At St Mary’s, we believe that through high quality teaching and learning in mathematics, all children can achieve and make progress no matter what their starting point. All pupils are encouraged to believe that if they work hard at maths they can succeed, and we aim to provide children with opportunities to learn and love maths every day.
This is done through a mastery approach, such that children are taught in a way that builds deep conceptual understanding of their learning by taking small steps and making connections to prior learning.
Each lesson will focus on a small step within the curriculum in depth, with lessons carefully sequenced together as part of a journey towards a greater depth of understanding. The aim is that all children in the class will move broadly at the same pace, and that no child will be left behind.
The 5 Big Ideas that underpin Mastery
At St Mary’s, our teachers use a range of resources to support with our planning and delivery of high-quality maths lessons.
We use schemes of learning which are in line with our mastery approach to teaching maths and follow the National Curriculum programmes of study, but supplement this with other high quality resources including the NCETM materials and Singapore maths (Maths No Problem) textbooks.
One key way in which children’s understanding of a concept can be enhanced is through the use of concrete resources. Through the use of Dienes, place value counters, and a range of other manipulatives, and with accompanying pictorial representations, children can progress more securely towards understanding the abstract form of a concept.
It is a key element of teaching maths with a mastery approach and our teachers will use and draw attention to the correct mathematical vocabulary in our lessons when explaining a concept. Children are encouraged to respond in full sentences using the correct vocabulary at every opportunity – this is supported by the use of stem sentences, and class displays include the key mathematical language for the current topic.
Stem Sentence (Source: NCETM spines) Mathematical Language on Display
Independent tasks follow a layered approach, where a greater depth of understanding is required as children progress through each “layer”. Pupils will have regular opportunities to develop their mathematical fluency, while also using their reasoning skills to solve problems in maths. Pupils who grasp concepts quickly are challenged through “Diving Deeper” tasks, rather than acceleration through new content. These tasks require a greater level of reasoning and problem-solving skills, and promote mathematical language and discussion.
A Year 3 Diving Deeper Problem (Source: NCETM Year 3 Mastery Document)
At the end of key stages 1 and 2, children will sit their statutory assessments (SATs) in maths, both of which include a significant arithmetic focus. In order to prepare children for these end of key stage assessments, arithmetic is central to the learning we do in maths. To achieve mastery of any concept, secure arithmetic is key and will enable our learners to access the higher level problems.
For more information please see the Wandsworth Calculation policy.
Mastering the times tables is a crucial part of the learning journey our pupils experience as they go through primary school, as it links very closely with other areas of the curriculum including division and fractions. The Dfe have introduced a new statutory assessment for children at the end of Year 4 – Please click here for more details on the MTC.
The Expected Times Tables Progression from Year 1 to Year 6
Children who have mastered their times tables up to 12×12 will join the 144 Club and receive a special badge to celebrate their achievement.
To support the learning and recall of times tables, we subscribe to Times Tables Rockstars which is an exciting and engaging online platform designed to support and motivate children on their journey to mastering their times tables. Children in Years 2-6 have their own individual logins where they can access the platform, including personalised training schedules set by the class teacher where appropriate. Further details can be found by clicking on the TTRS.
St Mary’s also subscribes to Mathletics, with every child in Reception to Year 6 having their own individual login. Teachers will regularly assign tasks related to the recent learning done in class – children are encouraged to use these resources at home when possible to consolidate their understanding of what they’ve been learning at school.
Online Maths Resources to Support Children’s Independent Practice
In the Early Years we keep learning as play based and practical as possible. Children have opportunities to use and explore a variety of manipulatives, counting and measurement resources both independently and during teacher led activities. Direct teaching of mathematics will usually be carried out daily, either in a whole class situation or in small groups.
Planning and Teaching resources
St Mary’s staff use the Development Matters Guidance published by the government to inform our medium term planning and curriculum and carry out formative and summative assessment to ensure progress over the year. Evidence of the children’s learning is collected in the form of photos, observations and some book work.