Maths at Redhill

Intent

At Redhill Primary Academy, our curriculum has been designed to ensure our learners become confident, efficient mathematicians who show an enthusiasm and appreciation for the subject as a whole. Our curriculum has been designed to cover the objectives of the National Curriculum through the teaching of key topics; nevertheless, it also allows the opportunity to embed key skills through a balance of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving activities in all year groups. Knowledge and skills are sequenced so that pupils build on what they already know and can do, whilst allowing opportunities for consolidation and over-learning. This ensures all children are given the chance to master the skills needed to deal with mathematics in real-life. In addition to this, they are given opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills, in increasingly more complex problems, to ensure that the children have to think in more sophisticated ways about the maths they are using. As part of this, they are expected to reason: to communicate their knowledge, skills and understanding. As a result, children will develop their thinking skills and the accuracy of mathematical language needed for everyday life.

Aims

  • believe in themselves as mathematicians
  • have an ever-increasing understanding, knowledge and skills in number and number operations
  • calculate accurately and confidently with written methods and show an accurate recall of basic number facts
  • develop positive attitudes towards mathematics as an interesting and useful subject: showing an appreciation of the creative aspects of mathematics and an awareness of its aesthetic appeal (this may be demonstrated through art and design projects)
  • recognise that mental, jottings, written and calculator methods all have a place and be able to make sensible and confident decisions about when to use them
  • be able to apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to real life contexts and a wide variety of problems
  • develop the ability to think clearly and logically in mathematics with confidence, independence of thought and flexibility of mind
  • develop as mathematical thinkers, through a process of enquiry, reasoning and communication, and as such be confident enough to take risks in their learning and make mistakes they can learn from
  • be comfortable with talking about their work and the strategies they have used
  • be able to formulate, test and revise hypotheses in their searches for mathematical patterns, sequences and rules
  • perceive mathematics as a lively, dynamic and enjoyable subject
  • understand mathematics as having relevance in their own lives and in the world in general, recognising that mathematics will be relevant, used constantly and help them to solve problems they meet in everyday life

Implementation

When designing our curriculum, we have focused on ensuring that we cover the broad balance of topics needed for a complete mathematics curriculum. All 7 key areas are addressed: number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, shape and space, measures, data handling and algebra. Although algebra is only compulsory at Y6, we have chosen to build in early algebra skills in all year groups – this allows children to think at greater depth and show more sophisticated reasoning skills. Wherever possible, we chose to make links to other subject areas: this ensures that the children can understand how mathematics relates to real-life and emphasises the importance of the skills and knowledge which is being taught.

For our long-term plans, we have chosen to follow the model of the White Rose Schemes of Work. This includes teaching key blocks in greater depth, for a longer period of time, which ensures that the knowledge and skills are embedded in the long-term memory. Each block is planned with small steps in mind – starting from what children already know and building towards the end of year expectations. This allows for consolidation of work from previous year groups to support all ability levels. However, to ensure that knowledge and skills are not forgotten, opportunities are planned into later blocks to revise and revisit key knowledge and skills whilst applying these in new contexts. Typically, each year group will start with the teaching of place value and number. These are the key concepts on which all other maths is built, therefore an essential building block in the teaching and learning of new objectives for each year group. These are then built on with the teaching of addition and subtraction, before multiplication and division, which are designed to be taught in their pairs – we recognise the importance of children understanding the relationships between the operations in order to fully master a secure knowledge of number facts. Where appropriate, other blocks such as perimeter, area, money and measures are built in; this ensures that children understand how skills are built up over time and how important the connections are between different areas of learning. We have also made the decision to spend a longer period of time focusing on the teaching and learning of fractions. This is a key target area for children with a broad range of objectives to be taught, especially at Key Stage 2. Our aim is for children to be secure with the key knowledge and skills in this topic before they are moved on. In blocks focusing on measures and data handling, opportunities are specifically planned to use number skills previously taught, showing children how this knowledge is important in the real world.

