Initially, it is worth quoting the purpose of the National Curriculum Programme of Study for mathematics: ‘mathematics 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 mathematics 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.
At Woodfield, we believe that mathematics is a fundamentally important area of the curriculum. Maths gives children the opportunity to investigate, reason and solve problems and also gives them the tools to use across other areas of the curriculum. Our teaching of maths encourages children not only to understand to work mathematically, but also different mathematical methods work; this enables children to develop a deeper understanding of the subject and to apply their maths more confidently and with better understanding in a wider range of contexts and make links between subjects and the wider world. Maths enriches other subjects and enables children to see their mathematical learning put to use in other areas, whether this is measuring axles accurately when making a vehicle in DT, understanding position and direction when reading a map in orienteering in PE or understanding a timeline of past events in history.
Throughout all of the maths curriculum, children are expected to use the Learning Powers. For example, they need to take risks to try new, more efficient ways of calculating or when using new maths equipment. Every problem they encounter in maths requires them to be resourceful and use their reasoning skills and, when they come up against challenges, they will need to be resilient until they solve the problem. The Learning Powers are very powerful learning tools for all children in maths; their use encourages the children to be logical, creative, independent learners.
We endeavour to ensure that the maths curriculum we provide inspires children to be excited about maths, solve problems with a 'have a go' attitude and develop good fluency within their work so that they can apply their mathematical learning with confidence.
The maths curriculum at Woodfield has been planned to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to work practically with a range of concrete resources, models and images to help their understanding of mathematical concepts. We follow a concrete-visual-abstract approach as children's understanding develops within a concept. Initially, when children are first introduced to a new concept they are supported by concrete apparatus, for example using a tens frame and double sided counters to add two single digit numbers beyond 10. We use a wide range of equipment to help children develop a secure understanding of mathematical concepts; we believe that equipment such as number lines, tens frames, part/whole models, place value equipment, etc. can help children to 'see' how maths works. They then move on to a pictorial representation, e.g. drawing a number line to show adding two numbers beyond 10. Finally, when they are secure, they move to abstract representation, for example recording only a number sentence and the answer.
At Woodfield we use the White Rose Maths scheme of work as a basis for our maths planning, this is enhanced with activities from NRICH and NCETM alongside other reliable sources. Within each unit of work there will be coverage of a range of reasoning, problem solving and fluency activities. At least 3 focussed problem solving lessons will be delivered each half term. These help the children develop their problem solving skills and demonstrate their fluency knowledge.
Fluency is a high priority at Woodfield; EYFS and Year 1 take part in the NCETM Mastering Number program 4 times a week with Year 2 children experiencing number of the day daily. These provide children with opportunities to develop mathematical fluency and see the maths for themselves.
We also ensure that children know and remember more by making sure that key aspects of the subject are returned to several times; each time at a deeper level to ensure that children develop their understanding through all areas of the subject. Overlearning is also apparent in planned oral and mental lesson starters. In this way, children are prepared well for future stages of learning where they will meet these aspects of maths again within new contexts.
Children are taught using a range of methods and resources in order to be able to select the most appropriate resources to complete a task with developing independence. The maths learning environment is designed to give children open access to resources. Each classroom will have a maths ‘working wall’ which will be updated to reflect the current unit of work and should display key vocabulary, models and images and examples of children work. Methods being modelled on the working wall will be those taken from the Calculation Policy.
SEND and Mathematics
Effective quality first teaching is the key to enabling all children to participate and develop their mathematical knowledge and skills. Scaffolds within lessons is a vital component to ensure that a balance of support and challenge is achieved by all learners. Misconceptions that arise are addressed immediately to close gaps in learning and, if there is a need, children will be given additional maths support. Children with SEND will be closely supported, in line with their PCP’s and intervention logs and reviewed half termly. Interventions will be put into action where appropriate and will be delivered through short sharp fluency or number recognition sessions. Pupils in Year 2 who are struggling with number fluency will take part in the NCETM Mastering Number program. Challenges will be given to those that are ready for it through reasoning and problem-solving activities, ‘prove it’ statements and ‘show me another way’.
Throughout each lesson formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children through written or verbal feedback (in line with our marking policy), close the gap and extension tasks. Number formation is corrected in line with the marking policy and children in Year 2 are encouraged to check and correct their work using purple polishing pens. Ongoing assessment for learning checks will be carried out through adult questioning. Teachers then use these assessments to influence their planning and ensure they are providing a maths curriculum that will allow the children to progress.
NFER assessments are carried out termly, the results of these are analysed to determine children’s progress and address any gaps identified. Year on year children at Woodfield achieve above National average in end of key stage results, this is a compliment to the curriculum offer and teaching and learning that takes place.
Subject leaders will monitor maths teaching and learning across the school through book looks, learning walks, pupil progress and pupil voice. During staff meeting time, staff will complete maths book looks with a specific focus on the impact of the planned curriculum.
Parents' Maths Information Sessions
In order for parents to feel well supported in helping children with their maths at home, we run sessions for parents where we show you how we use the equipment in school.
Information shared at the information session on the 17th May 2023
What do children learn?
Progression in Maths
Helping Your Child With Maths
Maths at home
White Rose maths app
This app gives children short bursts of targeted practice in basic number skills, including addition, subtraction and subitising. Games like this will help develop children's number fluency which they can then apply to their learning in school and skills needed in everyday activities.
Click here for further information.