Maths at Forest Fields
The National Curriculum for maths aims to ensure pupils can:
• become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
• reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
• can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
At Forest Fields we want all our children to:
• Succeed and make progress from their starting points, with a majority of children meeting age related expectations, year on year.
To make good progress and meet age related expectations, children at Forest Fields need:
• To have a positive attitude to Mathematics. Rejecting the notion that some pupils ‘just can’t do mathematics’ and encouraging pupils with the belief that through hard work, they can succeed. We instil and nurture character curriculum traits of self-confidence, independence, initiative, resilience and cooperation when working on and solving mathematical problems.
• To learn key facts. Key facts such as times tables and number bonds are learned to automaticity to avoid cognitive overload in the working memory, enabling pupils to focus on new concepts. This supports our aim to ensure our children are fluent with number.
• To have a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and procedures. All pupils are given time to fully understand, explore and apply their ideas. Concrete, pictorial and abstract representations of concepts are used to help pupils to explore and develop their understanding.
• To have the ability to apply knowledge flexibly, efficiently and accurately to solve problems. Pupils should build the skills needed to tackle new problems in different contexts and to be able to reason effectively. Where possible, pupils are exposed to solving problems in a real-world context and across the curriculum.
• To have a sound understanding of mathematical vocabulary. Developing the way pupils speak and write about mathematics is key to developing strong understanding and reasoning skills. We expect pupils to explain their thinking and to explain why or how they know something to be true or false.
• To encourage creativity. We teach mathematics in a fun and engaging way, to demonstrate the rich and fascinating subject it is. We encourage pupils to find their own methods and solutions to problems and we celebrate and examine such methods and ideas.
The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in mathematics lessons. Children are encouraged to explore ideas and present findings in a variety of ways and will have the opportunity to explore different representations. To aid this, Forest Fields has adopted a “CPA approach”: concrete, pictorial, abstract.
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) is a highly effective approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths in pupils. Often referred to as the concrete, representational, abstract framework, CPA was developed by American psychologist Jerome Bruner. It is an essential technique within the Singapore method of teaching maths for mastery.
There are manipulatives in every classroom to help facilitate this. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of key concepts in mathematics, whilst fostering enthusiasm and confidence. Tasks are set to embed knowledge, challenge understanding and provide a safe and encouraging environment to take risks.
During lessons we value and encourage children to ask mathematical questions and discuss with peers and the wider class their findings and explanations. They have the opportunity to use a wide range of resources such as number lines, number squares, digit cards and small apparatus to support their work. In KS1 each child has access to a ‘number tray’ to support their development of fluency skills (appendix 9). Time is given for children to explore, generalise and prove their learning. We also provide opportunities across the year for pupils to revisit key skills to support the embedding and retention of the areas taught.
Staff are kept up to date on current thinking, new teaching methodologies and ideas by the subject leaders through staff meetings, INSET and individual support. CPD opportunities are shared with staff, inline with our SIP, and these may be further opportunities directed if a need is identified, or requested.
Mathematics within the EYFS is developed through purposeful, play based experiences and is represented throughout the indoor and outdoor provision. The learning is based on pupils’ interests and schemas, and current themes. Planning focuses on meeting the Early Learning Goals from Development Matters. Teacher directed, whole class sessions happen daily and there is one main activity completed in focus groups each week. Children are encouraged to practice and apply their learning in continuous provision where there are linked challenges set up. Additionally, Maths is integrated into the daily routines including songs, rhymes and stories.
Year 1 to Year 6
Teachers in each Year group use the White Rose Maths Hub curriculum maps to ensure coverage of all areas of the National Curriculum. These documents, provide a long and medium term plan which gives full coverage and consistency across Year groups and provides continuity across Key Stage 1 and 2. To accompany the medium and long term planning, teachers use the supporting exemplification materials, in our Maths Mastery folders, which provide examples of fluency, reasoning and problem solving questions to be used in short term planning.
The curriculum map is flexible and teachers are expected to adapt these to meet the needs of their class. Therefore if a concept has not been grasped thoroughly by most pupils, there is flexibility to adapt the curriculum map and revisit concepts. Pupils are given longer on key mathematical concepts in number and calculation, in order to build their fluency, as number sense will affect their progress in every other area.
Each teacher has access to the Singapore Maths No Problem textbooks. These are used to support the delivery of the White Rose Hub planning documents. The text books contain ideas for teaching and lesson sequencing and provides pupil materials, where appropriate to the activities that have been planned. They mirror the CPA approach of the WRH documents and therefore are a invaluable resource for teachers at the planning stage.
Teaching and learning - Each lesson will include:
Mental/Oral Starter warm-up could include
• Balance of written/oral practice
• Quick recall of basic number facts e.g. number bonds/multiplication facts
• Interactive games
• Class targets
• Link to main learning objective
In focus and let’s learn characterised by
• Brief recap of previous learning
• New learning
• In focus / anchor task – a pupil-centred/real-life problem provoking mathematical thought/discussion
• Clear objectives shared/displayed
• Teachers and teaching assistants using clear mathematical vocabulary and crafted, varied questioning
• Pupils discussing/explaining mathematical understanding to each other/to class about how answers are reached
• Teachers use the CPA approach (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach to ensure that concepts are modelled to pupils using multiple representations and deep and meaningful understanding occurs
• Interactive (IWB/visualiser) resources being used
Guided practice characterised by
• Modelled examples using concrete apparatus and visual representations
• Teachers using a variety of groupings to suit pupils’s needs and abilities
• Guided opportunities for pupils to apply skills and knowledge
• Practice makes perfect; pupils refine and practice skills and knowledge necessary to apply new learning independently • One of the cornerstones of a mastery approach is keeping your class working together so that everyone can access and master what is being taught. This provides continuous opportunities to discuss common errors and misconceptions as they occur throughout the lesson.
Independent work characterised by
• Pupils practicing skills learnt during main and guided part of the lesson
• Practice and consolidation; carefully designed variation of activities builds fluency and understanding
• Pupils working on differing complexities of problems within the same objective
• Differentiation provided through support and intervention
• Questioning and scaffolding will differ across the class; pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through more demanding problems which deepen their knowledge further
• Pairings and groupings within class are flexible and pupils will work in different groups dependent on their strengths and development areas
• Pupils use practical equipment to support their learning
Use and apply
• An opportunity for teachers to check the understanding of the class with a question focusing specifically on the taught objective
Planning, teaching and assessments have impact on progress and learning through:
• Developing and embedding pupil’s knowledge and skills in maths that can be applied in different contexts and time periods. As a result, the majority of pupils will meet age related expectations in each year group and develop progress from their given starting points.
• A curriculum which is carefully planned to sequence the acquisition of knowledge and skills systematically over time and ensures coverage which meets the ambition of the National Curriculum.
• A curriculum that divides new material into manageable steps lesson by lesson, whilch allows objectives to be covered in greater detail and pupils to achieve a more in depth understanding.
• Deeply embedding learnt concepts into pupils memory through consistent revisiting of previously learned knowledge.
• Quality teaching, which includes:
o Providing lessons that generate enthusiasm and enjoyment so that children develop confidence and a positive attitude towards maths
o Quickly identifying and acting upon misconceptions with swift and appropriate action being taken by teachers to meet needs
o Setting challenges which stretch and deepen understanding
o Providing environments that celebrate and encourage investigation, and perseverance
o Consistent review of planning, assessments and progress
o SEND, disadvantaged and vulnerable children closely monitored and appropriate interventions being put in place so that they catch up.
o Assessment data and question analysis is used to inform teaching an intervention.