include I See Reasoning, NCETM, White Rose – these are used across KS1 and KS2 allowing children to be exposed to a variety of different types of learning and to ensure coverage of fluency, problem solving and reasoning in different formats. Discussion is essential to learning and children are encouraged to discuss their thoughts, ideas and methods with a partner, group or the teacher. Children work both collaboratively and independently when solving problems which require them to persevere and develop resilience. Teachers also implement the schools agreed calculation policies for progression in written and mental calculations. Pre and post unit assessments are used where appropriate along with termly assessments which help teachers to gather an understanding of their pupil’s existing and developing knowledge and skills. Timetabled interventions for maths are in place for children with SEND; all other children receive regular group support as part of their maths lessons with further support for individuals or small groups where a need is identified.
Resources and equipment are now audited so that children have materials of high quality and accuracy to support their learning. Our resources allow us to better use models and images to support learning in each area and enable the progression from concrete to pictorial to abstract. Children are familiar with these resources and can access them independently where needed.
Correct mathematical vocabulary is used by all teachers and this is discussed with and explained to children who are then encouraged to use it independently when talking about maths. Vocabulary is displayed clearly on working walls and is referred to in every lesson.
Fluency is developed through repeating, reinforcing and revising key skills; regular arithmetic takes place in all classes. Children are given time to practice and perfect their calculation strategies including giving pupils the opportunity to make appropriate decisions when estimating, calculating and evaluating the effectiveness of their chosen methods.
Feedback is given in a variety of ways to ensure pupils are well informed and making visible progress.
The impact of our mathematics curriculum is that children understand the relevance and importance of what they are learning in relation to real world concepts. Children know that maths is a vital life skill that they will rely on in many areas of their daily life. Children have a positive view of maths due to learning in an environment where maths is promoted as being an exciting and enjoyable subject in which they can investigate and ask questions; they know that it is reasonable to make mistakes because this can strengthen their learning through the journey to finding an answer. Children are confident to ‘have a go’ and choose the equipment they need to help them to learn along with the strategies they think are best suited to each problem. Our children have a good understanding of their strengths and targets for development in maths and what they need to do to improve. Our maths books evidence the children’s work. The components of the teaching sequences demonstrate good coverage of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Our feedback and interventions support children to strive to be the best mathematicians they can be, ensuring a high proportion of children are on track or above. Our school standards are high, we moderate our books both internally and externally and children are making progress.
Maths In Our School
What is Power Maths?
Power Maths is a resource that has been designed for UK schools based on research and extensive experience of teaching and learning around the world and here in the UK. It has been designed to support and challenge all pupils, and is built on the belief that EVERYONE can learn maths successfully.
How does this support our approach to teaching?
The philosophy behind Power Maths is that being successful in maths is not just about rote-learning procedures and methods, but is instead about problem solving, thinking and discussing. Many people feel they were taught maths in a way that was about memorising formulas and calculation methods, then having to apply them without any real understanding of what or how these methods actually work. Power Maths includes practice questions to help children develop fluent recall and develop their conceptual understanding. Power Maths uses growth mindset characters to prompt, encourage and question children. They spark curiosity, engage reasoning, secure understanding and deepen learning for all.
How will the lessons work?
Each lesson has a progression, with a central flow that draws the main learning into focus. There are different elements, informed by research into best practice in maths teaching, that bring the lessons to life:
- Discover– each lesson begins with a problem to solve, often a real-life example, sometimes a puzzle or a game. These are engaging and fun, and designed to get all children thinking.
- Share– the class shares their ideas and compares different ways to solve the problem, explaining their reasoning with hands-on resources and drawings to make their ideas clear. Children are able to develop their understanding of the concept with input from the teacher.
- Think together– the next part of the lesson is a journey through the concept, digging deeper and deeper so that each child builds on secure foundations while being challenged to apply their understanding in different ways and with increasing independence.
- Practice– now children practice individually or in small groups, rehearsing and developing their skills to build fluency, understanding of the concept and confidence.
- Reflect – finally, children are prompted to reflect on and record their learning from each session and show how they have grasped the concept explored in the lesson.
What if a child needs a confidence boost, or wants to be challenged further?
Power Maths is based on a ‘small-steps’ approach, sometimes called a mastery approach. This means that the concepts are broken down so that your child can master one idea without feeling over-whelmed. There are a range of fluency, reasoning and problem solving questions in each lesson that are designed to support the different needs and confidence levels within a class, while at the same time fostering a spirit of working and learning together. Each lesson includes a challenge question for those children who can delve deeper into a concept.