St James’ Blackburn Church of England Primary School, we are mathematicians! We intend to provide a curriculum that caters to the needs of all individuals and sets them up with the necessary skills and knowledge for them to become successful data analysts, accountants, economists, and statisticians in their future adventures. We aim to prepare them for a successful working life. We incorporate sustained levels of challenge through varied and high-quality activities with a focus on fluency, reasoning, and problem-solving.
Pupils are required to explore mathematics in-depth, using mathematical vocabulary to reason and explain their workings. A wide range of mathematical resources are used and pupils are taught to show their workings in concrete, pictorial, and abstract form wherever suitable. They are taught to explain their choice of methods and develop their mathematical reasoning skills. We encourage resilience, adaptability, and acceptance that struggle is often a necessary step in learning. Our curriculum allows children to better make sense of the world around them relating the pattern between mathematics and everyday life.
The mathematics curriculum has been created to ensure high standards of teaching and learning are taking place across the school. We are currently following two schemes of learning across the school: Red Rose Mastery (Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3) and White Rose Maths (Years 4-6). Both these schemes are based on the National Curriculum, and take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Lessons may be personalised to address the individual needs and requirements for a class whilst maintaining coverage.
In order to further develop the children’s fluency, reasoning, and problem-solving, each lesson comprises an independent learning activity that encompasses the three aims of the National Curriculum and enables pupils to apply and build on their mastery skills.
Each class takes part in ‘Morning Maths’ whereby children are set a mathematics task to ensure general knowledge and fluency are maintained and developed; these may take many forms, for example, arithmetic, specific times tables, or several questions about a mixture of mathematics topics. While the class is solving the questions, the staff are able to support children with consolidation or pre-teaching ensuring they are confident with skills required for the upcoming session.
Using the online resource 'I See Maths', all pupils from Reception to Year 3 will participate in daily subitising. Subitising is the ability to look at a group of objects and realise how many there are without counting. Regular practice of subitising in daily lessons will help children to build images for numbers, as well as to visualise and learn number facts with increasing speed and fluency.
Through our teaching we continuously monitor pupils’ progress against expected attainment for their age, making formative assessment notes where appropriate and using these to inform our teaching. Summative assessments are completed at the end of each unit; their results form discussions in termly Pupil Progress Meetings and update our summative school tracking system. Pupils will also complete NFER papers that enable teachers to carefully monitor attainment and progress within mathematics. The main purpose of all assessments is to always ensure that we are providing excellent provision for every child.
In order to advance individual children’s mathematics skills in school and at home, we utilise both Number Bots and websites such as 'UrBrainy' for multiplication practice, application and consolidation.
We implement our approach through high-quality teaching delivering appropriately challenging work for all individuals. To support us, we have a range of mathematical resources in classrooms including dienes and counters (concrete equipment). When children have grasped a concept using concrete equipment, images and diagrams are used (pictorial) prior to moving to abstract questions. Abstract mathematics relies on the children understanding a concept thoroughly and being able to use their knowledge and understanding to answer and solve questions without equipment or images.
We continuously strive to better ourselves and frequently share ideas and things that have been particularly effective. Continuous professional development (CPD) is provided in the form of staff meetings, team teaching, reflective discussions with colleagues, and observing good practice.
Mathematics is taught across the curriculum ensuring that skills taught in these lessons are applied in other subjects.
Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about their mathematics lessons and speak about how they love learning about mathematics. They can articulate the context in which mathematics is being taught and relate this to real-life purposes. Children show confidence and believe they can learn about a new mathematics area and apply the knowledge and skills they already have.
Pupils know how and why mathematics is used in the outside world and in the workplace. They know about different ways that mathematics can be used to support their future potential. Mathematical concepts or skills are mastered when a child can show them in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. Children demonstrate a quick recall of facts and procedures. This includes the recollection of the times table.
Pupils use acquired vocabulary in mathematics lessons. They have the skills to use methods independently and show resilience when tackling problems. The flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics. Children show a high level of pride in the presentation and understanding of the work. The chance to develop the ability to recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics lessons. Teachers plan a range of opportunities to use mathematics inside and outside school.
At the end of each year, we expect the children to have achieved the expected standard (EXS) for their year group. Some children will have progressed further and achieved greater depth (GDS). Children who have gaps in their knowledge receive appropriate support and intervention.
All children secure a long-term, deep and adaptable understanding of mathematics which they can apply in different contexts.
Multiplication Tables Check
Pupils in Year 4 will complete a Multiplications Tables Check towards the end of the year. The purpose of the check is to determine whether your child can fluently recall their times tables up to 12, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It is an on-screen check consisting of 25 times table questions. Your child will be able to answer 3 practice questions before taking the actual check. They will then have 6 seconds to answer each question. On average, the check should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete. The Year 4 staff will ensure the pupils are fully prepared for the check. For further information, please see the website (link here) and the information for parents leaflet.
Teaching and Learning in Maths
Based on Rosenshine’s ‘Principles of Instruction’ (1982), daily mathematics lessons at St James’ are taught following a clear 4-step teaching sequence:
- Reviewing Material: Morning maths/Daily subitising.
- Sequencing Concepts and Modelling: Maths vocabulary introduced/Explicit teaching of mathematical concepts and strategies.
- Questioning: Silent teaching/Effective questioning and use of reasoning sentence starters.
- Stages of Practice: Using a C-P-A approach to applying mathematical concepts to different contexts/'QUACK' word problems.
Maths Calculation Policy
This policy supports both the Red Rose Maths Mastery and the White Rose Maths schemes used throughout the school and should be used to support children to develop a deep understanding of number and calculation.It has been designed to teach children through the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract representations.
- Concrete representation— a pupil is first introduced to an idea or skill by acting it out with real objects. This is a ‘hands on’ component using real objects and is a foundation for conceptual understanding.
- Pictorial representation – a pupil has sufficiently understood the ‘hands on’ experiences performed and can now relate them to representations, such as a diagram or picture of the problem.
- Abstract representation—a pupil is now capable of representing problems by using mathematical notation, for example 12 x 2 = 24.
This policy outlines the different calculation strategies that should be taught and used in Year 1 to Year 6 in line with the requirements of the 2014 Primary National Curriculum.