“Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.” – Shakuntala Devi
The intention of the maths curriculum at St Dennis is for children to become competent mathematicians. We develop children’s enjoyment of maths and provide opportunities for them to build a conceptual understanding of maths before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges. We provide challenge for all our children and also provide them with the support they need to push boundaries and deepen their understanding further.
At St Dennis, we follow the aims of the National Curriculum, whereby we intend that all learners become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics; reason mathematically by conjecturing, justifying and proving using mathematical language; and solve problems by applying their maths to solve a variety of routine and non-routine problems.
A mastery curriculum promotes a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject, so that children are fluent at mathematics; possess a growing confidence to reason mathematically and have the ability to apply maths to solve problems. We endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them throughout their lives.
Our long-term plan follows that of White Rose Maths, although there is scope for class teachers to flex the curriculum to best support the needs of their class. Examples of this include spending longer on a topic where learners need to consolidate their learning or require more opportunities to ‘dive deeper’.
Our daily maths lesson structure is designed to remove the ceiling of learning to all prior attainment levels. After a teacher input, the activities phase of each lesson is made up of ‘Have a go’, ‘Moving on’ and ‘Challenge’ activities. Typically, these activities progress in complexity and are each linked to the learning objective. White Rose Maths, Nrich and I See Reasoning are used by class teachers to ensure age-appropriate, high quality resources are used.
‘Have a go’ activities often focus on fluency skills and develop learners’ numeracy skills. ‘Moving on’ and ‘Challenge’ activities tend to focus more on reasoning and problem-solving skills, whereby learners apply their learning to different concepts and contexts. Class teachers use their professional judgement to select at which point a learner starts at in a lesson. There are high expectations but no limit on how far they might progress within a lesson.
Daily discrete fluency sessions are taught to ensure that all children have opportunities to practise and develop their skills in calculation and manipulation of number. Our calculation policy has been written to ensure there is a logical progression in strategies used to build on previous skills and strategies taught.
Times Tables Rock Stars is used in key stage 2 to develop fluency of multiplication and division facts, and to develop speed of recall for known facts. Mathemagicians is a weekly mental calculation test that learners complete in a set time and move on to a different level every time they achieve full marks.
The impact of the Maths curriculum is measured through the following methods:
- Analysis of end of key stage data, including attainment and progress
- In school progress and attainment data, analysing individuals and key groups
- Formative assessment of individual progress by class teachers
- Pupil progress meetings to establish reasons for differing rates of progress and putting in measures to address these
- Summative assessments of learning at a distance
- Pupil conferencing by maths lead and senior leaders
- Lesson observations and feedback based on the outcomes, by maths lead and senior leaders
How does maths link to British Values?
Democracy Children take into account the views of others in shared activities and vote when collecting data.
The Rule of Law Children at St Dennis follow the Golden Rules during tasks and activities, for the benefit of all.
Individual Liberty Children work within boundaries to make safe choices during practical activities and also make their own choices within data handling activities.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs We use maths to learn about different faiths and cultures e.g. looking at patterns and shapes within Islam and Hindu symbols and religious artefacts.
Mutual Respect Children work together effectively in teams, take turns and share equipment. They review the work of their classmates respectfully and work collaboratively on projects and problems, helping and advising others.
For children with SEND, teachers consider what the barriers could be to achieve the learning of each lesson. Overcoming these barriers, in order that the individual can access and achieve the same learning as the rest of the class, is the primary aim.
The maths curriculum is designed to be inclusive for all learners at St Dennis Primary Academy and modifications are made to suit individuals in order for them to gain full access to the learning. The structure of the lesson is such that children spend most of their time working at their zone of proximal development. To help children with SEND to achieve this, the role of additional adults is considered and planned for to maximise learning. Multi-sensory approaches, including the use of ICT, is used to make some tasks more accessible.
Seating arrangements are considered, to ensure that individuals can see and clearly hear the teacher and access relevant displays. Individual resources are provided on tables to assist learners with number formation and presentation, including writing slopes. In some instances, individual sheets are provided to lessen the amount of reading from a board. Concrete resources are used to scaffold and support learning of key concepts, as well as to aid the visualisation of more abstract problems.
Learning is recorded in different ways, verbally with a peer or adult support, through a differentiated activity or through use of ICT.
Teaching assistants work with individuals and groups where appropriate to support, rephrase or restructure taught content to ensure that the learning is achieved.
In some cases, if the learning is not appropriate or inaccessible for a learner, an adapted curriculum is provided for individuals to build underpinning skills to enable their learning to progress without gaps developing.
Interventions are delivered to groups and individuals, based on timely data-driven assessment measures. Progress and attainment are mapped and form the basis for review of existing practice to ensure that good progress can be maintained.
Supporting your child at home
Practising fluency of mental calculation (number bonds, times tables) will be hugely helpful to your child. Addition and subtraction facts up to 20 can be practised until they be automatically recalled. Using resources to support these activities is a valuable way to embed the understanding behind these operations. Talk to your child about what they are doing and ask them to explain why. Mathematical talk will deepen their understanding and build their reasoning skills.
Practical activities, such as cooking (measuring ingredients) can be a fun and rewarding way to aid their mathematical learning without formally teaching maths. There are online games listed below which might be more appealing to some learners.
The following links provide useful activities for practising and learning about maths at home:
This online game provides learners with a chance to practise the recall of their number bonds, multiplication and division facts where they can test their accuracy and speed of recall.
Each child from Year 2 has a log in and password for Times Tables Rock Stars. They can earn coins through practising their multiplication and division facts in a range of fun games.
A different problem is given each day, to test different areas of Maths and twist your brain in different ways!
This BBC resource is based on songs, quizzes and activities to build your child’s confidence and understanding in early maths.
Another BBC resource based on quizzes, games and activities to increase confidence and understanding in maths for all ages.