Maths

Mathematics

Maths is lead with wisdom by Lisa Wainwright

Link governor: Derek Gray

Vision

At Hillside, we are determined to equip the pupils of Hillside with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. We recognise that mathematics is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind; we endeavour to ensure that our children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them.

At Hillside, we use the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) as the basis of our mathematics programme. We are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve mastery in the key concepts of mathematics, appropriate for their age group, in order that they make genuine progress and avoid gaps in their understanding that provide barriers to learning as they move through their education.

The Subject Leader

I would like to introduce myself as Mrs Wainwright, maths subject leader here at Hillside Primary school. I believe that mathematics is an essential tool for everyday life and at Hillside we are committed to developing a positive attitude, competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills. The children are expected to have an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and where possible staff link learning to real life situations, giving the children a purpose and motivation to achieve.

I strongly advocate all children, of all abilities learning together, working together on the same mathematical theme with the same success criteria for the skill being explored. The use of the bronze, silver, gold and platinum approach supports this thinking and enables children to choose their starting point, this will be different depending on the concept being taught. The differentiated activities ensure children have the practise and consolidation they require, whereas those children who need it can deepen their learning through using and applying, reasoning and fluency tasks.

Research around metacognition underpins our mathematical teaching in school. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and effective modelling of concepts allows our children to view the workings and thinking of the master at work. Children are then given adequate time to practice concepts with scaffolds and supports being withdrawn to ensure the children have opportunity to grapple with new learning in order for it to be committed to long term memory eventually.

Moderation of the standards of children’s work and of the quality teaching in mathematics is my responsibility alongside other members of the senior leadership team. My work involves supporting colleagues in the teaching of mathematics, being informed about current developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. Mr Derek Gray, who is a member of the school’s governing body is briefed to oversee the teaching of maths. He meets regularly to review progress in mathematics and has a passion for ensuring the children of Hillside achieve well in this area of the curriculum.

Our Curriculum

A detailed, structured curriculum is mapped out across all phases, ensuring continuity and supporting transition. Effective mastery curricula in mathematics are designed in relatively small carefully sequenced steps, which must each be mastered before pupils move to the next stage. Fundamental skills and knowledge are secured first. This often entails focusing on curriculum content in considerable depth at early stages.

As a school, we are passionate about children acquiring the basic skills of mathematics that will be valuable to them as they move on to further education and beyond.

We hold the following skills in high regard and children are encouraged to:

  • have a well-developed sense of the size of a number and where it fits into the number system (place value)
  • know by heart number facts such as number bonds, multiplication tables, doubles and halves
  • use what they know by heart to figure out numbers mentally
  • calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and in writing,
  • draw on a range of calculation strategies
  • make sense of number problems, including non-routine/’real’ problems and identify the operations needed to solve them
  • explain their methods and reasoning, using correct mathematical terms
  • judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary
  • suggest suitable units for measuring and make sensible estimates of measurements
  • explain and make predictions from the numbers in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables
  • develop spatial awareness and an understanding of the properties of 2D and 3D shapes

To provide adequate time for developing mathematics, maths is taught daily and discretely. However, application of skills are linked across the curriculum where appropriate and staff are keen to capitalize on opportunities in subjects such as science and geography where learning becomes purposeful and encourages application.

Curriculum Design

Our mathematics curriculum has been designed with breadth and depth in mind. At Hillside, we do not want to merely cover curriculum content but for our children to have the skills and processes to apply their maths learning to a variety of contexts. Teaching staff designed the curriculum to ensure each National Curriculum objective is broken down with opportunities for fluency, reasoning and problem solving through the ‘Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum’ differentiated approach. Where possible, opportunities to provide real life contexts for mathematical learning are sought. Teachers plan to teach essential maths skills that will support learning in science, history, geography and the other subjects. For example, teachers plan to cover data handling objectives in discrete maths lessons and then revisit and repeat the use of these skills during a science lesson where the children have been asked to plot the growth of a plant in different settings. Our priorities to provide children with essential lifelong skills are supported through our mathematics curriculum and we will continue to revisit our curriculum design each year to ensure that we offer our children the very best in an ever changing world and society.

Mastering the Curriculum

Mastery of maths means a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Developing mastery consists of three main elements:

  • fluency(rapid and accurate recall and application of facts and concepts)
  • a growing confidence toreason mathematically
  • the ability to apply maths tosolve problems, to conjecture and to test hypotheses

Mastery of maths, builds gradually as a child goes through school, is a tool for life, and immeasurably more valuable than the short term ability to answer questions in tests or exam. We are not in favour of labelling pupils as ‘high ability’ or ‘low ability’ and always put the ownership of learning on the children themselves. This approach is now the basis of each maths lessons and children are always given a choice of where they will begin their learning and are encouraged to take charge of the progress they make during the lesson by moving themselves on. Classes from year 1 to year 6 are using a ‘Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum’ approach to the activities that are set. This system enables the children to either consolidate their understanding of concepts before moving on (usually bronze and silver) or to apply their mathematical skills to reason and problem solve (usually gold and platinum).

