Maths at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
The Intent, Implementation and Impact of our Curriculum
Our Maths Subject Lead is Miss H Gill
Our School Council helped us to create a definition of what Maths is at St Joseph’s:
Maths is an intriguing and connected subject linked to STEM. It involves creativity and challenge to solve problems, find patterns and reason.
‘At St Joseph’s, Maths is taught with desirable difficulty so that children become confident, independent and resilient learners. We have a culture where all can achieve unconscious competence, ready for maths in the wider world’.
At St. Joseph’s our intent for Mathematics is to teach a rich, balanced and progressive curriculum using maths tor reason, problem solve and develop fluent conceptual understanding in each area. Teachers are supported and aided in their roles ensuring confidence in skills and facts they are required to teach.
The 2014 National Curriculum for maths aims to ensure that all children:
· Become fluent in the fundamentals of Maths
· Are able to reason mathematically
· Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics
At St. Joseph’s, these skills are embedded with Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. 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 contexts. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an opportunity of the beauty and power of Maths.
Here at St. Joseph’s, we follow the Lancashire Maths Planning resources in order to ensure that our children have full coverage of the Maths National Curriculum and to allow our
children to revisit topics over the year allowing their knowledge to embed. Teachers also implement the schools agreed calculations policy for progression and written and mental calculations. All children are catered for within the Maths lesson ensuring that the teacher offers necessary support and challenge for each individual to make progress. We ensure Maths is taught in creative and engaging lessons using a wide array of maths manipulatives to aid and support our children in their learning. ICT is used across school to offer our pupils a range of activities to challenge and inspire. We aim to encourage the deepest of learning for our children so that their knowledge can be transferred and applied in many contents including other subjects. Maths is promoted across school and our classroom environments and displays support their learning.
Reasoning is key in our lessons. We want our children to be able to describe, explain, justify and prove to be successful in this subject. Mathematical vocabulary is an essential part of each lesson and the children need to understand this within the area they are studying and be able to make rich connections across other areas within this subject. All lessons include
· skill practice
· modelling by the teacher
· independent activity
· mini review
Questioning is a key part of the maths lesson – letting the children demonstrate what they know and challenging them every step. Some children will receive additional support, in and out of the lesson time. These children will be decided by discussion in between teachers and maths subject lead / SENCO. The subject is monitored through regular book scrutiny, lesson observation and learning walks.
The impact of our maths curriculum is that children understand the relevance if what they are learning in relation to real world concepts. We foster an environment where it is OK to be wrong because the journey to finding an answer is most important. Children develop collaborative and independent skills. Children are set challenging targets which they make their own measurable progression. Regular and ongoing assessments informs teaching, as well as interventions to support and enable the success of each child. Our school standards are good, in line with National and our children are achieving well.
At St Joseph’s, we are working with the NCETM Maths Hub to develop teaching and learning. We are also working with Lancashire County Council to develop a new scheme of work, in line with the National Curriculum.
We use the Mastery approach to underpin our teaching. This is underpinned by the NCETM’s Big Ideas:
- Opportunities for Mathematical Thinking allow children to make chains of reasoning connected with the other areas of their mathematics.
- A focus on Representation and Structure ensures concepts are explored using concrete, pictorial and abstract representations, the children actively look for patterns and generalise whilst problem solving.
- Coherence is achieved through the planning of small, connected steps to link every question and lesson within a topic.
- Teachers use both procedural and conceptual Variation within their lessons and there remains an emphasis on Fluency with a relentless focus on number and times table fact
Teaching for Mastery Principles
• It is achievable for all – we have high expectations and encourage a positive ‘can do’ mindset towards mathematics in all pupils, creating learning experiences which develop children’s resilience in the face of a challenge and carefully scaffolding learning so everyone can make progress.
• Deep and sustainable learning – lessons are designed with careful small steps, questions and tasks in place to ensure the learning is not superficial.
• The ability to build on something that has already been sufficiently mastered – pupils’ learning of concepts is seen a continuum across the school.
• The ability to reason about a concept and make connections – pupils are encouraged to make connections and spot patterns between different concepts (E.g. the link between ratio, division and fractions) and use precise mathematical language, which frees up working memory and deepens conceptual understanding.
• Conceptual and procedural fluency – teachers move mathematics from one context to another (using objects, pictorial representations, equations and word problems). There are high expectations for pupils to learn times tables, key number facts (so they are automatic) and have a true sense of number. Pupils are also encouraged to think fluidly about which method to use for tackling a given calculation or problem
• Problem solving is central – this develops pupils’ understanding of why something works so that they truly have an appreciation of what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.
• Challenge through greater depth - rather than accelerated content, (moving onto next year’s concepts) teachers set tasks to deepen knowledge and improve reasoning skills within the objectives of their year group.
Please see our recent Maths Newsletters to find out more about Maths at St Joseph’s: https://www.st-josephs-barlick.lancs.sch.uk/parents/newsletters-1