Although all year groups follow a similar structure, there are more significant changes in the way that Foundation Stage and Year 1 work. There are planned opportunities each term for revisit of key number skills and greater emphasis is placed on the understanding of number itself. Children are encouraged to read, write, count with, compare and order numbers, as well as developing a secure understanding of what each number is (eg: the fourness of 4) This involves opportunities to break a number in to different parts, use different models and images to create and work with it, as well as using songs and rhymes to see how it fits in to the overall number system. This is essential in ensuring children understand the number system and can manipulate and work with numbers in different ways: all key knowledge in developing secure mental arithmetic skills in future years. Wherever possible, place value skills are reinforced as our number facts involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, all essential in developing our children as fluent and confident mathematicians.

In our day-to-day teaching, it is expected that mathematics will form a part of their daily diet. This will normally be an hour at Key Stage 2 and between 45 minutes and an hour at Key Stage 1. The first part of the lesson will normally be an activity on mental arithmetic: often this will be a revision of knowledge already taught, an opportunity to practice fluency or apply in a different context or mayinvolve the specific teaching of an arithmetic rule. This ensures that children have a secure grasp of age-appropriate number facts and the knowledge to be able to apply arithmetic rules. In the main part of the maths session, the children will be taught towards an objective or aim, usually taken from the National Curriculum itself. This may be a new piece of knowledge or a new skill, or the opportunity to consolidate previous learning or to apply in a different context. We strongly believe that in order to master knowledge and skills fully, children are given opportunities to consolidate and have continued practise over time. As part of this time, children will have opportunities to try things for themselves, work in pairs or groups on an investigation, practise and consolidate key knowledge through fluency practise and to reason and problem-solve. At the end of the session, a plenary time will normally be held. This allows the children time to reflect on their learning and to consider what they need to remember for the next lesson/future work. Times are flexible: teachers will respond to the age and need of the children, as well as the content and context of the lesson.

In order to ensure our teaching of mathematics is to the highest standard, we focus on the importance of using models and images to support the learning of new concepts. We move from real-life objects to physical models to abstract images before expecting children to work independently. This ensures they can understand the mathematics behind the concept they are being taught: they can see why it works, they can try it for themselves, they can make sense of the mathematics with supporting materials first. We aim to use a wide range of models and images across school, recognising that some are more effective for different jobs and that children may have a specific preference. This includes diennes blocks, numicon, place value arrows and counters, cubes and multi-link, counters and counting equipment, as well as practical equipment like shapes and measuring equipment in other lessons. Indeed, children are often given opportunities to choose the model which is most beneficial for them. There are a wide range of resources available in all classrooms to support teachers and children, as well as a centralised resource area (in the main corridor) for more specialised resources.

Principles:

Staff will teach the children to manage their own learning; this includes taking risks, learning from making mistakes, developing a sense of resilience and perseverance, as well as developing the process of trial and improvement through their work. However, we do not want them to see themselves as failures, as this is the most impenetrable barrier to further learning in mathematics. Therefore, we need to distinguish between errors (a simple mistake which a child is able to identify themselves and correct) and misconceptions (where the child does not have the necessary understanding or concepts on which to build to understand the task in hand). In this case, the child’s work is correct in terms of their understanding at that point in time. We should instead encourage the children to make judgements themselves by saying for example – let’s test this, that would mean that, what about if . . .

Impact

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Marking of written work
  • Observations of children working/practical activities
  • Discussion/questioning/explanations of ideas and concepts
  • Assessments (pre and post assessments, on-going AFL through lessons, written assessments each term – including the analysis of tests, SATS)
  • Analysis of data – looking at progress over the term/year/phase/school
  • Moderation of work (eg: through team meetings)
  • Book looks – completed with staff
  • Learning walks and observations of lessons
  • Pupil voice interviews/discussion
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum to parents.