When walking into a typical maths lesson it is evident that there is a challenging, engaging ethos that promotes a positive and confident attitude to maths as an exciting, creative and relevant subject. We also want to ensure that all our children realise their potential, becoming confident and enthusiastic mathematicians. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that there is a focus on promoting core maths skills; such as multiplication tables, number bonds and place value; as well as practical maths and 'using and applying' skills which promote independent problem solving skills and mastery.  

Mathematics Curriculum.

A detailed, structured curriculum is mapped out across all phases, ensuring continuity and supporting transition. Effective mastery curricula in mathematics are designed in relatively small carefully sequenced steps, which must each be mastered before pupils move to the next stage. Fundamental skills and knowledge are secured first. This often entails focusing on curriculum content in considerable depth at early stages.

As a school, we are passionate about children acquiring the basic skills of mathematics that will be valuable to them as they move on to further education and beyond.

We hold the following skills in high regard and children are encouraged to:

-have a well-developed sense of the size of a number and where it fits into the number system (place value)

  • know by heart number facts such as number bonds, multiplication tables, doubles and halves
  • use what they know by heart to figure out numbers mentally
  • calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and in writing and paper,
  • drawing on a range of calculation strategies
  • make sense of number problems, including non-routine/’real’ problems and identify the operations needed to solve them
  • explain their methods and reasoning, using correct mathematical terms
  • judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary
  • suggest suitable units for measuring and make sensible estimates of measurements
  • explain and make predictions from the numbers in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables
  • develop spatial awareness and an understanding of the properties of 2D and 3D shapes

To provide adequate time for developing mathematics, maths is taught daily and discretely. However, application of skills are linked across the curriculum where appropriate, staff are keen to capitalize on opportunities in subjects such as science and geography where learning becomes purposeful and encourages application.

Attached below are the various aspects of the maths curriculum that are covered by each year group in line with the National Curriculum expectations. These help teachers to ensure that all areas of the maths curriculum are covered for the relevant year group.

These plans are used as a guide for teachers to use in their maths planning. However, teachers are expected to use assessments and ongoing daily marking to inform their planning and make changes to the length of time spent on units during the spring and summer term. Teachers track the objectives taught and analyse this data when planning their units.

Please find attached the calculation policy for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division also.

Times Tables

Times tables are taught throughout the school in a consistent manner which focuses on recall, fluency and eventually speed. An online programme is used to enable children to practise their times tables online, at home and at school. The children record and monitor their own progress and have a full awareness of the times tables they need to secure. Each child from Year 2 upwards has their own Times Tables record sheet, in their maths book, which shows their progress when learning times tables. Children are tested on a regular basis to ensure that they know all of their times tables by the expected stages in their education. Children are rewarded with stickers to mark their achievements. It is expected that children will know all of their times tables to 12 x 12 by the end of Year 4. Children beyond Year 4 focus on learning multiples of larger numbers, square numbers and cube numbers and they continue to consolidate their knowledge of division and multiplication facts up to 12 x 12.

At Hillside we use an exciting, interactive maths programme to teach the children the essential skill of recalling their multiplication and division facts. The national expectation is that every child will be able to answer any times table question or division fact mentally within a five second period. Times Tables Rock Stars is an online programme which also requires the children to answer multiplication and division questions on paper at least three times per week, whist listening to rock music to motivate and engage them.

The online programme contains a competitive element where the children collect coins for every answer they input correctly. The more coins they earn, the more accessories they can buy for their avatar and the higher up the school leader board they will go. This resource is accessible and is a fun and engaging way to learn a vital mathematical skill.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Mathematics within the EYFS is developed through purposeful, play based experiences and will be represented throughout the indoor and outdoor provision. The learning will be based on pupils’ interests and schemas or current themes and will focus on the expectations from the Early Years Outcomes. As the pupils progress through, more focus is placed on representing their mathematical knowledge through more formal experiences. Pupils will be encouraged to record their mathematical thinking when ready and this will increase throughout the year. Assessment in the Foundation Stage is carried out through planned observations; incidental observation during child initiated activities and during teacher directed activities, which are informed through planning. All information obtained from these assessment strategies is transferred into the children’s individual profiles and recorded against the relevant Early Learning Goals. All assessment evidence is stored within the individual learning journeys. This includes observations, photographs and children’s work.

