At Ormesby Primary School, we recognise the importance of Maths in every aspect of daily life. From telling the time and reading timetables, to being able to budget and manage personal finances. Confidence and proficiency in Maths is essential. With this in mind, we are committed to ensuring that our children develop secure mathematical skills that they are able to use across a range of different situations, so that they learn to think mathematically and use their skills confidently both in their school studies and within their everyday life.
We put these aims at the heart of our lessons. As well as developing fluency and accuracy with the recall of key number facts and procedures, we also seek to nurture independent, positive learners who enjoy Maths and can reason and think both logically and creatively when faced with problems and challenges. To support this, children are encouraged to develop a growth mindset (click here to find out more) where they have a ‘can do’ attitude, understanding that mistakes are an integral part of learning and that success requires self-belief, hard work and perseverance. We believe that this ethos will help our children to develop not only their mathematical skills, but also the key personal skills that are so important to succeed both whilst in our care and beyond.
The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics through varied and frequent practice.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry.
- solve problems by applying their mathematics to routine and non-routine problems.
To ensure that children achieve these aims, we have worked with the local DfE funded Maths Hub to introduce and develop a curriculum based upon ‘Teaching for Mastery’. This is an approach that is based upon the principles used in high performing education systems internationally, particularly those such as Singapore and China. It develops high quality teaching and learning across a sequence of lessons in small steps, so that children gain a true understanding of key ideas and learn to apply and use them logically to solve problems and challenges.
To find out what your child will be learning in each year group throughout the year, please download the Maths overviews below. Click on the links in the document to see the objectives for each unit.
To find out what your child will be learning in Nursery or Reception, please click here.
How do we teach Maths at Ormesby Primary School?
From Years 1 to 6, we use the NCETM approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme, alongside the NCETM professional development materials, to plan carefully structured sequences of lessons for each Maths topic. Within this, we incorporate smaller steps or additional challenge where necessary to ensure that our curriculum both challenges and supports the children in each class. The use of these materials, written by Mastery Specialists, means that across the school we have a high quality, consistent approach in our daily Maths lessons.
To support the development of mental skills, each class also holds a daily ‘Number Talk’ session which focuses upon developing fluency in mental strategies through frequent, varied practice and retrieval. Maths is also taught within other subjects, such as Science, so that children have a rich and varied experience of Maths in all its forms.
Although we have only recently introduced ‘Teaching for Mastery’ throughout school, it is proving very successful. The consistent approach that is being embedded is having a significant positive impact on confidence, enjoyment and progress in Maths.
Click here to see the key features of ‘Teaching for Mastery’.
- At the start of a lesson, a problem of some sort is posed. In pairs or small groups, children discuss how to solve it and this allows the teacher to assess understanding and address misconceptions.
- This is followed by another set of carefully-chosen problems or linked calculations to discuss and solve which extend or deepen the original learning is some way.
- The children are then given the opportunity to independently apply their knowledge to a range of specially selected questions with regular discussion at selected points to challenge and support their learning. Towards the end of the lesson, a new challenge, requiring a deeper level of understanding, is introduced. Even though not all children will be ready to access this independently, they will all be involved in and able to learn from the mathematical discussion surrounding it.
- In lessons, children are given lots of opportunity to work in pairs, small groups and as a whole class to develop their reasoning skills. This supports them in developing higher order Maths skills such as spotting patterns and relationships, making predictions and justifying and proving their answers, so that they can begin to make mathematical generalisations that will support their understanding.
How do we ensure that children make good progress?
Teachers assess understanding throughout lessons through precise teacher questioning in a back and forth style, where children are required to discuss ideas, explain and justify their thinking in order to gain a depth of understanding. Questions such as ‘What do you notice?’ and ‘How do you know?’ teach children to seek out logic and notice mathematical relationships that can help them.
They also enable teachers to look beyond whether an answer is right or wrong and gain an understanding of children’s thinking, so they can identify misconceptions and react immediately to support and address these, either within the lesson or through additional support and intervention. They can also challenge and extend thinking through a deeper level of questioning.
This approach, where teachers react in a dynamic way to continually move learning forward, helps children to identify and correct their own mistakes, leading to improved understanding and a focus on continually challenging themselves as learners who want to understand and find new solutions.
Written termly assessments, which feed into the school’s data tracking system, are carried out for Years 1-6. Additional written assessments are also carried at regular intervals by class teachers to monitor progress and inform planning.
External national tests are carried out as detailed below:
Year 2 – KS1 SATs Test in the Summer Term.
Year 6 – KS2 SATs Test in the Summer Term.
Year 4 – Online Multiplication Tables Check in the Summer Term. To find out more about the Multiplication Tables Check click here. To read the information page ‘The Multiplication Check and How You Can Help’, click here. This will tell you the tables your child will learn in each year group and programmes they use.
How do we ensure all children meet their full potential?
If a child has difficulty in a lesson, a same day intervention will take place where the child is given additional support, usually in a small group, to allow them to keep up and access the following lesson.
Occasionally, where children have very specific needs, they will work in a smaller group outside of the class lesson. However, they will still follow a mastery curriculum and develop the same personal and mathematical skills, but with work more tailored to their current level of understanding.
Where it is necessary, support is also sought from outside agencies for children identified as having a specific need.
Children who grasp an idea very quickly are challenged to think more deeply and notice more complex patterns and relationships. They also clarify and develop their understanding further by relating their work to other aspects of Maths. For example, they may be asked to solve a problem in a variety of ways, or make up an example of their own to fit a set of criteria.
How can parents support their child?
At our school, we believe that working together with parents and having a shared view of learning is hugely beneficial to a child’s development and their attitude towards education. There is plenty of research which shows that when parents are involved in their children’s Maths learning, even just through games and ‘fun’ activities, the children achieve much higher outcomes.
You can support your child at home through:
- sharing our growth mindset ethos and encouraging a ‘can do’ approach to learning. It is important that you do not accidentally put your child off Maths, or give them the idea that Maths doesn’t matter by telling them that you hated Maths at school, or that Maths is only for people with a ‘Maths brain’. Read more here.
- ensuring they complete any homework tasks that are given and regularly practise Maths facts relevant to their year group. See the links to the online times table resources above.
- playing Maths games and engaging in ‘fun’ Maths games activities, especially if your child lacks confidence.
- talking about and drawing attention to Maths in everyday life, for example, when measuring their height, working out how long until dinner time or weighing ingredients when cooking.
If you feel like you need to brush up on your own Maths skills, or build your confidence in the strategies we adopt in school, try visiting National Numeracy.
To find activities to support your child at home, click on the links below.