At Spring Gardens Primary School, we aim to equip all children with the skills and confidence to solve a range of problems through fluency with numbers and mathematical reasoning. Children are encouraged to see the mathematics that surround them every day and enjoy developing vital life skills in this subject. Our intention is to provide a curriculum which meets the needs of all individuals and prepares them with the necessary skills and knowledge to become both confident and successful. We want our children to think mathematically and be able to transfer skills and knowledge in a range of different contexts. Teaching using the mastery approach, ensures a deep learning and understanding of key concepts taught across the curriculum. We incorporate sustained levels of challenge through varied and high quality activities with a focus on fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Our curriculum builds on what has been taught and is progressive, sequential and inclusive; it is sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught previously and the focus is towards clearly defined end points.
Spring Gardens Primary School Calculation Policy
At Spring Gardens, we use the National Curriculum, NCETM Professional Development materials and DFE Ready to Progress criteria to support planning and the teaching of mathematics. Lessons are taught to whole classes and are planned based on ongoing formative assessment of what our children already know. At the planning stage, teachers consider the scaffolding that may be required for children, inclusive of all abilities, in the lesson. Lessons are planned to support and challenge all learners regardless of starting points. We ensure children have a secure and deep understanding of the content taught.
All classrooms have a designated maths area within them, where current topics are displayed, as well as the mathematical vocabulary the children will be expected to use. Children are encouraged to use precise mathematical vocabulary throughout lessons and to confidently explain the meanings of these words. Lessons focus on one key idea and connections are made across mathematical topics to ensure children are fluent within that concept. The expectation is that every child will master a concept and then move on to greater depth reasoning and problem solving.
Pre-teach sessions help to support pupils in their understanding of new learning and linked vocabulary, as well as build confidence and identify any gaps in their understanding.
Number Talks sessions allow for mental mathematical thinking and aim to help develop confidence and vocabulary. We use rapid intervention sessions to support pupils who need to secure or master a concept, working with them the same or next day to address any misconceptions and secure understanding.
We introduced maths passports to help develop children’s mental maths skills. Each child takes their passport through school achieving different continents (objectives) at different points. Objectives and continents show progression and build on previous learning. Teaching assistants also use our passports to support intervention sessions and plug any gaps.
Marking allows teachers to identify any misconceptions and children can address any errors - often with verbal feedback and or support from their teacher or a teaching assistant. Children are expected to respond to feedback (before the next lesson takes place) and may be challenged further if they have achieved the learning objective. All lessons are inclusive and SEND pupils might be supported by additional adults, resources to scaffold learning, and differentiated activities. They may also complete additional activities outside of the mathematics lesson.
Throughout each lesson, formative assessment takes place and feedback is given so that misconceptions are addressed and plans continually adapted to ensure concepts are secure. Teacher’s use this assessment information to adapt and tailor planning and ensure they are providing a mathematics curriculum that will allow every child to progress and experience success. Each term, children in Key Stage 2 complete a summative assessment to allow them to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of topics covered. We use Target Tracker across school termly to regularly assess and monitor progress. Results from both formative and summative assessment are then used to determine children’s progress and attainment.
Children in our Early Years Foundation Stage learn about mathematical concepts through active exploration and in their everyday play based learning. Children are taught key concepts and application of number using a hands-on practical approach. Teachers allow children time for the exploration and use of concrete objects and manipulatives, in order to help support children's mathematical understanding. In Reception, daily direct teaching sessions enable the children to develop key skills in a progressive and sequential way. Maths in the early years provides children with a solid foundation that will enable them to develop skills as they progress through their schooling and ensures children are ready for the National Curriculum. To support the new Early Years Curriculum 2021, we are part of NCETM’s Mastering Number programme. This project aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children, as well as increase number fluency and confidence in pupils.
Covid-19 Recovery Curriculum
Key documents were used to support the prioritising of the curriculum:
Teaching Mathematics in Primary School – DfE June 2020 and Exemplification Materials – NCETM.
Children are taught a progressive curriculum which builds on prior learning and knowledge. The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the National Curriculum Programmes of Study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of children’s understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. We use the DFE Ready to Progress materials to support our judgements. Children who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged and offered rich and sophisticated problems before any new content is introduced. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will consolidate their understanding before moving on.
We feel it is important that we listen to the feedback of our children at Spring Gardens and pupil voice tells us they are very positive about their maths lessons. Children enjoy lessons and feel challenged. They know how to ask for help and from feedback from their teacher, what steps they need to take to move forward. In our recent OFSTED inspection (December 2021) children said they loved maths and their maths lessons.