‘The value of the problem is not so much coming up with the answer as in the ideas and attempted ideas it forces on the would be solver.'
Israel Nathan Herstein
At St Mary’s, our intent is to develop our pupil’s ability to reason mathematically, problem solve and develop fluency skills/conceptual understanding in each strand of the curriculum. We allow our pupils to engage with creative lessons, which allows them to explore maths deeply, using mathematical vocabulary to reason carefully, and explain their findings.
We encourage children to recognise that mistakes needs to happen in order to learn and that the process of trial and error is a key skill in mathematics. We give each and every child a belief that they are able to succeed in this subject.
In order to achieve this, we provide a balanced and progressive curriculum, which is inclusive to all pupils. It allows each child the same quality of teaching, learning opportunities and access to challenge.
As a school we follow, ‘The National Curriculum Programmes of Study 2014’ and ‘The EYFS Framework – Number and Numerical Patterns’. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, we have also incorporated the 2020 non-statutory, ‘Ready to Progress’ guidance, to ensure children move forward with the curriculum without gaps in their learning. At St Mary’s, we use the White Rose Maths scheme of learning as a guide for small steps in learning. This ensures consistency across the school for the children and teaching staff. We ensure only high quality resources are used to support learning and these are selected from various recommended websites.
At the start of each new topic, key vocabulary is introduced and revisited regularly to develop language acquisition, embedding as the topic progresses and is highly visible on Maths Working Walls so the children can use them regularly and correctly when using verbal or written explanations in their work. Children are taught through clear modelling and have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts. Our approach incorporates using concrete objects, pictures, words and numbers to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding at all levels.
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
Children work on the objective at whatever entrance stage they are assessed as being at. Children can acquire the skill (fluency), apply the skill (problem solving) or deepen the skill (reasoning) within the lesson.
Within lessons, teachers use a variety of strategies to allow learners to explore and consolidate their skills, promoting discussion and questioning. These include:
· Using concrete manipulatives
· Creating pictorial representations
· Teacher modelling
· Collaborative group work
· Talk Partners
· Independent work
· Problem solving and open-ended investigations
· Use of the outdoor classroom/resources to create projects
Children who have shown their understanding at a deep level within the unit will have opportunities to apply these skills in a greater depth activity. This should be challenging and ensure that children are using more than just one skill to be able to answer the mathematical problems.
Children are encouraged to explore, apply and evaluate their mathematical approach during investigations to develop a deeper understanding when solving different problems/puzzles. A love of maths is encouraged throughout school via links with others subjects, applying an ever growing range of skills with growing independence.
As a school, we strive to ensure our children’s attainment is in line with or exceeds their potential, whatever their starting point in primary education. Using the mastery White Rose curriculum (supported by our non-negotiable key skills) and Deepening Understanding we will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.
We aim to ensure that all pupils, on leaving St Mary’s C of E Primary School will:
· Have a love and enjoyment of the subject
· Be fluent in arithmetic skills
· Approach reasoning and problem solving tasks with resilience, and be able to draw on a variety of strategies to help solve these problems
· Use mathematical language accurately and confidently to express their ideas
· Understand the importance of Maths and its links to other subjects and the wider world