Why do we teach Mathematics? Why do we teach it in the way we do?
Mathematics is an essential part of everyday life that helps us to understand and make sense of the world around us.
At St Stephen’s RC Primary and Nursery School, we empower our children with a ‘can do’ attitude in mathematics and we promote the fact that ‘We can all do maths!’ within our school community. We encourage children to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematics and aim for all pupils to enjoy and achieve in mathematics, developing a sense of curiosity about the subject and facing challenges with perseverance and determination.
At St Stephen’s we believe that ability within Mathematics is not fixed. We are developing the mindsets of children and adults alike to ensure a ‘Growth Mindset’ attitude to Mathematics. We believe that through ‘quality first’ teaching and intelligent practice, children learning together and timely intervention that all children have the potential to ‘go deeper’ and broaden their understanding of mathematical concepts. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning and provide challenge through rich and sophisticated reasoning and problem solving activities.
We aim that all pupils:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accura
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios.
- Can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
- Have an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately to be successful in mathematics.
What do we teach? What does it look like?
We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression (Tara Loughran’s Build-A-Sequence Long and Short TermOverviews). This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. We also use the Build-A-Sequence resources to ensure a consistent approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics across school and to provide rich opportunities for children to deepen and broaden their understanding of mathematical concepts. Through these resources, we are able to provide opportunities for children to observe, explore, investigate, practise, find all possibilities, identify errors, use trial and improvement, draw conclusions, justify opinions, generalise and work systematically.
Planning, learning and teaching
St Stephen’s RC Primary School follows the mastery maths lesson style of Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (based on the Mastery in Mathematics approach to learning) to ensure children have a true understanding of a mathematical concept. Teachers also ensure that knowledge, reasoning and problem solving are embedded in all weekly planning, teaching and learning.
Alongside the mastery approach, we ensure that reasoning is at the core of maths lessons. The children know they need to explain why their answer is correct or incorrect and how they worked it out. After we are certain that they have truly mastered a concept, the children then apply their knowledge to problem solving activities.
Mastery teaching and learning
In every Mathematics lesson you will see the following:
- ‘Quality first’ teaching; tailored to meet the needs of the learners in each class, and timely intervention to address gaps in learning wherenecessary;
- Resilient learners with Growth Mindsets and a ‘can do’ attitude to Mathematics, whatever their previous level of attainment;
- Teachers using high-quality questioning to explore children’s understanding and develop it further;
- Teachers making use of misconceptions and deliberate errors to further understanding of key concepts;
- Teachers using a range of methods to explore key Mathematical concepts which appeal to pupils’ different learning styles of learning, employing concrete/pictorial/abstract representations of Mathematical concepts;
- Rehearsal of key number facts e.g. counting, number bonds, halves and doubles, multiplication facts etc.;
- Daily ‘Skills Practise’, using a variety of games to develop speed, accuracy and fluency in mental calculation methods;
- Pupils learning together, collaborating and sharing knowledge, explaining and justifying opinion
What will be the impact of this approach on our children by the end of Key Stage 2?
By the time children leave our school they will:
- Be confident mathematicians who are not afraid to take risks and make mistakes
- Display perseverance and determination when faced with mathematical problem-solving activities and challenges
- Be fluent mathematicians with the ability to rapidly and accurately recall number facts
- Display the ability to assess mathematical problems, making decisions about how to approach them and selecting the most efficient methods
- Apply their mathematical understanding to a variety of problem-solving situations, including real-life scenarios and unfamiliar contexts
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, develop and present justifications, make generalisations and argue and prove theories using accurate mathematical language