Maths at St Mary's CE School
The 2014 National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
At St Mary’s CE School, these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to apply their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently 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.
The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
At St Mary’s we follow the ‘Inspire Maths’ approach to teaching mathematics. This was introduced with Year One children in September 2017, and is now embedded practice across KS1. The principles of Inspire Maths are being further developed in KS2 to ensure the curriculum is fully implemented across all key stages.
What is Inspire Maths?
- Inspire Maths is a detailed textbook scheme of work based upon the Singapore approach to teaching mathematics which ensures a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and understanding which underpins mastery.
- Inspire Maths uses a spiral progression to develop fluency, reasoning, problem solving and conceptual understanding of mathematics through a concrete - pictorial – abstract approach.
- The textbooks are designed to support teaching through providing children with repetition and consolidation through variation and ensuring a seamless progression between concrete, pictorial and abstract models for maths.
- Inspire maths guided sessions promote discussion and exploration, with a strong emphasis on mathematical language, speaking in full sentences, and reasoning (by children consistently being required to explain how they know).
- Teachers ensure that there is a balance between teacher modelling, group and independent work throughout a unit of work.
- The Inspire Maths programme follows a ‘stage not age’ approach so the numbers on the overviews do not correlate with the year groups in which they are taught.
Teachers enhance the Inspire Maths programme with their own knowledge and expertise to further challenge the more able and to support children with SEND. Same day intervention and feedback underpins the Singapore approach to ensure children progress and gaps in knowledge and understanding do not emerge or widen.
Children of all ages and abilities are encouraged to use resources to develop and explain their mathematical understanding. Some examples of resources used across the school include: Numicon, Base 10, Counters and Cuisenaire Rods. Such resources support with the concrete representations and understanding of concepts throughout all key stages. Development into the pictorial representations across the school is achieved through Bar Modelling. This supports children with visualising concepts and problems at all ages and stages. Finally, children are encouraged to develop their abstract, written representations of mathematical concepts. The calculation policy is followed to ensure consistency throughout all key stages.
Children in all stages should apply their knowledge and understanding of maths across the curriculum to solve problems.
Throughout each lesson formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children through marking and next step tasks to ensure they are meeting the specific learning objective. Teachers then use this assessment to influence their planning and ensure they are providing a mathematics curriculum that will allow each child to progress. The teaching of maths is also monitored on a termly basis through book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations.
Summative assessments are used to help the children to develop their testing approach and demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered. Teachers use a range of summative and formative assessment tools to determine children’s progress and attainment.
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.