Here is a summary of the school’s approach towards mathematics and outlines how our vision is implemented. A teaching for mastery approach is used throughout he school, based on the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics’ (NCETM) “Five Big Ideas”, first published in 2017. Further information about the Five Big Ideas (coherence, variation, fluency, mathematical thinking and representation and structure) can be found on the NCETM’s website https://www.ncetm.org.uk
Planning in mathematics is in line with the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for mathematics. These set out what should be taught in each year group from Year 1 to Year 6. Each year group maps out how many weeks will be spent on each different aspect of mathematics; within each of these units of learning, a clear sequence of learning objectives is established. Each learning objective may be the learning focus for one or several sessions. Each daily session is planned directly into ActivInspire flipcharts and incorporates a coherent journey with small progressive steps in order for all children to secure the learning.
Teachers draw on a number of high quality resources to support with planning. These include: the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) spines; White Rose premium resources; Power Maths; nrich; Gareth Metcalfe reasoning and problem solving.
One of the key aspects of effective mathematical pedagogy is the use of both physical resources (manipulatives) and pictorial representations alongside abstract mathematical recording. Concrete and pictorial representations are chosen carefully to reveal the underlying structures, patterns and relationships of the mathematics. It is important that links between the three stages (concrete – pictorial – abstract) are explicitly made during teaching and that all children, regardless of attainment or age, are exposed to a variety of different representations as a result of planned conceptual variation. Manipulatives are removed at an appropriate stage when conceptual understanding is secure so they are not used procedurally during calculations.
The structure of a lesson will vary based on the topic covered and the needs of the pupils. Steps throughout a lesson are small to ensure that all pupils understand the key concepts before they are exposed to new ones.
During a lesson, children will typically be given the opportunity to review previous learning, link previous learning to new learning, practise new skills, apply these skills in different ways and reason and explain about the concept. Lessons will include a mix of direct teaching, paired tasks and independent practice.
Support and extension
The majority of children in a class move through the programme of study at broadly the same pace and are exposed to the same learning opportunities. Children in all classes sit in mixed attainment pairs to promote collaborative learning, exposure to different ideas and opportunities for discussion. Learners are supported by the clear structure of the lesson, their peers and additional adults as well as scaffolds provided by teachers. Children are extended through: higher order questioning; the expectation to use precise mathematical vocabulary in both oral and written explanations; the exposure to rich extension tasks. It is expected that all pupils will experience challenge in a lesson.
All adults in the classroom mark during the lesson giving children immediate feedback and support. Towards the end of a lesson, children have an opportunity to check their understanding and self-assess. Teachers review work following a lesson to ensure all children have secured the learning objective. Yellow highlighting indicates accurate work and strong understanding; green highlighting indicates errors to review. If appropriate, teachers will suggest next steps to be able to meet the learning objective or might pose a question to support the pupil to close the gap. If there is a common misconception, the whole class will be exposed to it within the next lesson. At the beginning of the following session, pupils are given an opportunity to review marking, correct errors and respond to teacher feedback.