Maths Assessment

This section details the various assessment methods and practices used in Hilliside through which we ensure that children are making appropriate progress and that the activities they take part in are suitably matched to their ability and level of development.

Formative Assessment (AfL) - (monitoring children’s learning)

Assessment is an integral and continuous part of the teaching and learning process at Hillside and much of it is done informally as part of each teacher’s day-to-day work. Teachers integrate the use of formative assessment strategies such as: effective questioning, clear learning objectives, the use of success criteria, effective feedback and response in their teaching and marking and observing children participating in activities. Findings from these types of assessment are used to inform future planning.

Summative Assessment – (evaluating children’s learning)

More formal methods are used to determine the levels of achievement of children at various times during the school year: During assessment week half- termly assessments are used as a way of recording children’s progress in objectives covered across that specific term. This information is then updated on the online tracking tool available to teachers. These half-termly assessments are used throughout the year to aid planning.

Statutory End of Key Stage Assessment.

The National Curriculum requires that each child is assessed at the end of KS1 and KS2. Statutory tests determine whether the children are working below, at or above the expected standard. In KS1, the assessments coupled with teacher assessment form the overall standard the children reach. In KS2, teachers submit a separate teacher assessment judgement based on the interim frameworks. To show that pupils have met the standard, teachers provide evidence that a pupil demonstrates consistent attainment of all the statements within the standard.

Assessment for Learning – Self and peer assessment

All children from Nursery to Year 6 are asked to make judgements about how they can improve their own work, through a range of self-assessment techniques (e.g. marking codes, thumbs up – thumbs down etc). Children are also given the opportunity to take part in peer-to-peer assessment where they support their peers in looking at how to improve their work. At the end of every lesson, each child uses the code A, B or C to demonstrate the effort they have shown within the lesson and 1,2 or 3 to demonstrate their understanding of the learning objective. In response to this, after the teacher has marked the child’s work, they also use a marking code to show how much the child has understood. Discrepancies between child and teacher assessments are then addressed if necessary.

Maths and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

At Hillside, we use maths to supports our children’s spiritual development by helping them to develop deep thinking and question the way in which the world works. Moral development is supported through discussion about mathematical understanding and challenging assumptions, supporting children to question information and data that they are presented with. Self-esteem and building self-confidence is integral to social development and we use growth mind-set, metacognition and our differentiation model to support this. Collaborative learning is encouraged at Hillside in the form of listening and learning from each other and paired discussion and working with partners. Finally, maths supports pupil’s cultural development by developing an appreciation with the pupils that mathematics, its language and symbols have developed from many different cultures around the world. This is often learned through the teaching of historical periods such as the Romans, the Greeks, the Mayans and many other cross-curricular topics.

Cross Curricular Mathematics

The National Curriculum statement for mathematics (DFE) refers to mathematical skills that ‘support learning across the curriculum’. At Hillside, we take advantage of opportunities that arise to link mathematical knowledge and skills across the curriculum. For example, in year 6 children use maths to measure forces in newtons and grams; children interpret pie charts to show the nutrients needed by a cat, human and a parrot in year 3 and in year 1 children sort and classify the features of seasonal changes. Other cross-curricular learning includes children in year 1 and 2 ordering historical events on timelines, creating a pyramid structure using nets during the children’s Mayans topic in year 6, using census data to gather information about people from the past in upper KS2 and coordinates and positional language is used regularly in fieldwork across the school. We recognise the importance of cross curricula learning and how mathematics can be brought to life when it is linked to practical, real life examples.

Growth Mind Set

It is common to hear children say they are, ‘no good at maths’ or state that they, ‘can’t do maths!” At Hillside we aim to foster a ‘can do’ attitude towards maths. We encourage the children to change their mind set and think positively about their learning. The children have been taught to believe that they can ‘do maths.’ So instead of saying ‘I can’t do it!’ they children follow the sentence with YET! The children know that once they have learnt all the skills that they will eventually solve the problem. This growth mind-set approach towards maths helps us all to achieve more than we believe we can.

Pupil Voice

Our children have a love and enthusiasm for maths at Hillside and this demonstrated in their values and attitudes. The following quotes demonstrate some of the comments made when our children were asked about maths at Hillside:

‘I really challenged myself today in maths. I did gold and then platinum.’ Year 2 Pupil

‘We are more positive towards maths because of Mr Frost’s growth mind set assemblies. We know that if the work is hard we will eventually get there with the help of our teachers.’ Year 5 Pupil

‘I like looking for numbers in the woods.’ Reception Pupil

‘I like writing notes to my teacher after I have finished my work. She always writes back to me.’ Year 6 Pupil

‘I love looking in my book and seeing a fix it challenge. Even if I struggle to answer it I know that it is a good thing to be challenged.’ Year 4 Pupil