Maths is taught using the objectives from the 2014 National Curriculum, with teaching sequences adapted by teachers to provide an assessment-based curriculum where appropriate. Teachers have the freedom to teach these objectives in any order to meet children’s needs at the earliest opportunity and make cross-curricular links to engage all learners.
At Barrington we use the Maths Mastery approach to teaching mathematics. The mastery approach means spending more time building children’s understanding in a maths area rather than racing through the concepts and knowledge pupils are expected to know by the end of each year. In the past, moving through content quickly meant that some children started to develop gaps in their knowledge because they moved on to another area before they had really understood it. Over time these gaps grew and it was sometimes hard for children to catch up. It also meant that those who understood, never had the chance to become real experts and apply their learning to solve problems.
A deep understanding is achieved through covering fewer topics in greater depth not 'climbing' the curriculum as quickly as possible. Pupils master concepts rather than learning procedures by rote.
As a primary school, it is our duty to ensure that children have solid, concrete understanding of subject knowledge and skills as well as being emotionally resilient for the next year of their education. Our intention is take learning at a steady pace to ensure that no child is left behind, as well as providing experiences for children who are grasping ideas quickly, to really show a deeper understanding. Evidence shows that children need to be able to understand a concept, apply it in a wide range of situations and then be creative with it to really understand (or master) it.
In order to achieve this, number sense and place value come first and is of great importance as this underpins everything mathematical. All children use concrete manipulatives (objects) and pictorial representations (pictures), before moving to abstract symbols (numbers and signs).
Within maths lessons all the children work on fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
Fluency; this is the ability to perform mathematical problems accurately and quickly. For example, a child is fluent in addition within 5 numbers if she is asked to add 1 + 3 and she immediately says 4. A child is not fluent in addition within 5 numbers if he is asked the same 1 + 3 question will use his fingers to count out his answer.
Reasoning; the way that children speak and write about mathematics has been shown to have an impact on their success. Mathematic Mastery uses a carefully sequenced, structured approach to introduce and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. Reasoning involves thinking through mathematical problems logically in order to arrive at solutions. It also involves being able to identify what is important and unimportant in solving a problem and to explain or justify a solution.
Mathematical problem solving is at the heart of the approach – it is both how children learn maths, and the reason why they learn maths. By accumulating knowledge of mathematics concepts, children can develop and test their problem solving in every lesson. Through solving mathematical problems children are given the opportunity to apply the maths they have been learning and deepen their understanding of the concepts, as well as seeing the practical application of their maths skills.
The documents below outline the age related expectations for each year group for maths: