What we believe for our curriculum.
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline which plays a fundamental part in our day to day lives. Mathematics provides a way of viewing and making sense of the world. Mathematics allows us to analyse, to communicate, to predict, to test ideas and to tackle a range of tasks and real life problems. Mathematics is integral to science and technology and is relevant for most forms of employment. We understand that Mathematics is a crucial life skill and is ‘essential knowledge’ needed for children to enter society as well-rounded citizens.
It is our intention to provide a range of opportunities which will nurture pupil’s understanding and appreciation of pattern and develop a strong conceptual understanding of mathematics; both its structures and its relationships in order to cultivate pupils who are capable of thinking logically and mathematically, who can make connections between concepts, who can solve problems which often have real – life contexts integral to our topic areas- and who can reflect on their learning experience.
Through Maths we aim to support this philosophy by:
- challenging children to develop a positive attitude towards mathematics and to achieve
- asking pupils to recall and apply their knowledge confidently and efficiently to a range of tasks including real life problems
- asking children to think logically and independently and to explore problems using appropriate strategies
- asking children to conjecture and convince with their peers and adults, demonstrating their ‘maths reasoning’
- encouraging pupils to find connections between concepts
- asking children to demonstrate their application of mathematics across the curriculum linked to the topic areas
- using mental calculation and efficient strategies to tackle problems with increasing complexity
- providing multiple representations of the same concept; both physical and visual resources to allow pupils to manipulate, experience and see concepts for themselves
- working systematically, co-operatively and with perseverance
- fostering equality of opportunity regardless of race, gender or ability
- giving children regular opportunities to reflection on their learning.
At Holbrook we acknowledge that pupils optimise their learning when they are given opportunities to revisit concepts, practise and apply skills on a regular basis and in different contexts across our broad and balanced curriculum. Also that is imperative for children must to be given regular opportunities to reflect on their learning. (John Mason 2002)
How we put our aims into daily practice.
Holbrook’s mathematics curriculum is taken principally from the Primary Curriculum and is supported by incorporating ideas from ‘White Rose Maths’. However, teaching staff adopt unique and creative approaches to facilitate the teaching of maths. Skills and procedures in mathematics are often taught initially as stand-alone lessons but teaching staff create opportunities throughout the broader curriculum for children to apply the skills learnt especially in Science and in our topic areas. For example Year 6 scaled down the stopping distance of a spitfire to create a runway which they needed to light up in the Electricity unit in Science. Year 3/4 held a slave auction: children converted money into Roman coins and applied knowledge of addtion and subtraction.
Recall of number facts are taught and practised on a regular basis; this includes times tables up to 12 x 12 in Key Stage 2 and number bonds and addition and subtraction facts in Key Stage 1. In year 6 mental maths skills are taught on a daily basis. Reasoning tasks which demand mathematical thinking are carried out at least twice weekly in all classes across the school, these may be verbal tasks that require children to conjecture and convince and to explain their ideas, puzzles or problem solving tasks including those with real life contexts, some linked to topic. E.G. as in year 5 when children were given the job of a billeting officers and had to work out the logistics of housing a new batch of evacuees. New schema words are introduced each year and previous year’s vocabulary revisited.
We are successful because.
Short term assessments are an informal part of every lesson to check understanding and give immediate feedback either verbally or through evaluative marking against individual targets set. Teacher assessments, guided through the implementation of Pupil Band expectations, *Basic Skills Tracking Grids materials, ensuring that all staff are secure in knowing the National Curriculum level that each child is working at and the next steps a child should be working on. To guide pupil achievement assessment termly assessment materials from White Rose are used by staff of Y1, Y3, Y4 and Y5. Y2 and Y6 use the end of year national assessment frameworks. At the end of each school term, teacher assessment is used to monitor progress and identify areas for development from Year 1 to Year 6. 1-to-1 meetings with the Executive Head teacher or Head of School allow for interventions to be put in place for those pupils underachieving.
Use of the Foundation Stage Profile will continue to monitor children’s progress into Year 1.
A cross section of weekly planning is monitored termly, pupil perceptions are carried out and a sample of children’s work is scrutinised annually. Areas of outstanding/good practice and action points for development are then fed back to staff.
Currently the school is developing its own progression of skills grids for each subject area.