What is Maths?
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject
What type of Mathematician are we trying to develop at Holyport? (INTENT)
The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children:
Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. Are able to reason mathematically and develop an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language. Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
At Holyport, these skills are embedded within our daily Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts.
We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the creativity and power of Mathematics.
What is our approach to Maths at Holyport? (Implementation)
To ensure whole school consistency and progression, the school uses the nationally recognised White Rose Maths scheme. The White Rose curriculum is a cumulative curriculum, so that once a topic is covered, it is met many times over in many different contexts. For example, place value is revisited in addition and subtraction and multiplication and division. The curriculum recognises the importance of children’s conceptual understanding of number. It is therefore designed to ensure that time is invested in reinforcing these key skills in order to build competency.
Daily maths lessons are planned to provide plenty of opportunities to build reasoning and problem solving elements within the curriculum. When introduced to a new concept, children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing. Alongside this, children are encouraged to use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems. Both concrete and pictorial representations support children’s understanding of abstract methods.
Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. These teaching blocks are broken down into smaller steps, to help children better understand the concepts being taught. This approach means that children do not cover too many concepts at one time, which can lead to confusion and cognitive overload. Each phase/block of lessons provides the means for children to build their mastery of the mathematical knowledge or skill. With opportunities for children who are quick to grasp new content, being offered rich and sophisticated problems, within the lesson as appropriate.
We understand the importance of key skills and how these underpin the learning in mathematics – and in order to encourage pupils to learn these key skills to build confidence in the subject we run a weekly 99 club. The 99 Club is a mental-oral starter at Holyport which aims to raise standards in maths through encouraging pupils to improve their mental calculations when attempting quick-fire multiplication and division problems. As the children progress through the clubs they will apply their knowledge in more abstract ways, finding square numbers, square roots and fractions and percentages of quantities.
To develop pupils’ confidence in recalling their multiplication facts we use the website Times Table Rockstars. All pupils from Y1 (introduced to the pupils in the Spring term) to Y6 have log in details and can access the website. We run ‘battles’ every short term where the pupils can compete within the class, across classes and with teaching staff. Pupils also have the opportunity to earn certificates and levelled badges linked to their response time.
To support parents with supporting and encouraging their children with homework we use the site MyMaths. Using this resource, students find engagement through purpose and reward. MyMaths provides learners with the chance to put their mathematics skills to use through activities and challenges that are relevant and engaging.
At Holyport, we have a supportive ethos and our approach encourages the children to develop their independent and collaborative skills, as well as building confidence and understanding the importance of building confidence in others. Students can underperform in Mathematics because they believe they cannot do it or are not naturally good at the subject. The school’s use of White Rose Maths addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by continuing to develop a growth mindset across all aspects of our school curriculum and the use of our Learning Working Heads to encourage and develop key learning behaviours.
Regular and rigorous application of the: assess, plan, teach, assess cycle ensures that teachers have a clear understanding of pupils’ strengths and weaknesses and can support and enable the success of each child. We also try to offer Maths workshops for parents to boost their confidence and positivity towards Maths home-learning/work.
The above factors ensure that we are able to develop not only pupils’ knowledge and understanding, but also their confidence.
We value the connections we make within our local community, and are always seeking to develop working relationships with partners outside of the immediate school to enrich children's learning. If you have any links which may benefit the school, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us!
Curriculum Leader: Anthony Putman