“The only way to learn Mathematics is to do Mathematics.”
At Warbstow, we use a mastery approach to mathematics in order to help children achieve the 3 aims of the National Curriculum:
- 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
- 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 persevere in seeking solutions
We use a mastery approach to deliver the teaching and learning of mathematics which supports our pupils in becoming fluent mathematicians who can reason and problem solve in a variety of situations. We want our pupils to have a love of maths with clear links being made to other academic subjects (such as Science and Design Technology) and the real world. As our pupils move throughout the school, we aim for them to develop a continuous, deepening understanding of all areas of mathematics; building on their knowledge year, upon year in order to prepare them for their next stage of education as well as their roles in wider society.
Our mastery approach to the curriculum is designed to develop children's knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts from the Early Years through to the end of Y6. All children are encouraged to believe in their ability to master maths and are empowered to succeed through curiosity and persistence. By tackling the same concepts at the same time children progress together as a whole class. We endeavour at all times to set tasks that have high expectations for all, are challenging, motivating and encourage pupils to talk about their learning and understanding.
Number is at the heart of our curriculum with daily practice to ensure fluency of number facts. We want children to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry. Discussion plays a vital role in all lessons. Children are actively encouraged to discuss with peers and teachers, how? Why? using mathematical language. Problem solving is embedded in every lesson and variation of questions are used to enable children to apply their knowledge to different situations.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage Mathematics is one of the specific areas of learning. Together, the seven areas of learning and development shape educational programmes in early years settings, and all areas of learning and development are important and interconnected. At Warbstow we provide our children with opportunities to develop and improve their mathematical knowledge and skills in a wide variety of interesting ways taking advantage of the large indoor and outdoor environments.
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10 and count to 20 and beyond. They will notice the relationships between numbers and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built.
Each adult led activity is carefully planned to introduce new concepts, scaffold children’s learning and assess their understanding. Children develop their mathematical skills and knowledge through continuous provision and adult led activities. Enhanced provision is provided to excite, challenge and reinforce mathematical skills, giving the learning purpose and meaning in the wider context of their lives.
Key Stage One and Two:
Key skills: We recognise the importance of establishing a secure foundation in mental calculation and recall of number facts. Each day children have an activity designed to support fluency in all key number facts. This may be in addition to the daily maths lesson.
During guided learning: children discover & share new learning with an adult. Hands-on real-life problems help to spark curiosity and provide opportunities for deeper questioning. This is supported through whole class discussion. A small step approach to teaching – providing rigour and scaffold at the same time prepares children for their independent work. Children access a variety of resources and images to develop their understanding through the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach. This will include a variety of representations needed to introduce and explore a concept effectively and also set out related teacher explanations and questions to pupils. Children are encouraged to work with a partner, as a group or individually during this whole class guided instruction.
Independent learning: This part is designed to be completed independently using conceptual and procedural variation of mathematical concepts. Children will be exposed to varying representations and manipulatives to ensure they reason and deepen their knowledge and understanding. children are given variety of reasoning and problem-solving questions to which they need to apply their understanding. These will take different periods of time to complete, and in some instances could be the focus for an entire lesson as children investigate a range of solutions. It is here that the language and vocabulary developed previously helps each child to discuss, explain and understand their reasoning. Teachers carefully plan to provide variation, support and extension within each activity so that the whole class can progress together at their own pace.
To support the children’s fluency and speedy mental calculations and times tables recall we use the online platforms of Times Tables Rockstars. These allow the children to compete against each other within the school and with other children nationally. We also use the ’99 club’ to assess these skills.
Our children demonstrate a deep understanding of maths, they display a positive and resilient attitude towards mathematics and an awareness of the fascination of mathematics. Children show confidence in their ability to achieve and they move flexibly and fluidly between different contexts and representations. Children talk about their understanding of maths and are willing to explore and investigate possibilities. Each child achieves the objectives (expected standard) for year group, not necessarily in the same way as their peers.