Mathematics is a universal language that is used by cultures and societies the world over. It helps to explain things around us and is an area of study that is at the heart of many other subjects. Mathematics is an essential element of countless jobs and occupations and has played a vital role in the shaping of the modern world, particularly in areas such as medicine, science, technology and business. It is an essential means of communication and a gateway to understanding how the world works.
With these things in mind we, at Grove Wood Primary School, aim to teach maths lessons that are engaging, exciting, challenging, cross-curricular and memorable. We believe that all children are capable of achieving a solid understanding of the fundamentals of mathematics. Learners are taught to understand the importance and purpose of mathematics and lessons are always delivered with high expectations and a high level of challenge. We strive to give children a sense of wonder about mathematics and want all of our learners to enjoy and remember their maths lessons at school.
At Grove Wood we define mastery as ‘being able to do something standing on your head’. We teach a mastery-based maths curriculum which equips children with the necessary skills to become successful, rounded and confident mathematicians. Mastery enables learners to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, teaches children to reason mathematically and solve problems by applying their mathematical understanding. Our children are taught to use their maths knowledge and skills in different ways and are encouraged to become confident problem solvers and critical thinkers.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to 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 mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
· can 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 persevering in seeking solutions.
The mastery curriculum that we teach at Grove Wood focuses on these three key areas of fluency, reasoning ad problem solving in mathematics, and enables all learners to become successful mathematicians.
Growth Mindset is the belief that knowledge, skills and abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Growth Mindset is an important part of mathematics lessons at Grove Wood and our learners are always encouraged to:
· have a go and take a risk, no matter how challenging their work may seem
· never give up
· be positive about their work
· reflect on their learning
· challenge themselves
· strive to achieve personal maths targets
Teaching & Learning
Maths lessons are taught across the school for at least one hour every day. In addition to this, various interventions and booster groups are run in each year group on a daily and weekly basis to further support different children’s needs. From Year 3 onwards, learners are placed into different sets within their year group so they can be appropriately challenged and so that teaching can be tailored to their needs and abilities. Children in Key Stage 1 stay in their classes for their maths lessons.
When teaching, teachers draw on a range of different resources in school to help them deliver engaging and enjoyable lessons. Planning is largely based on termly plans produced by ‘White Rose Hub’. White Rose Hub is a mathematics scheme of work that is focused on the teaching of mastery in maths and enables children to apply their maths skills in different ways.
Termly plans for each year group, from Year 1 to Year 6, are split into twelve weeks. As part of each overview, a significant amount of time is devoted to developing key number concepts each year. This ensures pupils build their fluency as their knowledge of numbers and place value will affect their success in other areas of mathematics. Research has shown that pupils who confidently understand number are much more successful mathematicians.
Units of work often follow the ‘Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract’ approach, whereby children first learn a new concept practically (the concrete), then move onto drawing pictures and diagrams of what
they’re learning (the pictorial), before finally representing their learning in a written form using number sentences (the abstract). This helps to embed a deeper understanding of maths in the children’s minds by allowing them to fully understand what a number sentence means. This approach goes hand in hand with our mastery approach to mathematics, and helps to enrich the children’s learning and experience of maths.
At Grove Wood we recognise mathematics as a cross-curricular subject and outdoor learning and cross-curricular links are regularly embraced. Teachers link their maths lessons to other subjects whenever this is possible and children are taught to appreciate maths as a rich, broad subject. Teachers in all year groups make use of our outdoor facilities and often teach maths lessons in other areas of the school.
Each year we organise a week long Enterprise Fair. This is a maths based project where the children become designers, builders, sales people and entrepreneurs for the week. They are set the task of designing, creating and selling various products and games. Each year group is allocated a budget to buy materials and stools are set up for the children to sell their products and run their games. The aim is for the children to make a profit on their budget. To do this the children have to use various strands of mathematics and are required to apply their maths knowledge to other areas of the curriculum. If a year group makes a profit, they get to spend the money that they have made on a prize or reward!
At Grove Wood we always celebrate our successes, achievements and positive attitudes towards maths. Each half term one child from each class will receive the ‘Maths Master’ award for accomplishment and hard work in maths. This award is presented to the children in a whole school assembly, where they will receive a certificate and a maths – based prize. A copy of some of their brilliant maths work, along with a photo taken of them in the assembly, will go on display on the special Maths Masters display board outside the Key Stage 1 hall.