Our Statement of Intent
Our intent is to provide pupils with the mathematical fluency and confidence to carry out a range of mathematical problems and solve them by utilising reasoning and problem-solving skills. We aim for our pupils to display positive approaches to maths and develop attitudes that embrace challenge. We are constantly striving to improve outcomes for all our pupils and achieve the aims of the National Curriculum:
- Problem Solving.
As a school we are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We intend to build knowledge, skills and understanding by revisiting at regular intervals and providing pupils with the opportunity to refresh and rehearse them through practice, consolidating and deepening at every age and stage.
The Ethos for Maths at St Michael’s
At St Michael’s, we strive towards every child feeling comfortable and valued as a member of the class. We intend for them to be active and equitable participants in maths lessons. We encourage children to question one another, agree or disagree with justifications and work together collaboratively. We aim for every child to embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process; relish challenges; respond carefully to feedback; take inspiration from others and understand the importance of effort.
We intend for pupils to recall and apply mathematical knowledge both rapidly and accurately. We explicitly teach children to be fluent in facts and procedures as well as enable them to move confidently between contexts and representations, recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics. This should help pupils develop a deep conceptual understanding of the subject. We use frequent, carefully designed, intelligent practice to help them to achieve a high level of fluency through the use of daily calculations and/or NNNF. We ensure clear progression, screening for understanding and intervention. In Years 5 and 6, we also include more timed activities for developing speed alongside accuracy. In KS2 (and the Summer term in Year 2), we use Times Table Rockstars (TTRS) to support the recall of multiplication facts and encourage fluency practice by holding in-school competitions and allowing children to challenge others.
Mathematical problem solving is integral to learning. Pupils are encouraged to identify, understand and apply relevant mathematical principles and make connections between different ideas. We aim to include problem solving in every lesson within some form. Mathematical concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give pupils a richer and deeper learning experience. Pupils combine different concepts to solve complex problems and apply knowledge to real-life situations.
We believe the way pupils speak and write about mathematics transforms their learning. Our mastery approaches use a carefully sequenced, structured approach to introduce and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. Pupils explain the mathematics in full sentences. They should be able to say not just what the answer is, but how they know it is right. This is key to building mathematical language and reasoning skills. Pupils are increasingly using conjecture, generalisations and proof to frame their mathematical understandings.
Depth of Learning
We have ensured that teachers are aware of, and cater for the need of, depth of learning as an essential part of maths. Lessons build on mathematical concepts across a time period and teachers make links across mathematical topics and are continuing to develop variation in their teaching to maximise clarity and depth and breadth of understanding.
The links made in lessons are explicit and focus on concrete (real world) examples, visual representation, language and manipulatives coming together to solve problems in context. We aim that all maths lessons contain a combination of these elements. We believe children develop understanding through using these elements together to develop into fluent and proficient mathematicians.
Lesson Design: Small Step Learning and Mastery Pedagogy
Our school has focused on breaking down learning into small steps and utilising teaching for mastery techniques such as:
- Discussion - the answer is only the beginning
- Ping-pong style- small steps providing sufficient scaffolding for all pupils to access
- Repetition and chorusing
- Sharing and analysing
- Attention to mathematical relationships
- Precision in the use of mathematical language and speaking in full sentences
- Carefully chosen examples and representations to draw out the structure and essence of the concept
- Intelligent practice
Questioning and Assessment For Learning
Teachers will use questions throughout lessons to elicit the children's understanding and promote and challenge children to deeper understanding of concepts. Questioning will be both open and closed and teachers will use pedagogical understanding of Blooms Taxonomy to deepen and challenge children. Questions should be precise and develop mathematical thinking. Teachers will build opportunities for AFL into lessons and will use regular opportunities for discussion and strategies to check and deepen understanding. Teachers will allow for AFL in a variety of ways. They will use written work, manipulatives and visuals for representation as well as a whole range of other techniques and resources.
All work will be marked by the teacher or by the children themselves in order to self-reflect. Interventions and responses from the teacher or teaching assistant are recorded in folders or books. If an adult has spent time working with a child, they will write OFG (oral feedback given) and will make a note of that support in their own notes. Children’s work will show that they have responded to the teacher’s marking when appropriate, whether that be a question to further learning or to consolidate their knowledge.
