How We Teach Maths

Intent

At St. Helen’s we aspire to help all our children acquire a love for learning Maths and to give them the skills, knowledge, understanding and confidence to be able to explain and apply their mathematical knowledge.  We aim to ensure all children are fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics.

We believe that Mathematics teaches us how to make sense of the world around us through developing a child’s ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems. We want children to experience the ‘Awe and ‘Wonder’ of the beauty of Maths in nature.

We are developing our Mathematics Curriculum using a mastery approach to ensure every child can achieve their full potential.

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Implementation

We follow the National Curriculum to ensure progression and coverage in Mathematics across the whole school.

Power Maths has been introduced this academic year at St. Helen’s, and in other schools across the MAT, following a positive trial at one of our MAT schools last year. Currently, Year 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are using Power Maths to deliver the Mathematics curriculum. 

In Year 6, White Rose Small Steps is used to teach Maths alongside useful representations from the NCETM mastery materials. 

In Reception, a range of representations and resources are used to support the EYFS Curriculum for Maths, including NCTEM and NRICH.

All teachers promote a ‘Growth Mindset’ approach to Maths and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.

All children in each class are working on the same Maths at the same time and individual needs are met in various ways including one to one support, differentiated tasks, use of manipulatives and targeted interventions. 

 

Where are we now?

We are currently involved in a ‘Teaching for Mastery’ Teacher Research Group (TRG) working alongside a Mastery Specialist. Two teachers from our school will attend meetings each half term: observing good practice, planning and carrying out lessons alongside the specialist teacher, reading research papers, discussing and analysing our observations and taking ideas back to try out in school and share with school staff.

The TRG will run from September 2019-July 2021. During the first year, two teachers and the Head Teacher will take part, focusing on the use of vocabulary in Mathematics, using representations and using STEM sentences.  In the second year, the whole school will become more involved in the project. 

Maths Subject Leader

The Maths Subject Leader has the responsibility of ensuring the curriculum is delivered across the school as is stated above. 

The Subject Leader regularly meets with children across the school, with their books, to discuss their learning and progress as well as their feelings about the subject.  The Subject Leader carries out monitoring of work in books, each half term, to ensure progression in skills and knowledge across the school.                               

Each term the Subject Leader attends the Primary Maths Subject Leader Update Meeting and shares the learning and resources with her staff and then the Maths Leaders across the MAT as part of termly Maths Hub meetings.         

Areas for development

Vocab – Teachers will use the vocabulary used in Power Maths (and NCETM / White Rose in Year R and 6) and this language will be displayed in each classroom when relevant to the teaching unit.  Teachers will teach ‘Tier 2’ words as well as subject specific language (Tier 3 words) to ensure children can comprehend, and are equipped to solve, a variety of Maths problems.   

STEM sentences – Teachers will encourage children to repeat these sentences frequently, to accurately express mathematical concepts and show their understanding.

Representations – Teachers will use pictorial, concrete and abstract representations to enable children

Impact

Children will be able to explain their maths using full sentences.  Children will be able to complete STEM sentences to show their understanding of the Maths they are learning. 

Children will be confident in knowing which equipment to choose and which representations are required to help them solve a problem.

Children use a range of learning styles: working cooperatively, collaboratively and independently.

Children understand the importance of Maths in everyday life.

The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace.

The Power Maths programme ensures that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a ‘Growth Mindset’.

Children enjoy their Maths learning, are confident in the subject and reach their full potential. 

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