Subject Lead: Mrs Jo Hartwell [email protected]
The curriculum for mathematics at All Souls builds upon the programme of study outlined in the National Curriculum for England which can be found here.
What is our vision for Maths at All Souls?
Mathematics is an international and powerful language and, at All Souls Catholic Primary School, we aspire for all children to become fluent, confident, skilled, risk-taking and resilient mathematicians who are equipped with transferrable and wide-reaching skills for life ahead. Integral to the life opportunities of all children, mathematics plays a significant role in the daily life and curriculum of the school so that we are able to offer children a powerful way of communicating by exploring and explaining their ideas using symbols, diagrams and spoken and written language. We endeavor that all pupils receive a broad, balanced, engaging and relevant curriculum that equips them with the uniquely powerful set of tools and strategies to understand and change the world around them. The teaching of mathematics aims to develop children’s competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills, and develop their ability to solve problems, reason, think logically and work with pace both systematically and accurately. We strive to ensure that through careful planning and expert delivery of a broad, progressive and inquiry-based curriculum that stimulates curiosity, fosters creativity and encourages discussion, our children develop confidence and competence in a range of mathematical skills and knowledge, and a life-long enthusiasm towards the subject.
At All Souls, we passionately believe that children of all ages and abilities achieve best when their learning and understanding progresses through the stages of concrete, pictorial and abstract mathematics and therefore opportunities for practical exploration using physical manipulatives are firmly embedded in the daily cycle of teaching and learning. Through strong and deliberate policy, children at All Souls are taught clear and robust techniques, strategies and methods so that they become fluent and accurate in calculation. Through differentiation, additional classroom support, materials, resources and intervention, we ensure that all children are able to enjoy success. We believe that our vision for the teaching of mathematics reinforces our Catholic values and virtues, encourages children to demonstrate them within their work ethic and expectations of themselves and each other, and allows them to develop and use the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit within their own learning and their role in others’ learning.
How do we achieve this vision?
Guided by the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014), children are provided with a daily entitlement of creatively planned, carefully pitched and engaging lessons, which form part of a sequence of learning experiences to build mathematical understanding, improve fluency, build problem solving capacity and develop reasoning skills. Lessons typically follow a four-part approach: a fast-paced mental/oral starter to involve all children and develop their recall and mental calculation strategies; a taught exposition, rich in teacher modelling, demonstration and questioning; independent work to provide children with the opportunity to practise the taught concept and be sufficiently challenged; and a plenary to provide further consolidation, assessment opportunities or extension of children’s learning. Confidence in our teachers’ formative assessment of each pupil provides flexibility in modifying and developing this approach to meet the needs of all children through providing timely intervention and further challenge.
Preassessment of each unit ensures individual children’s needs are considered and planned for within all stages of each lesson so that they achieve excellence in the key concepts and make significant progress. Recognising that no two children are the same nor are they predictable, pupils are encouraged to take an active role in their learning within lessons through choosing their own task and level of challenge; children who are in-tune with their mathematical understanding are far more likely to seek support when needed and address misconceptions as they arise.
Children’s confidence and resilience in their mathematical learning begins in our EYFS where learning is facilitated through provision of real and purposeful opportunities in which they are encouraged to use, talk about and explore mathematics in a positive environment. The use of physical and visual aids to build a child’s understanding of abstract topics continues through our key stages; purposeful opportunities to explore concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations before moving to abstract symbols are created within every year group.
Placing number at the heart of our curriculum ensures our children become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics: a solid grasp of times tables and number facts allows a much-accelerated rate of progress across all areas of mathematics and is achieved through embedding it into children’s daily diet. Although our curriculum is rich in understanding and not reliant on processes and methods, our Progression through Calculation policy ensures a consistent and progressive whole school strategy for the teaching of formal and informal calculation methods so that children become confident in the four mathematical operations. Proficiency in the four rules of calculation allows children to secure, much quicker, concepts from other areas of mathematics. True understanding is demonstrated through the application of mathematical methods and concepts to rich tasks and problem solving where children must reason, using correct mathematical language, to reach an answer. Teaching therefore ensures that children have this opportunity – not just at the point of teaching, but also at a distance from learning so that retention can be factored in.