At Shortbrook Primary school our aim is to encourage children to develop an appreciation and understanding that fluency in maths is an essential foundation for success across many subjects and in the wider world. We want our children to be inquisitive, observe patterns in the learning and become resilient problem solvers who have the confidence to persevere and try again and again. We would like all children to enjoy maths and experience success in the subject including the ability to reason mathematically. Our children will be well supported in their carefully sequenced maths lessons to become firstly fluent and then aim for mastery in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. We appreciate that deep understanding does not occur first time and the long journey to ensure embedded understanding requires revisiting skills, may involve some failures, but building experience, confidence and support along the way will help to achieve the secure learning goal.
Our maths teaching is supported by the White Rose Scheme with the mixed year overviews which gives a clear framework of the subject content for each year group enabling skills to be built on and revisited. To support this, we have’ Progression of Skills’ overviews for Number, Place value, Calculation and Fractions and Decimals to give teachers a clear picture of previous learning and next steps to ensure good progression and avoid gaps in the learning.
At the start of each maths lesson there is a mental starter which can include recall of facts, opportunity to practise existing skills and an emphasis on using and sharing their mental methods and skills to solve problems. In our maths lessons children are taught skills that are clearly modelled by the teacher and the children are given time to practise their skills in a variety of ways then progress to reasoning and problem solving to apply the skills that they have been taught. During maths lessons children are expected to use mathematical vocabulary and are encouraged to explain their methods of working out to enable children to discuss and compare different approaches. We encourage our children to be independent learners but are aware that learning needs to be carefully scaffolded and that some children especially our SEND require small group support and others need greater challenge to develop the greater depth learners. Children can access practical equipment to support their learning as well as observe examples of current learning that is displayed on the learning walls.
Learning multiplication tables is a high priority in maths to build up their knowledge and recall skills each year to ensure that the children have secured their times tables by the end of Year 4 when their skills will be formally assessed. Part of the children’s homework across Key Stage 1 and 2 involves practising their times tables.
Throughout school the children are taught a range of mental and written strategies which follow the calculation policy. As they progress through Key Stage 2 the children having been taught a range of strategies are expected to choose the method that they are most comfortable with and can use efficiently.
The Shortbrook calculation policy demonstrates the methods the children will use at different age groups. It begins by using apparatus and picture-based methods to formal written methods. The calculation policy ensures that maths is taught in a consistent way throughout the school so that children can build on prior learning.
The children at Shortbrook Primary School have a positive attitude towards Maths as observed with learning walks where children are actively and enthusiastically engaged in their learning and from ‘pupil voice’ comments which also revealed that children understand the importance of mathematical skills for their future and their relevance in the wider world.
The children build on their skills every year and with the supportive ethos at Shortbrook which encourages every child to develop their collaborative and independence skills. This enables each child to succeed and reach their Age-Related Expectations (ARE). Children with gaps in their learning receive extra support and interventions to develop their mathematical skills.
Regular and on-going assessment informs teaching and teachers subject knowledge ensures that the content is linked to the expectations of the National Curriculum for each year group. The teaching of Maths is monitored through lesson observations and close scrutiny of children’s books.