Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected 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. At Sedbergh Primary School we believe a high-quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of number, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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 non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
The expectation at Sedbergh Primary School is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
At Sedbergh Primary School, we believe that ability within mathematics is not necessarily fixed and through quality first class teaching and a positive, growth mindset, all children that learn together as a whole group, and, when possible, are provided with immediate intervention with Teaching Assistants, have the potential to go deeper and broaden their understanding of mathematical concepts. As part of mathematical mastery, children have opportunities to build competency by adopting the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, with various manipulatives to facilitate learning.
At Sedbergh Primary School, we teach mathematics every morning from EYFS to Year 6.
The Early Years Foundation Stage is guided by the requirements and recommendations set out in the EYFS Statutory Educational Programme, and supported further by the non-statutory Development Matters documentation. Our main aim in the Early Years is to develop a strong grounding in number. With this in mind, Reception classes are following a rigorous programme set out by NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense. Key Stage 1 classes continue the “NCETM Developing Number” programme, alongside lessons stipulated in the white Rose Maths scheme, with the aim that over time children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number.
For Years 1 to 6, we are guided by the National Curriculum and follow the White Rose Maths schemes of learning and assessments to support a mastery approach to teaching and learning mathematics. The blocks of learning within the White Rose scheme of work have been broken down into manageable steps, to ensure deep understanding. Teachers also seek to use other resources that complement the delivery of the Mathematics curriculum, such as NRich and NCETM.
At Sedbergh Primary School, we believe that pupils should recall the times tables number facts automatically, as this valuable knowledge will help them in their future adult life, as well as learning new concepts within the Primary Mathematics curriculum. Pupils have access to Times Tables Rockstars, an online, fun learning platform, to assist with this learning. Year 4 children will be expected to carry out a Multiplication Times Tables Check (MTC) in the summer.
Lessons can be very practical, to engage and accommodate differing learning styles and teachers strive to make mathematical links within our Science and Non-foundation topics. The White Rose Maths overview has number and place value at the heart, where a large proportion of teaching time is spent reinforcing number to build competency, but also attention is given to measurement, geometry and statistics. Teachers help to consolidate and retain learning by reviewing previous concepts taught during a lesson. Practitioners focus not only on the mathematical methods but reinforce correct mathematical vocabulary by using stem sentences to support children’s mathematical language and develop reasoning skills. Throughout each lesson formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children through marking and next step tasks are set to ensure they are meeting the specific learning objective. Same day intervention, when possible, is also planned between teachers and teaching assistants to help children consolidate their learning and be ready to move on with others.
After each block has been taught the children are assessed using the White Rose Maths end- of- block assessments. The purpose of these assessments is to check progress and identify any gaps in children’s knowledge and understanding and act accordingly before moving on. Teachers are also able to use the Ready-to-Progress documentation to monitor progress. In addition, each year group carries out an end-of-term White Rose Maths assessment. Year 2 and Year 6 will also sit the end of year SATs test in the Summer.
Selected children in Year 5 and Year 6 are invited to enter the Primary Maths Challenge in November. Also, some Year 4 children are invited to carry out the First Maths Challenge in the summer. We have also linked up with the local secondary school, Settlebeck High, where children from Year 6 attend a Maths club with their maths teacher once a week.
During the academic year, to help children broaden their learning, Early Bird Maths for Year 3 and Year 4, and after-school Maths clubs for Year 6 have also been set up.