Assessment of Learning
At the end of each unit, summative assessment is used alongside classroom observations and 'Children as Evidence' to gauge a child's understanding. We use maths.co.uk to create SATs style questions for each year group, which has been carefully designed for each year group. Children can instantly see which questions they complete successfully and which they don't. Time in then given in class, to look at those questions. The software allows the child to see the correct answer therefore, they only need to understand the process of how it has to be completed and explain it to an adult or another child. From these quizzes, targets are set individually, in groups and for the whole class. These targets are explored further, whether in daily calculations, guided groups or as a retrieval activity the next day or week etc.
Challenge and Depth
Challenge focuses on breadth and depth of understanding and expects the children to apply their knowledge in challenging scenarios, whether this be a golden ticket challenge in KS1 or rich investigative tasks in KS2. Greater Depth materials from NCETM are used as well for determining the level of understanding.
Where children are working significantly below the expected age-related requirements of the curriculum scaffolding and targeted work takes place on a daily basis. These activities are planned by the teacher in discussion and collaboration with the SENDCO and parents. Each child with specific SEND difficulties will have targets that are agreed and monitored every half term to ensure progression.
Children demonstrate a quick recall of facts and procedures.
This includes the recollection of the times table.
Children show confidence in Believing that they will achieve.
Each child achieves objectives (expected standard) for year group.
The flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of maths.
The chance to develop the ability to recognise relationships and make connections in maths lessons.
Mathematical concepts or skills are mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the
mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new
problems in unfamiliar situations.
Children show a high level of pride in the presentation and understanding of the work
A Guide to Manipulatives for Parents
These images are from White Rose. They explain the materials we use in school to help your learn learn. They also explain to you why we use those particular resources.
Please look at the school's calculation policy for a year-by-year account of what is taught and how it is taught.
Times Table Progression
At St. Michael's we start teaching times tables in Year 2, where they learn the 2, 5 and 10 times table. In Year 3, they move on to learning the 3, 4 and 8 times table and could continue onto the 6 times table if previous tables are secure. In Year 4, the children then move on to learning the 6, 7, 9, 11 and 12 tables in preparation for the times table test set by the government at the end of the year. Years 5 and 6 continue to consolidate this learning to ensure all children have rapid recall by the time they leave primary education.
There are a number of games that you can play with your child as well as using Times Table Rockstars. here are a few of the best.
Times Table Rockstars
From Year 2, children will be given a username and password for Times Table Rockstars. This is an online tool to support children with rapid recall of times tables. Children will be asked by their teachers to 'gig' which will assess their current knowledge and provide questions to further develop this in practice sessions. If you would like to know more about this, please ask your child's class teacher.
Our planning is based on five main topics: number sense, additive reasoning, multiplicative reasoning, fractions (decimals and percentages) and geometric reasoning. Although there are opportunities for plans to be adapted for cross-curricular links to science.
We use No Nonsense Number Facts to support fluency and you will be able to see how we incorporate these fundamental facts into our learning.
At St Michael's we understand the importance of investigating mathematically. This is why we have included investigations at the start of every half term in KS2, starting later (from the Spring Term) for KS1.
Our "Maths Challenges" are organised into those more accessible for Key Stage 1 (years 1-2) and those for Key Stage 2 (years 3-6); however, all the challenges have opportunities to extend thinking, so can be completed by any child (or adult!).However, even numbered challenges are meant for KS1 and odd numbered challenges are meant for KS2.
These challenges are used in conjunction with the key maths messages from Professor Jo Boaler.
- Speed is not important.
- Believe in yourself.
- Struggle is important.
- Don't let other people's opinions stop you.
Here are a few examples of the investigations being carried out in school. If you would like more information on this, please see Mrs Bone.
Maths – Websites for maths
To support you with helping your children with maths, this document provides details of a variety of different maths based websites; some aimed at parents, some aimed at teachers, but all potentially useful in helping children with their maths.