Mathematics at Whitehouse Primary
Every child at Whitehouse Primary is recognised as a unique individual: we celebrate individuality and welcome difference within our unique school community.
It is our aim to provide our children with a curriculum that is aspirational for all with every child’s ability to learn underpinned by the good teaching of basic skills, knowledge, personal wellbeing, individual challenge and values that will prepare our children for life beyond primary school.
The National Curriculum (2014) states that three aims of mathematics should ensure that all pupils:
- 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 mathematicallyby following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- Can solve problemsby 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 persevering in seeking solutions
At Whitehouse Primary School, our mathematics curriculum aims to be aspirational for all in order to enable all of our children to be successful in the 21st Century.
We believe that mathematics is integral to everyday life. Our mathematics curriculum is designed to develop a secure understanding, which provides building blocks for learning in a range of situations. Our curriculum delivers a platform for children to demonstrate their understanding of mathematics and produces mathematicians who can confidently explain their mathematics understanding, enjoyment and interest. We want our children to become confident problem solvers and to be able to reason and think logically (and not just in their Maths lessons).
We aim to achieve this through:
- Developing a positive attitude towards mathematics.
- Teaching mathematics in a way that develops the effective application of this subject within a wide range of activities supporting education and adult life.
- Developing children’s ability to express themselves fluently, to talk about the subject with assurance whilst using correct mathematical language and vocabulary.
- Instilling thinking skills, independence and creativity throughout the mathematics curriculum.
- Developing mathematical skills and knowledge and quick recall of basic facts in line with recommendations.
- Developing children’s ability to problem solve through application and exploration of their mathematical understanding.
- Establishing mathematics as in integral tool in all aspects of learning (cross-curricular).
- Establishing an effective model of the mastery initiative that is effective for our school setting.
- Where possible, mathematics is linked to everyday scenarios to prepare children for adult life.
- All children are challenged to the best of their ability.
The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. To ensure whole consistency and progression, the school uses the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme. This is fully aligned with the White Rose Maths scheme. The mapping of mathematics across school shows clear progression in line with age related expectations. Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention. Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge. Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up. New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem, which children are able to discuss in partners. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of maths in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning.
This begins in the EYFS where pupils are introduced to the characters, vocabulary and Power Maths scheme of work using a range of concrete apparatus. In KS1, these problems are also often presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Children may also use manipulatives in KS2. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems.
Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate. Those children who are ‘rapid graspers’ will either be challenged with deeper thinking questions, asked to show their understanding in different representations or through writing own word problems/ explanations/application of skills.
Mathematics in our school is enhanced by our individual class working walls designed to aid children through each topic. In addition to their maths lessons, children in Key Stage One and Two use Schofield and Sims differentiated mental arithmetic books to reinforce their learning and allow children to fluently apply their mathematical knowledge across a range of contexts in order to remember more.
Using Power Maths as a resource to support our teaching and learning of maths allows us to address any misconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset. A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.
Children are becoming more confident with reasoning about their learning, both verbally and in a written form. Lessons across school use consistent methods and representations which are built upon in each year group. Children have the ability to recognise relationships and make connections in a range of areas of maths. They have the flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.
Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with nearly all children achieving the national standard at the end of KS2 and a good proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase. Maths is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as book scrutinies, lesson observations and pupil voice interviews.