Maths is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality maths education therefore 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 aims to ensure all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, can reason mathematically and can solve problems.
At Scotton Lingerfield Primary School, we understand that it is vital to be numerate to participate fully in society and we recognise that every child deserves to have a rich and meaningful mathematics education. It is essential that all children develop habits of thinking mathematically from a young age and become independent mathematicians, who are well equipped to apply their learning to the wider world. To ensure this, we are adopting a carefully structured mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics, which aligns with and enhances the EYFS framework and the national curriculum aims. Mastery focuses on the belief that all pupils can understand and be good at mathematics, given enough time. The four key areas (representation, mathematical thinking, variation and fluency) enable children to develop a deep understanding of mathematics, that is sustained and applicable to the wider world.
The NCETM spines are used as a basis for teaching maths in school. The key to good teaching is a deep understanding of subject knowledge. We have chosen to use the NCETM materials because they break down the concepts to be learnt into coherent and connected steps, which helps children to develop their understanding. Within each lesson, there is the opportunity for guided and independent learning. There are three core areas covered by the NCETM Spines - number addition and subtraction, multiplication and division and fractions. The other areas of maths - measure, geometry and statistics - are integrated within these three areas as a way of extending and exemplifying the core concepts.
Our mastery approach to maths ensures that no child is left behind. Concepts are carefully constructed, coherent and children’s learning is scaffolded to ensure that they can access age related content. All children are encouraged to use concrete representations to help them see the maths. Pictorial and abstract models are used consistently to develop children’s understanding. The aim is to ensure that all children master concepts before moving onto the next part of the teaching sequence. Mathematical reasoning is modelled by teachers and pupils are expected to explain their thinking using the correct vocabulary, thereby demonstrating their understanding.
Where children have not understood the content of a lesson, misconceptions are identified with a same day/next morning intervention being given. If most of the class are not understanding the content, then further teaching will be required the following day. Teachers are flexible with their planning to account for this.
In addition to the daily maths lessons, pupils in Reception - Year 2 participate in daily 15 minute NCETM Mastering number sessions to develop their fluency and number sense. Pupils in Year 3 - Year 6 have a 15-minute morning maths session which focusses on deliberate practice and overlearning to enable the children to develop their fluency. The questions show progression and change as the topic changes to ensure methods are embedded in the long-term memory.
Instant recall of number facts and times tables facts is crucial for children to gain automaticity so counting is a crucial activity at the beginning of each maths lesson.
Delivery of maths using the NCETM spines enhances teacher subject knowledge alongside developing children’s understanding leading to high quality teaching.
The delivery method through small, connected steps that gradually unfold the concept allows all children, with the appropriate scaffolding, to master maths, meaning they acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.
Children see themselves as able mathematicians and outcomes for pupils are in line with, or better than national expectations.
Assessment and monitoring
Short pre and post unit quizzes are used to identify gaps in learning at the point of teaching. Termly summative assessments are used to identify the children’s retained knowledge and ability to apply that in a range of contexts.
The subject leader monitors the subject through: