Curriculum Statement: Mathematics
‘Excellence, Truth and Grace’
‘Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.’
Philippians 4: 8-9
At Middleton Parish Church School, we believe that mathematics is a fundamental skill and is essential for developing confident 21st century citizens. As a result, our curriculum is ambitious and aims to provide our children with a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject, which empowers them to become independent and resilient mathematicians. We aim to nurture positive attitudes and build confidence in mathematics so that all children can achieve.
Our curriculum offers coherently planned and developed units of work to support teachers in ensuring that pupils’ mathematical knowledge and skills within the three fundamental aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving are developed. Within these units of work, concepts are broken down into small-steps of learning which are planned and sequenced so that children can develop deeper understanding and master concepts so they can apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. Reasoning and problem solving is a key focal point of our learning in mathematics lessons, and arithmetic and recall of key number facts are practised daily to ensure key mathematical concepts are embedded and children can recall this information to see the links between topics in mathematics.
We have 4 clear drivers which are inextricably interweaved with our Christian vision and mission statements across all areas.
Middleton Parish Church School’s children will be:
- Ready to Learn: Children will develop a positive attitude towards mathematics where they use their prior learning and secure recall of key number facts to develop their skills in reasoning and problem solving.
- Respectful: children will work together with peers to support and develop one another ensuring that classes move through their learning largely at the same pace. They will understand that there are many ways in which problems may be approached and respect one another’s opinions.
- Reflective: Children will learn to recognise that they can draw upon prior learning when developing an understanding of new concepts. They will use the key questions ‘What do you notice?’ and ‘What do you know?’ to establish links, make connections and build resilience as mathematicians.
- Aspirational: Children will understand the importance of mathematics in the wider world and how it is a fundamental skill in life, as well as in many fields of work. They will develop resilience when reasoning and problem solving in a variety of contexts and develop a love of mathematics.
In the Early Years and Foundation stages, children develop their mathematical knowledge and skills with at least four adult guided sessions a week. Opportunities to practise and develop these skills are planned for within daily continuous provision where areas of the curriculum are also regularly re-visited. Mathematical vocabulary is very much embedded within daily routines and is therefore a core part of the learning and development in EYFS. In Key Stages 1 and 2, children take part in daily mathematics lessons. Four of these target the current unit of work being taught and the fifth lesson targets arithmetic skills alone, with these being linked to units of work where possible. EYFS and KS1 also take place in an additional number based session each day to develop a secure and deeper understanding of numbers, their composition and links within and between them. This is because we understand the importance and impact that number and place value has on many other strands of the mathematics curriculum. A sense of mastery within number, provides children with the key foundations to develop and build upon as mathematicians.
Our curriculum maps are based on the White Rose yearly overviews which set the curriculum out in blocks enabling children to get to grips with different areas of maths through extended periods of time. This is also supported by the objectives set out in the National Curriculum; the EYFS Framework and expectations within the Early Learning Goals. Alongside the White Rose materials, we use many other resources to ensure that our offer is rich and varied. These include NCETM, Testbase and Third Space Learning – these are used across KS1 and KS2 allowing children to be exposed to a variety of different types of learning and to ensure coverage of fluency, problem solving and reasoning in different formats.
Middleton Parish Church School’s children will be:
- Ready to Learn: Each day children have the opportunity to practise their re-call of key mathematical facts. Addition facts within 10 and 20 are known as ‘Learn Its’ and feature from EYFS through to KS2. Multiplication and related division facts are practised through the Times Table Rockstars programme from Y2 onwards. Arithmetic skills are also practised daily in the form of early morning work. In mathematics lessons, concepts are broken down into small steps to enable children to get to grips with the learning and deepen their understanding. A ‘Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract’ approach further supports this. Guided practice forms a key part of our teaching before the children are given the opportunity to apply skills independently. As a school, we have established that reasoning and problem solving is a key area of development for our pupils and as a result, teaching and learning in mathematics starts with a problem where possible, and new concepts are explored through this.
- Respectful: As a school, we have adopted a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics. This means that children move through their learning broadly at the same pace and children who require further support or challenge are targeted according to their needs. We foster a growth mind set in our approach to teaching and use mistakes as a point of learning in guided practice. Children are largely seated in mixed ability pairs or groups and they are encouraged to work collaboratively with the support of their peers.
- Reflective: Units of work and individual lessons are designed with children’s prior learning in mind. Lessons regularly begin with some form of retrieval practice either based on prior learning within a current unit, or a familiar task re-visiting prior learning from other units of work. We also use the concept of reading RICs to underpin children’s understanding of information when reasoning and problem solving and the importance of asking questions; these are also linked to prior learning. When introducing new learning, children are asked to consider what they already know about concepts and the key questions ‘What do you notice?’ ‘What do you know?’ feature regularly in our teaching to further support children making links with prior learning. Misconceptions are addressed in the moment where possible and short, same day intervention in the form of rapid response ensures that all children continue to move through learning at the same pace.
- Aspirational: The mastery approach to teaching recognises that by nurturing positive attitudes and building confidence in mathematics, all children can achieve. For those children who often grasp concepts more rapidly than others, we provide extension or challenge tasks designed to deepen their learning within that unit. Where possible, links across the curriculum will be made such as with science and design technology and links with the wider world are explored through real-life contexts when reasoning and problem solving. Children will be inspired by their knowledge of mathematics as a fundamental life skill and will have high expectations for themselves.
As a result of our teaching of mathematics at Middleton Parish Church school you will see:
- Ready to Learn: Children who are positive about mathematics and are secure in their understanding of key mathematical concepts and their re-call of key facts.
- Respectful: Children who work successfully with peers to reason, problem solve and understand their learning. Children who are aware of and able to confidently articulate their understanding of different approaches to problem-solving and calculating.
- Reflective: Children who ask key questions about information they are presented with and use key questions to draw upon prior learning. Children who confidently make links and apply their knowledge when reasoning and problem solving.
- Aspirational: Children who are engaged in their learning and able to demonstrate an understanding that mathematics is a fundamental life skill that is not only linked to a variety of occupations in the wider world, but is also a key skill required in everyday day life. Children who are resilient mathematicians and have high expectations of themselves.