Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.
A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. (National Curriculum 2014)
At Woodlea Junior School, we have adopted a mastery approach to teaching and learning in mathematics. Mastery involves knowing how and why mathematics works, using concrete, pictorial and abstract models. It means being able to use mathematics in new and unfamiliar situations. To support children in achieving this, we use Maths No Problem. This is used to both support and challenge children's understanding, in line with the higher expectations of the National Curriculum. We expect most children to move through this programme of study at broadly the same pace. Teachers will make decisions on the pace and structure of learning based on the security of children's understanding and their readiness to progress. Children who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged through rich and sophisticated problems and investigations to deepen their understanding rather than being accelerated through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier concepts will consolidate their understanding through additional practise and support before moving on.
Here, at Woodlea, we understand the importance of Mathematics providing a foundation for understanding the world. We recognise the importance of children being able to reason mathematically, develop an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. We carefully aim to ensure that children gain a deep, conceptual understanding of a range of mathematical ideas, to ensure that our children can recognise relationships between current and prior learning.
Our Mathematics curriculum is carefully planned and implemented to ensure that all pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. Children move through each year group at broadly the same pace, although additional support may be required for some learners. This often involves same-day/next-day intervention to ensure that there are no gaps in learning.
At Woodlea, we believe that children will acquire a deep and sustained understanding, if they are able to explore concepts using concrete apparatus and pictorial representations. Teaching in this way allows children to have an embedded understanding of each strand of mathematics, so that as they progress through Key Stage 2, they become confident, competent, well-rounded mathematicians. This ultimately equips children with the skills to choose appropriate methods for efficiency.
“Good Mathematics is not about how many answers you know, but about how you behave when you don’t know.”
Each year, children build upon their knowledge of number and their multiplication table recall. Within each day, there is dedicated time allocated to allow children to practise their multiplication tables and/or arithmetic, which ensures that they are becoming confident in their knowledge, and consequently can apply them to a wide variety of contexts.
Spoken language and mathematical vocabulary is explicitly taught within daily maths sessions, to ensure that children gain an understanding of words in context and can identify synonymous words in context. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof.
In daily maths sessions, teachers create opportunities to allow children to reason. Children are encouraged to describe, explain, convince, justify and prove their ideas in order to allow them to use and apply their mathematical knowledge. Problem solving is intertwined in every class across school, which is supporting children in solving many types of problem, using their conceptual fluency to choose an appropriate method. Teachers guide children to work systematically, use and apply known facts, and use their knowledge in order to tackle a question. Children, who need a challenge, are challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems, rather than being accelerated through new learning.
At Woodlea, we work hard to ensure that we provide quality-first teaching throughout school, to allow our children to develop into well-rounded mathematicians, who recognise the value of thinking and learning. Children do not only understand the procedural fluency of mathematical concepts, but the reason why they are doing them (conceptual fluency). This allows our children to select the most efficient methods, in order to solve a problem. We are proud to nurture resilient, reflective learners, who ‘can do’ Maths. The hard work and dedication from both staff and children alike, has allowed them to make outstanding progress throughout school.
The Maths-No Problem (MNP) Primary Series is recommended by the DfE for schools on the Teaching for Mastery Programme and is fully aligned with the 2014 English national curriculum. MNP textbooks and workbooks are designed using decades of research to ensure a deep, secure understanding of maths in learners of every attainment level.
At Woodlea we, promote a variety of different ways to show what we have learned, including; traditional formal written methods, mental jottings, pictures, concrete equipment or the use of cutting edge technology.