Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.
— Shakuntala Devi, Indian writer and mental calculator
Our overall intention is to nurture and develop our six qualities of learning which enable all children to shine…for life! We nurture and encourage creative, kind and resilient learners who are reflective, inquisitive and determined in all they do.
At St Levan, the teaching and learning of Mathematics is a high priority as we recognise it as an essential skill for life. In order to meet raised national expectations within the National Curriculum, we are focused on a whole school mastery approach to our teaching of mathematics. This involves spending longer on key topics by taking smaller steps to ensure that children acquire a deeper understanding.
We strive to offer a Maths curriculum which is consistent, sustainable and progressive through continuously looking at ways in which we can enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics within our school. All teaching staff are passionate about the teaching of mathematics, and strive to ensure context of mathematics is firmly embedded in the immersive learning experiences for all children.
To think like Mathematicians, learners at St Levan focus on our three subject specific characteristics which are:
- I can recall facts fluency
- I use reasoning to explain my answers
- I can sole different problem
These three characteristics are woven throughout our Mathematics curriculum and are built upon as children progress through the school. This ensures that children acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, couched in concepts and language with which they have already become familiar.
We provide an engaging, characterful and balanced curriculum for all.
Our inclusive curriculum is carefully planned to allow for progress for all pupils in our two mixed age classes. We recognise the challenges of teaching a progression within a subject to a mixed age class and, having undertaken our own research and consulted subject specialists and organisations, developed our own pedagogy and created what we believe is the best fit for our setting. With a commitment to the removal of barriers to learning and participation, we offer high quality teaching and appropriate differentiation to meet the needs of all. We teach Maths through sequenced units using a wide range of manipulatives in conjunction with carefully constructed models and images to guide children through concrete, pictorial and abstract understanding of a concept.
See our progression documents below.
Our belief that children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning underpins our mastery teaching. There is one set of Mathematical concepts for all and we aim to support all our pupils in building strong connections between these ideas. By providing opportunity for consolidation and presenting pupils with ever-increasing challenge and occasions to build their resilience and make links between mathematical concepts in an upward spiral.
Mastery is a continuum. We believe mastery is best achieved when more time is spent on key concepts that are revisited and reviewed in an upward spiral. This allows for the development of depth and sufficient practice to embed learning. Devoting time to key concepts enables us to:
- Represent concepts in lots of different ways (multiple representations).
- Teach the processes, then allow the children to apply their knowledge, increasingly rapidly and accurately to an ever broadening set of scenarios.
- Help commit key facts to children’s long term memory.
Therefore, at an age appropriate level, we expect the vast majority of our children to be able to:
- Use mathematical concepts, facts and procedures appropriately, flexibly and fluently
- Have a sufficient depth of knowledge and understanding to reason and explain mathematical concepts and procedures and use them to solve a variety of problems.
- Recall and have strategies to locate key number facts e.g. number bonds and times tables with speed and accuracy and use them to calculate and work out unknown facts.
To achieve this we strive for our classrooms to have 14 attributes.
- A calm, positive and orderly environment so that students may focus on mathematics
- A classroom climate where students feel mistakes are permitted and represent an opportunity to learn
- Students practice recall of maths facts such as number bonds (to 20) and multiplication tables (to at least 100) in the early years of schooling to the point of instant retrieval. It is an expectation that all students can achieve this
- Students are explicitly taught both concepts and procedures
- Conceptual understanding is expected to influence procedural understanding and vice versa. The concepts underpinning procedures are fully explained to students, as is the procedural application of concepts
- Students practice procedures to the point of fluency which is defined as follows: Students can perform the four basic operations on whole numbers (up to five digits), fractions and decimals with accuracy and automaticity
- Teaching sequences start with teacher explanations and modelling followed by a planned, gradual release of teacher guidance
- Teaching sequences start with highly similar examples and practice followed by a planned, gradual move towards more varied examples and practice that eventually cut across concepts
- Key concepts and procedures are revisited many times in a year
- Whole-class instruction is highly interactive. A whole-class segment sees the teacher call on students at random or request whole-class responses to questions. When demonstrating new procedures, teachers call on students to demonstrate steps within that procedure that are already known
- Individual practice forms a key part of lessons, is valued and is seen as a means to correct misconceptions before they develop. Self, peer and teacher correction are used
- Students frequently complete short, quizzes on times tables and other 'pillars' needed for fluency, understanding and to help them remember more.