The maths subject leader, alongside members of SLT, will continually monitor the impact that maths teaching is having on the children's learning, through learning walks, lesson observations or drop-ins and work scrutinies, to ensure that knowledge and skills are progressively taught across school. They will also ensure the knowledge taught is retained by the children and continually revisited and that the learners are able to apply the skills they have been taught to a variety of different contexts, showing independence with their learning. Impact will also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, learning objectives and success criteria and summative assessments aimed at targeting next steps in learning.

At Redhill, mathematics is an essential part of the curriculum. As well as a core curriculum requirement, we aim to embed skills across the curriculum, with children having opportunities to apply their mathematical learning in real-life contexts. Mathematics is taught to every child, everyday, and shaped around the key outcomes expected by Curriculum 2014, which include a wide range of areas: number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, ratio and proportion, geometry – position and direction and properties of shape, statistics, algebra and measurement. In all sessions, the 3 key aims of the curriculum are emphasised: number facts and knowledge, reasoning and communication, and problem solving, to ensure the children leave us as positive, confident and secure mathematicians who are willing to persevere and think creatively.

As part of our work on transition for secondary school, the year 6 teachers have been working with the KS3 teachers at Thomas Telford. There have been reciprocal visits between the schools to observe teaching and learning and discussions held to determine how each school can support the process of transition. In addition, a group of gifted and talented mathematicians are attending a weekly maths club at Thomas Telford, run by their staff, with the aim of boosting attainment and enthusiasm for the subject of mathematics.

By the time children leave our school they can:

  • Read, write, count, order, partition and round numbers to 10 000 000 and decimal number with up to three places
  • Calculate, with both mental and written strategies, using all four operations with whole numbers, fractions, decimals and negative numbers
  • Manipulate fractions in order to read, write, order, compare and calculate with them, including using decimal and percentage equivalences
  • Transform shapes in different ways (reflect and translate) and plot in all four quadrants of a co-ordinate grid
  • Recognise, describe and draw a wide range of 2D and 3D shapes and use knowledge of angles within them
  • Interpret and construct bar graphs, line graphs and pie charts and use averages to compare data
  • Use, read, write and convert between standard units of measures (length, mass, capacity, time) and calculate and compare perimeter, area and volume of different shapes
  • Solve a range of problems in all contexts, making use of algebraic knowledge

Above all, children should believe in themselves as mathematicians, to ensure a solid foundation to build on as they move on to secondary school.

Tips to Support Your Child with Maths

There are lots of things you can do to support your child at home! The most important thing to remember is that maths should be fun—we want children to enjoy what they are learning and feel confident in their own abilities. This will help them to be willing to “have a go”, even if they are not sure of something.

Maths is all around you and can do done little and often:

  • Discuss the shapes that you can see around the house or on a walk, talk about the properties that make them special.
  • Read the numbers that you see on signs—really good on a long drive on the motorway!
  • When shopping, ask children to work out the totals or the change you might get. Discuss what the cost would be if I had 2, 3 or 4 of something. They could also estimate the cost with a larger shop!
  • If cooking, ask the children to measure out the ingredients. Talk about the units they are using (eg: grams for weight; millilitres for liquids) This also involves reading numbers!
  • Go out on a walk—count the number of cars or animals you see. You could make a graph of the data, ask questions about it, sort them in different ways.

It is also important that you do lots of work with numbers. Children need to have a secure understanding of numbers to achieve their best. These are just some ideas you could use to make the work fun and interesting:

  • Ordering number cards on a washing line
  • Encouraging children to use their number bonds to find change from 10p, 20p, 50p and £1
  • Painting times tables arrays/patterns
  • Matching pairs games (this could be times tables, number bonds, matching pictures to numbers or even shapes)
  • Beat the calculator or parent—Who can find the answer to the question the quickest?
  • Applying doubling and halving skills when cooking and using recipes
  • Learning finger games and rhymes for times tables and number bonds

For children who have computer access at home, there are lots of games you can use on the computer. These are really good for motivating children who are less enthusiastic about written tasks:

Online resources to be used at home

Children will have their own log on and password for each site which have previously been sent home.

Times Tables

Number Bonds

Homework or Booster Activities

Year Group Overviews

Objectives

Overviews