What is taught?
At Toft Hill Primary, we recognise the importance of ensuring that the fundamental skills of fluency, reasoning and problem solving are fully embedded within the everyday teaching of maths lessons and are consistently developed over time. As one of the core subjects taught in primary schools, we give the learning of Mathematics the prominence it requires.
We follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics, which aims to ensure that all children:
- 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 non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
We teach maths progressively through the sharing of key knowledge and skills, alongside visual representations of mathematical concepts and ideas. We recognise the importance of children also developing an enjoyment of mathematics and to experience success in the subject developing their ability to reason and solve problems with increasing confidence.
We want children to recognise the importance of maths in the wider world, using their mathematical understanding to make rich connections in their own lives and through a range of different contexts. We aim to develop children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics in the modern and natural world in which we live.
How is mathematics taught?
Our aim at Toft Hill Primary, is that through our blocked approach to teaching each of the mathematical learning strands, children will become increasingly more confident and fluent in their understanding of each yearly National Curriculum objective. Stranded blocks are progressive, thereby allowing the children to develop an ability to use their knowledge of mathematical concepts and ideas to a greater depth of understanding and complexity.
Our mastery approach to planning, is focused upon the White Rose Maths schemes of learning, alongside these three key principles:
- Conceptual understanding
- Language and communication
- Mathematical thinking
Each scheme has full coverage of National Curriculum objectives, which are met through varied fluency, reasoning and problem-solving approaches. Within each year group, our teachers use small stepped learning challenges in conjunction with key ‘mastery’ mathematical vocabulary – an approach to challenge, extend and deepen the pupil’s understanding.
As mathematics is both a creative and interconnected subject, we use an interchangeable CPA approach.
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
Our teaching and learning incorporates the use of a range of practical equipment, thereby allowing us to present maths in many different forms and contexts, which can suit the needs of children with varied learning styles. With a continuous focus on revisit and review, teaching aims to reinforce and consolidate daily work, through the repetition of activities which address ‘non-negotiable’ basic skills. All of which are fundamental in the development of a confident mathematician.
Why is maths taught in this way?
The maths curriculum is taught this way at Toft Hill to ensure children have the time and opportunity to explore, develop and demonstrate mathematical ideas, while enriching their learning experience and deepening understanding. Our focus for teaching maths this way is that by the end of KS2 pupils are able to:
- Demonstrate quick recall of facts and procedures,
- Use flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations,
- Independently apply their skills to find the answers,
- Recognise relationships and make relevant connections in mathematics.
We believe that a mathematical concept or skill has only been mastered once a child can show it in multiple ways, using the necessary mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. Together, these elements help cement knowledge so pupils truly understand what they have learnt.