Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. The national curriculum for maths aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics 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 non-routine problems
At Windermere Primary School, we want to enable all children to feel positive and confident in maths, and to develop resilience to persevere when they face challenges in their learning. We strive to help children make connections between mathematical concepts and demonstrate their understanding in a variety of ways. Our aim is to equip all pupils with the skills and confidence to solve a range of mathematical problems through fluency with numbers and mathematical reasoning. We believe that children should be active participants throughout the whole maths lesson, which will help them to feel more confident to share their ideas and ‘have a go’, even when they are unsure. The children are encouraged to question one another and build on each other’s ideas through their explanations. They are also encouraged to look for and apply mathematics in all aspects of the wider curriculum, developing essential life skills and an enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
At Windermere Primary School we aim to build knowledge and skills by regularly revisiting key concepts, providing the children with the opportunity to rehearse them through practice consolidating and deepening their understanding.
A sound understanding of the number system is essential for children to carry out calculations efficiently and accurately. Strategies for calculation are supported by familiar models and images to develop a deeper understanding. Throughout the school, children are introduced to a range of manipulative equipment, and pictorial and abstract representations that expose the mathematical concepts and procedures. Lesson design identifies the mathematics that is going to be taught, the questions that will take the learning to a deeper level and the difficult points that may occur along the way.
At the same time, children are taught to become fluent in addition and subtraction facts within 10 and multiplication tables, to avoid cognitive overload when learning new concepts. Daily fluency sessions enable children to practise and apply their understanding.
Our maths teaching focuses on breaking down the learning into small steps to make sure the pupils are supported to feel successful throughout the lessons. We follow the White Rose maths planning to ensure our children have the full coverage of the curriculum, which is supported by clear progression in knowledge and skills. Our plans build on this knowledge and skill application year on year and are sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. There is an expectation that children develop depth and breadth of understanding within the numbers appropriate for their age group. They do this by applying their knowledge in a range of challenging scenarios.
In a typical maths lesson, you would expect to see:
- An interesting ‘hook’ into the lesson, or discussions about real-life scenarios that emphasize why we are learning a particular strategy or concept
- Practical exploration to develop understanding of the concepts and solve problems using equipment, pictures and equations
- Teacher questioning – What do you notice? Can you find another way to solve the problem? Is it possible that…? Can you prove it?
- Peer discussion
- Children are encouraged to explain their understanding using mathematical vocabulary
- Strategies being clearly modelled by the teacher, with carefully scaffolded support put in place for less confident children
- All children in the class working on the same concepts together, with increased level of support or additional challenge activities to move the learning on using small steps of progression
- Children with SEND who are working at a level significantly below their peers will access the same teaching approaches at a level that is appropriate for their individual needs