Maths at Prince Rock
At Prince Rock, we believe that mathematics is integral to all aspects of life and it is with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a confidence in their ability to approach a range of mathematical problems and make sense of our world. We aim not only to prepare our children for the next stage of their education but also to lay the foundations for successful lives after school and for the jobs of tomorrow, which will require great levels of mathematical knowledge and an ability to think in depth mathematically.
In our school, children are encouraged to explore and enjoy maths across the curriculum – bringing meaning and relevance through the interconnection of subjects such as Science, Computing and DT as well as many more. Furthermore, we aim to give all of our pupils, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge, experiences and ‘cultural capital’ necessary to become educated citizens and to succeed in life. We aim to cultivate enthusiastic mathematicians by enhancing their knowledge not only through our curriculum offer but also our and enrichment events.
The aims of our maths teaching at Prince Rock are aligned with the three core aims of the National Curriculum (fluency, reasoning and problem solving): both in the mathematics lesson and across the curriculum. We recognise that pupils need to learn basic number facts and acquire fluency in procedures, alongside developing conceptual understanding if they are to be able to reason and solve increasingly complex problems in life and later in the workplace. As a school, we have chosen the White Rose scheme of learning to help us achieve our intent.
We aim to ensure that all pupils:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics 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.
In direct reference to National Curriculum and Ofsted expectations, we will ensure that:
- Pupils acquire ‘core mathematical knowledge’ which will allow them to start to experience success and therefore begin to associate maths with ‘enjoyment and motivation’.
- Pupils have access to a wide range of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving questions, activities and tasks.
- The curriculum will be adapted to the needs of pupils and any gaps will be identify and closed.
- New content will ‘draw on and make links with’ previously acquired knowledge following a carefully sequenced curriculum that is ‘intelligently designed’.
- Before more complex strategies are taught, pupils should be confident using the linked facts and methods that form the strategy’s ‘building blocks’.
- Pupils will benefit from low stakes testing to ensure that they are well-prepared for assessments which will not only increase knowledge retention, but also improve pupils’ confidence in maths.
At Prince Rock, we’ve tried to combine the best of both ‘mastery’ and ‘spiral’ approaches in our curriculum. Our curriculum, follows many of the mastery principles:
- Spending longer on topics to help gain deeper understanding.
- Making connections (across units of work, across year groups, across subjects, etc.).
- Keeping the class working together on the same topic.
- A fundamental belief that, through effort, all pupils are capable of understanding, doing and improving at mathematics.
However, we also recognise that just spending a good chunk of time on a topic doesn’t mean that all pupils will ‘master’ it the first time they see it, and that they need to see it again and again in different contexts and in different years to help them truly develop their understanding on their journey to mastery, so we’ve built in the revisiting and reinforcing features of spiral curricula too. Throughout the school, we have high expectations of all our pupils. Therefore, we consistently endeavour to make the mathematics curriculum accessible to all pupils: moving them through the content of the programme of study at broadly the same pace. All children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning in order that future learning is built upon firm foundations. As a result, there are aspects of teaching for mastery of mathematics which will be seen in every mathematics lesson at Prince Rock:
- Positive Attitudes - A positive attitude and sense of excitement towards mathematics.
- ‘Watch Me’, ‘Help Me’, ‘Show Me’ – The teacher explicitly models the knowledge and skills needed to solve the question/problem, followed by the children helping within the process (therefore building understanding) and then finally children apply what they have learnt within their independent practice.
- Retrieval of Knowledge – Knowledge from previous lessons, terms and years are retrieved with Flashback 4.
- Questioning - Adults use skilful questioning to reveal, probe and address misconceptions.
- Feedback - Adults support children to make effective progress by providing relevant, timely and constructive feedback.
- C-P-A Approach - Children learn through active enquiry and experiment using concrete materials, represent their mathematical ideas through images and follow a clear progression toward recording abstractly.
- Representations - Children learn to use multiple representations.
- Progression - Tasks are progressive and provide opportunities for all learners to achieve the learning objective. Tasks incorporate a range of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving questions.
- Oracy - Communication, using precise mathematical language, is consistently modelled, expected and supported.
- Calculation Methods - Fluency and flexibility in calculation methods are modelled, expected and supported.
- Challenge for All – All children are challenged appropriate to their level. The children relish a challenge!
- Greater Depth Challenges - Children who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through a range of rich and sophisticated problems, which further will support and strengthen their depth of understanding of the particular concepts being studied as appropriate.
- Scaffolding - Scaffolding is provided for children when required.
- Independence - Independence is encouraged from all children and mistakes are seen as part of the learning process.
- Interventions - Both pre and post teaching opportunities are used where necessary in order to promote all children towards being active and influential participants of the learning. In addition to this, responsive and planned for interventions are in place to help children keep up as well as catch-up.
- Assessment - Purposeful and rigorous ongoing assessment identifies both mathematical concepts and children for additional support. Teachers and TAs live mark so children have automatic feedback and misconceptions can be addressed straight away.
- Curriculum Links - Mathematical skills are practiced and applied across the curriculum.
Knowledge within the Mathematics Curriculum
At Prince Rock, we strive for the children within our school to have a high-quality mathematics education which engineers successful acquisition, consolidation and application of core mathematical knowledge for all pupils. Below is an outline of the types of knowledge within our mathematics curriculum as well as examples from within our school.
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in the EYFS is to provide the children with a solid foundation of the understanding of number. Children build up their fluency in counting small numbers of items, comparing numbers and solving problems. Pupils also focus on the exploration of shape, pattern and measurement. In line with the whole school approach to mastery, the EYFS also focuses on deepening children’s understanding of core mathematical concepts. This is through a wide range of practical contexts as well as informally through play-based activities. Within the EYFS at Prince Rock, both regular daily whole class lessons and more informal mathematics sessions take place as well as providing opportunities for the children to develop mathematical understanding and vocabulary through child initiated play.
Key Stage 1
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools]. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money. By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Lower Key Stage 2
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number. By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.
Upper Key Stage 2
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them. By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.
Children across the school have positive attitudes towards their learning in maths and make good progress; they enjoy maths lessons and become confident, successful learners who achieve regardless of their starting points. Teachers will use a range of formative and summative assessment in maths to assess the children’s understanding and what they need to do next. During the lesson, through live marking, questioning and tasks, teachers will check that the children have understood the concept and can apply it to different question types. The teachers and teaching assistants will assess the pupils’ achievements against the Learning Objective. Throughout the year, teachers will revisit concepts they have already covered using the ‘Flashback’ materials from White Rose, which will support the children’s retrieval skills. The children will practise key skills and concepts through different topics and at the end of each term, the children will complete NFER testing (years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) and practise SATs style assessments in year 6. These test results, along with the work and assessment from the term, will inform teacher assessment against the National Curriculum objectives.