Mathematical skills and knowledge should be delivered, explored and revisited through conscious decision-making and awareness of learning and progress needs and abilities. Children should develop resilience and self-confidence in applying their learning skills. The collaboration between peers, and the relationship between learners and their class teacher should drive the learning and inform the content, strategies and real-world contextualisation to maximise the progress and learning opportunities.
A ‘mastery’ approach has been implemented at St William of York for the planning, delivery and engagement with mathematics, using Power Maths as a basis of such (Years 1-6). Power Maths offers exemplification materials for fluency, reasoning and problem solving – these being the three key aims of the National Curriculum that should be addressed within each sequence of learning. Power Maths is recommended by the DfE, having met the NCETM’s criteria for high quality text books and for being judged as fully delivering the mastery approach.
Other high quality sources such as NCETM, nrich.co.uk, RMeasimaths and Times Tables Rockstars are used to complement and support teaching and learning, and link mathematical talk and knowledge across the various units. Ready-to-Progress documentation is adhered to in-line with post-pandemic recovery.
Daily basic skills sessions are planned within the timetable.
When planning for objective coverage, teachers are expected to take the following mastery strategies into account:
- Small steps
- Developing fluency
- Use of appropriate manipulatives
- Implementing the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract (CPA) approach to introducing, exploring and applying mathematical concepts
- Considering key questions and mathematical vocabulary at the point of unit planning
- Multiple opportunities for verbal and written/drawn reasoning (explaining and using mathematical vocabulary to explain methods or reasoning) within unit exploration
- Inclusion of relevant problem-solving opportunities, where children are expected to draw on and apply multiple concepts to address or approach a challenge
- Modelling of all skills and approaches including making connections
- Modelling and sharing of efficient and accurate application of methods
- Opportunities to explore maths concepts/objectives at ‘greater depth’
- Include all learners, providing relevant support for those with additional needs (educational, medical or otherwise)
Each classroom has an interactive working wall appropriate to the year group, with some elements such as vocabulary, stem sentences and examples of modelled calculations being uniform across the school. Additionally, growth mindset features within the classroom, promoting the following classroom ‘norms’:
- Everyone can learn mathematics to the highest levels
- If you ‘can’t do it’, you ‘can’t do it yet’
- Mistakes are valuable
- Questions are important
- Mathematics is about creativity and problem solving
- Mathematics is about connections and communicating what we think
- Depth is more important than speed
- Mathematics lessons are about learning, not performing
Concepts are formally assessed half-termly, using Power Maths progression materials. Power Maths assessment materials are also available to assess each unit of work upon completion. End-of-year assessment is completed in May (Years 2 and 6 SATs) or June (rest of the school) to provide a snapshot of individual annual progress. The online multiplication tables check will be administered to Year 4 pupils in June.
The exploration of mathematics should be interactive and engaging, with content made relevant to children’s real-world experiences and contextualised thus to support consolidation and retention of knowledge and skill. Children should approach mathematical study with confidence and enthusiasm, and view tasks and challenges that call for application of varied knowledge across units of work and the selection of multiple skills with self-assuredly and a willingness to collaborate. Approach and response to reasoning activities should improve term on term, with the expectation that by the end of the year, children are happy to accurately define and use mathematical vocabulary introduced by their teacher, as well as complete stem sentences to complete mathematical statements or reasoning.