Mathematics is an important creative and highly inter-connected discipline that is essential to everyday life; it also helps us to understand and make changes to the world. We want all pupils at St Paul’s to experience the beauty, power and enjoyment of mathematics and develop a sense of curiosity about the subject with a clear understanding.
At St Paul’s we foster positive can-do attitudes, and we promote the fact that ‘We can all do maths!’ We believe all children can achieve in mathematics and teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts through small, manageable steps.
Children learn to work practically and systematically; to understand new concepts in a concrete way. Moving from the concrete to pictorial means that, as children arrive at more abstract work, their understanding and learning is embedded in a way that is secure and can be built on. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning and provide challenge through rich and sophisticated problems and reasoning.
Children will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with their new knowledge and understanding in multiple ways. In our curiosity curriculum teaching we make cross-curriculum links to maths, re-enforcing its interconnectivity.
At St. Paul’s we teach maths every day and implement the current legal requirements of the EYFS: Mathematics area of learning and the Mathematics Programme of Study for Key Stages 1 and 2.
We use the White Rose Maths schemes of learning as a basis and lessons are designed systematically, building on knowledge, skills and understanding from the previous year and earlier blocks in the year. The schemes include a focus on mathematical language and problem solving and reasoning. Through questioning and problem solving we aim to develop mathematical thinking which is central to deep and sustainable learning of mathematics.
Special attention has been paid to learning gaps created by lockdown. Gap analysis is taking place and the White Rose Maths programme has been updated to offer opportunities and resources to teachers to use their discretion when starting a new block regarding how much reinforcement of previous learning is needed.
As well as mental maths skills being reinforced in lessons, additional time is given to help children become fluent in mental arithmetic skills through regular practise.
Homework is set to give children practise on current learning in the classroom. All children from Year 1 to Year 6 are set up on Mathletics, an online subscription program accessible in school or remotely at home, which offers practice and fluency activities and challenges thinking with problem solving and reasoning.
EYFS and Key Stage 1 are taking part in the NCETM (National Centre of Excellence in the Teaching of Maths) Mastering Number Programme. This is a year long programme aimed at strengthening the understanding of number, and fluency with number facts, among children in the first three years of school. It encourages children to be mathematically observant and secure their understanding of number.
Each maths lesson has a clear objective that children are aware of and understand how to achieve. Lessons are differentiated to ensure that all children are challenged. We ensure that when assessing pupils, evidence is drawn from a wide range of sources to inform the process, including interaction with pupils during discussions and related questioning, day-to-day observations, practical activities, the gathering, presentation and communication of information and written responses. The outcomes of each lesson serve to inform the teacher’s developing picture of the knowledge and understanding of each pupil and their future planning. Outcomes are used to build an emerging picture of each child’s knowledge skills and understanding.
At the end of a block of learning and at the end of each term children’s learning is assessed in class through testing, and the data is compared to data previously collected for each child. Any issues or gaps can be quickly identified and addressed through intervention, class revision and other support as needed.
At the end of each year, class teachers make a summative judgement about the achievement of each pupil. At this point teachers decide upon a ‘best fit’ judgement as to whether the pupil is working at the age related standard and has achieved and embedded the expected learning goals, has exceeded expectations or is still working towards the expected standard. These decisions are based on the professional judgement about the progress of each pupil, developed over the previous three terms through teaching and assessing, which allows an informed judgement of attainment to be made. Achievement against the learning goals for maths at the end of the year is used as the basis of reporting progress to parents.
EYFS baseline assessments, statutory testing at the end of Year 2 and Year 6 and times tables testing in Year 4 all give extra information about the impact of our maths curriculum. These assessments are considered when reviewing our priorities in striving for excellence.
How children learn about maths
Maths is a wonderful subject. Below is a document that our maths lead, Debbie Gamble, wrote to explain how we teach maths and how children learn.
The school follows the White Rose Hub scheme. Details of skills progression can be found at the following link: