Maths Intent, Implementation and Impact
At St George’s we want all children to enjoy learning and exploring maths, become confident mathematicians and use the skills that they learn in their next phase of learning. The language of maths is universal and we have adopted a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of the subject. Due to this universal nature, we place a great importance in making sure that links are made between mathematics and other areas of the curriculum. Using the maths mastery approach, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems. We believe that every child can muster a love for maths with the right kind of teaching and support.
To ensure the children achieve this, we use a whole-class approach and spend longer on key units to ensure that children have a secure and deep understanding, thus enabling teaching to build on prior learning throughout their primary school years. The children are encouraged to develop a thorough understanding of the knowledge and skills through a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach to learning. The use of manipulatives enables children to make connections and develop their understanding of maths rather than becoming lost in abstract symbols. As their knowledge, understanding and skills develop, we extend and challenge them to apply their skills into real-life situations through deepening their conceptual understanding. To assist our planning, we use the NCETM Primary Mastery Professional Development Materials. These have been built around the core ideas of Maths Mastery (the Big 5). In each of our Maths lessons, we strive to include each aspect of the Big 5 – see image below. The Professional Development Materials strives to allow children to move through the curriculum at the same pace; however, children are expected to work at depth in a concept before moving on to new learning. We aim to achieve this by employing a methodology that encourages not just a procedural proficiency, but rather a conceptual understanding and the flexibility to apply both to problem-solving and reason situations that are unfamiliar.
In order for the children to ‘build [their] fluency in counting, recognising small numbers of items and comparing numbers’ we include daily arithmetic from Year 1 to year 6. In Key Stage 1, we focus on mastering number, using the NCETM Mastering Number program to support with the subitising of numbers to ten, as well as recognising number patterns and bonds to all numbers up to 20. The use of the Rekenrek in central to this program allowing children to see the different patterns in their number bonds. Daily arithmetic in Key Stage 2 consists of the repetition of Times Table facts alongside number bond fluency in Years 3 and 4, particularly for the preparation of the Multiplication Test at the end of Year 4. Years 5 and 6 focus more on related number facts that further support the speed and fluency they need to excel in end of Key Stage 2 SATS. To support our pupils with their knowledge of Times Tables, we use Times Tables Rockstars as well as weekly Popcorn Education Timed Multiplication tests where children’s scores are collated to capture the progress being made.
The impact of our Mathematics teaching is for the children to be able to:
- Ensure number fluency throughout the school so children are able to apply their number facts
- Make outstanding progress in relation to their individual starting points
- Address misconceptions with confidence
- Explain to others their reasoning and understanding of different mathematical problems using topic specific vocabulary
Maths is one of the specific areas within the new Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Children in Reception will be able to access resources that support them in reaching these Early learning Goals (ELG). There is a specific focus on numbers to 10, which by the end of Reception, they will have mastered. Our Reception class follow a Maths Mastery program, set out by the NCETM Mastering Number scheme, with supplements from the White Rose Maths schemes of learning. This is what the Reception children will be progressing towards during their first year at St George's.
Times Tables Practice
Times Tables is a big focus for our school and our aim is that all children know up to 12x12 by heart, by the end of Year 4. We do weekly Times Table speed tests at school, where children are encouraged to beat their personal best. We use Popcorn tests as shown above.
To practise at home, we have Times Tables Rockstars. This is an interactive online practice which supports the children with their rapid grasp of number facts. The children can challenge their peers, their teachers and even the Headteacher.
We use Mathletics to assist online learning of maths. We set weekly homework using this platform and time in school is spent accessing the videos and activities. This particular programme is useful for repetition of key skills such as calculation and understanding number.