- Correct, appropriately worked solutions are held to be the best evidence of learning although multiple strategies and student explanations form part of classroom discussion
- Plans and resources are owned and shared across the school.
How we ensure a well-sequenced, progressive curriculum
We teach the National Curriculum 2014. Pupils gain understanding of the mathematics relevant to their year group so that is it built upon in subsequent years.
- Our long term map, using White Rose Maths, outlines in year groups / phases when mathematical knowledge, in unit blocks of work, will be taught and revisited. This is the basis for our well sequenced and progressive curriculum.
- Our Calculation Policy – based on Babcock’s example, outlines in more detail which concepts and procedures / strategies will be introduced and then developed.
- Our weekly planning is based on white Rose Maths which is tailored to the needs of our children. We use many concrete resources throughout the school to ensure children are exposed to multiple representations of a concept. This is part of our CPA (Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract) approach.
Whilst we teach Maths in progressive distinct domains (units of work) we recognise that Maths is an interconnected subject. Therefore, we encourage children to make connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. Children also apply their mathematical knowledge across the curriculum, and particularly in Science, where relevant.
We regard talk in Maths as hugely important and introduce mathematical vocabulary in an age appropriate way. We encourage children to verbalise their thinking; our teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
We make time to teach Maths:
Children in EYFS have a daily mathematical focus based on acquiring knowledge of basic mathematical facts and concepts within the EYFS Curriculum. Mathematical concepts are also woven throughout their continuous provision.
Children in KS1 and 2 have a daily Maths session usually lasting 1 hour in KS1 and 1 hour 20 in KS2.
We also implement daily Morning Maths where pupils build skills in rapid and efficient number manipulation.
If children are not reaching the expectations outlined below we intervene quickly by giving extra support. We give catch up support by utilising post teach and precision teach for short term rapid progress. The content of these sessions is determined by on-going gap analyses and our in-depth knowledge of each child. These sessions are additional to our daily Maths session and form part of an identified intervention.
We build a skilled team who can teach Maths:
Our Maths Subject Leader has been part of a mixed age planning working group with Cornwall Maths HUB, taken part in regular CPD and worked with Babcock on a mentoring project where we were identified as having good practice in mixed age maths teaching. We carry out regular (at least termly) in house sessions based on the aforementioned training and current areas of focus and have carried out 1:1 coaching for identified staff.
Leaders in our school prioritise the teaching of Maths. Maths is identified as a key priority on our School Improvement Plan. Leaders monitor the provision of Maths through learning walks in Maths sessions (where COVID restrictions have allowed), work and planning scrutiny and the impact of this provision through the analysis of analysis of (i) end of year cohort data (end of KS1and 2 Maths) and (ii) individual pupil attainment and progress throughout the year (on going assessments).
At St Levan, we use assessment in three different ways across all subjects.
Assessment for learning (AfL)
This assessment is formative, ongoing and informs classroom practice and future planning. Through careful observation, listening and questioning, teachers glean what learners know and can do and plan next steps accordingly. We are able to use our calculation policies to support pupils’ nest steps and move back a step should they need further time to consolidate a concept.
Assessment as learning (AaL)
This assessment is about how pupils self-regulate their own learning and develop metacognitive skills. Through structured peer and self-assessment activities, pupils understand their own needs as a learner and reflect on their own next steps. By taking ownership of their own learning, this can help pupils to know more and remember more. For example, in Maths, pupils in KS2 may self-assess against their WALTs and WILFs and highlight what they can do. In KS1, pupils read to each other daily and use informal peer-assessment to support each other with the text.
Assessment of learning (AoL)
This assessment is summative and used to measure pupil progress throughout the year.
Statutory assessments include:
- KS1 SATs (Year 2)
- KS2 SATs (Year 6)
- Multiplication Tables Check (Year 4)
We use White Rose end of unit assessments and White Rose termly assessments to help us assess pupil progress.
Useful Maths links:
Challenges open for solving from NRICH (University of Cambridge Faculty of Mathematics)
Maths games and information
Excellent website outlining what will be covered in each Year group for Maths as well as other subjects.