At Rosslyn Park Primary School, we want our children to experience the power and enjoyment of maths and for them to develop a sense of curiosity about maths. We intend to provide our children with a clear understanding of core mathematical concepts and promote a “can do” attitude for all children. We teach for a deep and secure understanding of mathematical concepts and believe that mistakes and misconceptions are an essential part of learning: mistakes are marvellous when they lead to learning. We provide an ambitious curriculum through rich, sophisticated problems, supported by high-quality resources.
Our mathematics curriculum is planned to provide continuity and progression. It enables pupils to make connections and transfer skills, and to think creatively and solve problems. It is also planned to develop pupils’ capacity to work both independently and collaboratively.
We plan learning to be an engaging, purposeful and rewarding experience, which equips our children to be successful, and make informed choices in the future. We encourage pupils to develop a ‘growth mind-set’, giving them the opportunity to learn and develop in a supportive and creative environment, where mistakes and misconceptions are valued as an important learning tool.
We aim for all pupils to be able to:
• 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 nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
How do we ensure a well-sequenced, progressive curriculum?
We follow a Mastery approach to teaching Maths and follow the White Rose maths curriculum and long-term plan. This involves employing a range of mastery approaches that help our pupils to develop a deep understanding of mathematics at each stage of their learning. By ensuring that pupils have a secure understanding of the mathematical facts and concepts they’ve been exposed to, they are able to move on confidently to more advanced material in following years. NCETM progression documents are used alongside the White Rose Scheme of Learning. These allow leaders and class teachers to know what their children have learnt previously, and support them in ‘plugging gaps’ in prior knowledge, as well as giving teachers an understanding of how the learning continues in subsequent year groups.
Weekly planning is tailored to the needs of our pupils, progressing through the ‘small steps’ lesson guidance from White Rose. When required, some small steps are grouped together and some recap lessons are needed from previous year groups to secure prior learning before moving on. Teachers are given the flexibility to use the resources they feel are of the greatest benefit to the children they are teaching. All staff are aware of the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract) approach and concrete resources are used throughout the school to ensure children are exposed to multiple, consistent representations of a concept.
How do we ensure challenge for all?
Mastery teaching ensures high expectations for all pupils and we ensure that the majority of pupils will move through our ambitious curriculum at broadly the same pace. Based on quality assessment for learning, our teachers make decisions about when to move the children’s learning forward, based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. We offer a high-quality learning menu (Starter, Main, Dessert, Beverage) and children can choose their own starting point. At each stage of the menu there’s opportunities for fluency, problem-solving and reasoning. Pupils are challenged through ‘star questions’ during lesson input, and through rich and more sophisticated problems in their ‘Beverage’ task; this ensures deepening their knowledge rather than acceleration to new content. A ceiling is not put on children’s learning and flexible grouping is adopted based on formative assessment. All children are encouraged to use concrete objects and a variety of visual representations to support their understanding of mathematical concepts and vocabulary.
Maths talk is a vital part of children’s understanding of maths and we introduce mathematical vocabulary from early years. We ask children to verbalise their thinking; our teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion and questioning to identify and address misconceptions. The children are provided with regular opportunities to reason mathematically in a safe environment, using scaffolds such as stem sentences, to support their independence and enable all children to articulate their thought processes.
‘Girls Only’ Maths Club
As part of the North Partnership Pupil Premium Project, we completed an analysis of our maths data and identified that boys were outperforming girls in maths in Year 5. In order to investigate the reasons for this, a group of girls were selected to complete a pupil voice survey. The results of this survey showed that the girls enjoyed maths, but lacked confidence and were afraid to make mistakes in maths.
We identified a group of 15 girls who would benefit from further intervention in maths from the beginning of year 6, both to build confidence and improve academic performance in SATs. These weekly interventions ran at lunch time and focussed on key arithmetic skills to boost the girls’ weekly arithmetic scores in class and subsequently, their confidence leading up to the SATs.
All of the girls in this intervention made accelerated progress in maths, particularly in arithmetic. Many of their arithmetic test scores at the beginning of year 6 were below 15/40 and these rose to over 30/40 in most cases (even some full marks!). The girls’ attitude towards maths improved significantly over the year, with some girls even being disappointed when their lunch time club was ending!