At Broad Oak, it is our intention to teach Mathematics in alignment with our core values.
Our curriculum seeks to foster a curiosity in mathematics through exploration, problem solving and pattern seeking. We aim to develop children’s ability to think critically, and promote objective attitudes with a respect for evidence and fact. Furthermore, children are taught to be open-minded to other opinions or points of view, unafraid to question things that they do not understand.
The discipline of Maths, and ‘thinking mathematically’, is characterised by particular behaviours and it is those behaviours that our curriculum seeks to promote. Children are taught how to question and explore, work systematically, visualise, conjecture, explain, generalise, justify and prove their thinking in mathematics.
We aspire to do what is right even when we are faced with fears. We will endeavour to have the courage to make the right choices, to explore ideas, to ask relevant questions about mathematical phenomena and the world around us. We will have the courage to make our own decisions about the most appropriate type of approach we might use, to make predictions, to challenge observations and to suggest further questions based on conclusions.
The body of mathematical knowledge and understanding that exists today owes its origin and existence to the collective efforts of mathematicians from different societies, cultures and times. It is the determination shown by these individuals over thousands of years that has led to the scientific discoveries that form the rubric of modern life and society. Our curriculum gives children opportunities to appreciate and understand that these endeavours and achievements have been realised through significant effort.
We demonstrate an enthusiastic approach to all of our learning in Mathematics, taking pride in our achievements. We will have a positive attitude to all challenges in order to improve our skills and become reflective learners.
Friendship and collaborative working is an intrinsic element of our approach in Mathematics.
Current mathematical knowledge only exists because of the resilience and pioneering attitude held by mathematicians over thousands of years. Throughout history, there has often been a resistance to accept new mathematical thinking or ideas when they challenge current established knowledge or ‘facts’. Without the resilience shown by the proponents of these new ideas, many new discoveries may not have taken place. Continuing to try when faced with adversity or difficulty underpins our approach.
Broad Oak Primary School is determined that every pupil will receive a high quality education in Mathematics providing a foundation for understanding of the world, the ability to reason mathematically and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
In accord with the National Curriculum, our aim is that all pupils:
- are able to reason mathematically using appropriate mathematical language;
- become mathematically fluent through varied and frequent practice; develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall knowledge rapidly and accurately;
- are able to solve problems, using their mathematical knowledge to break them down into simpler steps.
Although the programmes of study are arranged into distinct domains, children are encouraged to make connections between ideas to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills. This ‘mastery’ approach is underpinned by five big ideas:
Teaching is designed to enable a coherent progression through the curriculum, providing access for all pupils to develop a deep and connected understanding of maths that they can apply in a range of contexts.
Representation and Structure
Representations are used to expose mathematical structures so that pupils ‘see’ the mathematics, rather than using the representation as a tool to ‘do’ the mathematics. The representations then become mental images that can be used when thinking about the mathematics.
Mathematical thinking is central to how pupils learn mathematics and includes looking for patterns and relationships, making connections, conjecturing, reasoning, and generalising. Pupils should actively engage in mathematical thinking in all lessons, communicating their ideas using precise mathematical language.
Firstly, accurate recall of number facts is essential for fluency, freeing pupils’ working memories up to think about concepts and problems. Fluency is also about choosing the most appropriate methods and strategies to solve problems, recognising relationships and connections and having the ability to move between different contexts and representations.
Variation is used to draw pupils’ attention to a concept or structure through varying some elements, whilst keeping others the same. Conceptual variation involves varying how a concept is represented to highlight critical features. Procedural variation considers how the learning sequence proceeds.
At Broad Oak, our classes are vertically grouped meaning that within any one class are pupils from 2 year groups.
In KS1, children are organised into single aged ‘Maths teams’ and are taught by a teacher from the KS1 team. Each Maths team teacher plans learning using the relevant age appropriate objectives and resources. This is to enable the year 1 pupils to concentrate on securing the most fundamental concepts, whilst the year 2 curriculum broadens in preparation for KS1 statutory assessment.
In KS2, children are taught by the class teacher in their mixed aged classes.
Mathematics is taught daily and follows the White Rose scheme of work. Units of learning are blocked thematically which allows for depth and breadth within each area of mathematics.
The principles of our mastery approach are as follows:
- Every child can learn and enjoy mathematics.
- Children’s learning behaviours are developed to encourage reasoning and making connections.
- Curriculum design is detailed and coherent, supporting progress over time.
In the classroom:
- Lessons are designed as a series of carefully sequenced steps, so ensuring progression and understanding is built upon.
- Representations, models and examples are chosen deliberately to reveal mathematical concepts and build connections. Children move from concrete models to pictorial representations, before being introduced to an abstract concept. The ‘CPA’ approach is used with all pupils, not just those with SEND.
- Procedural fluency is developed alongside conceptual understanding.
- Precise mathematical language is taught enabling pupils to be able to communicate their reasoning clearly. The use of stem sentences supports the children in the correct use of vocabulary and supports understanding of key concepts and making generalisations.
- Key number facts are learnt to automaticity and mathematical facts are practised regularly. The children regularly access ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’ to practise fluent recall of number facts.
The majority of pupils will progress through the programme of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress are based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness for the next stage in learning. Pupils who understand concepts quickly are challenged with more sophisticated problems before moving on to any new content.
Those pupils whose progress is slower are given the opportunity to consolidate their understanding through additional practice. Pre-teaching and rapid intervention is used for those children who are at risk of falling behind.
Day to day formative assessment is used in conjunction with regular ‘low stakes quizzing’ and end of block assessments to inform short and medium term plans. Further assessment takes place annually using the nfer mathematics materials.
Pupils’ achievements in relation to the National Curriculum objectives are recorded using an online recording system, Educater.
The impact of the curriculum is monitored through data analysis, learning walks, observation of teaching, book scrutiny and pupil and staff voice.