At Sedlescombe Church of England Primary School we have high expectations for ALL our children and we believe that all children can become confident and skilled mathematicians. To support us in achieving this aim for each and every child we have adopted a mastery approach to teaching and learning of mathematics at Sedlescombe.
Mastery involves knowing how and why the mathematics works and not just rote learning facts and algorithms. It means being able to apply the mathematics learnt in new and unfamiliar situations. To support children in achieving his, we use the NCETM Professional Development (PD) Spines to support teacher subject knowledge and to map the children’s learning. This is supported by the Ready to Progress Criteria which can be used to ensure that children have all of the pre-requisite knowledge in place for the mathematics unit being taught so that the new mathematics being learnt is built on a firm foundation and children do not develop gaps in their understanding.
It is expected that most children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. Teachers will make decisions about when to progress based on the security of children’s understanding. Children who grasp concepts quickly will be challenged to deepen their understanding through rich and sophisticated problems rather than accelerating to new concept. Those who are not
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected 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.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Our Vision for Mathematics
Maths teaching at our school is built on the belief that every child can do maths. Taught using the right approach and through the use of scaffolding using the Build, It, Draw It, Solve It approach we aim to ensure that each child achieves the objectives for their year group. Challenge is built into every lesson for pupils who grasp concepts quickly through the application of their learning to solve word problems, by using reasoning, opportunities for children to demonstrate their understanding by creating their own problems and by being maths learning partners. We want to inspire children to believe that they can achieve.
In maths we use a Build It (the use of concrete materials such as double sided counters), Draw It (picture the maths to reveal the mathematical concepts for example by drawing a bar model) and Solve It (do the calculation to answer the question) approach to creatively reveal the maths so the problem can be answered. This creative approach supports children in building much stronger concepts. This is also known as the CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach.
Children are also encouraged to think about how problems can be solved and if there is more than one way of solving a problem. By thinking creatively and finding different ways to solve the problems the children can discuss which ones work best and are most efficient and reliable. This creative approach scaffolds children’s learning and supports them to be creative thinkers who can solve problems.
We aim to develop in all of our children an understanding of the importance of mathematics in everyday life. Maths is all around us and we aim to develop this curiosity be seeing the maths they learn in the classroom in their everyday life so that they understand the importance of their learning and are keen to learn more.
There is also a strong focus on variation within our maths teaching. Variation involves showing the mathematical concept in multiple ways, for example how many different ways are there of representing a triangle or a half. There is also a strong focus on asking questions; what do we know, what do we need to find out, what is it, what is it not. These questions develop children’s curiosity and ability to make rich connections across mathematical ideas and to be able to solve mathematical problems.
There is also small step variation in the questions children are asked to support them in making connections and finding generalisations which will support them across all of their learning. Mathematics teaches children to ask questions and be curious about how they can be solved.
Learning in maths involves children in making mistakes and learning that mistakes are an important stepping stone to success. Our mistakes reveal what we still need to learn and how we can improve further. Mistakes are valued as important learning points as they reveal misconceptions that can then be addressed deepening the children’s understanding. Children are therefore encouraged to have a positive and resilient attitude towards mathematics and to show courage in their learning on a daily basis. This is further reinforced through the use of mathematical challenges in every lesson to support children in deepening their learning and to be courageous learners.
In mathematics lessons there is an expectation that every child will participate and share their learning with others. This co-operation allows all of the children to learn from each other and to deepen their understanding. For this reason children are actively encouraged to discuss their learning using the correct mathematical language with peers and teachers.
Learning partners are used in all maths lessons to allow discussion and sharing of ideas and learning. In addition to this children who have grasped a concept are expected to support and help other children to learn this concept as well. This not only helps children who are grasping concepts more slowly to make progress but consolidates the learning further for those that have grasped the concept.
In mathematics we aim for all children to become independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning. To ensure that pupils are able to be independent learners we ensure that children:
- Have a deep understanding of maths and number
- Have an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately
- Are fluent in the core mathematical concepts such as counting, number bonds and times tables so that they can recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- Develop their mathematical vocabulary and use this to explain their mathematical thinking
- Make connections across their learning and are able use generalisations to support further learning
- Develop conceptual understanding
Mathematical concepts or skills are mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. This is our vision for every child at Sedlescombe Church of England Primary School.