Mathematics enables children to examine the world through a universal language that entails common concepts, operational skills and symbols. It enables children to predict, describe, explain, investigate, and communicate findings. Opportunities are identified which give children the confidence to work in individual and collaborative situations. In particular, children are taught to apply their knowledge and skills to a range of practical, real-life contexts, to ensure their learning is both purposeful and meaningful. Skills are linked and taught together to maximise teaching and learning time and to give context to learning. We emphasise the importance of times tables, mental maths skills and the ability to solve problems through mathematical concepts.
It is recognised that, in order for the maths to be meaningful for all children, the examples offered must reflect, but also extend, children’s direct experience. Hence it is important to make use of real-life examples, but also be aware of other number systems. Children are grouped according to attainment within classes or year groups to ensure a high level of challenge and support for all. In EYFS, learning is extended into continuous provision to allow children to practically explore concepts through child-initiated play.
We believe that to raise standards we need to give children opportunities to:
Practice, Planning and Delivery
An example of the HCAT Year 5 Year on a Page that is followed to plan, sequence and deliver maths units of work.
The Accelerated Learning Cycle, based on the work of Alastair Smith, is applied in all lessons. It stems from the idea of a supportive and challenging learning environment. Implementation of accelerated learning, supported by EEF metacognition research, has ensured the pace of learning is appropriate and has enabled pupils to secure rapid and sustained progress which has improved outcomes and standards within each lesson. Within maths sessions differentiation is effective through the use of progressive opportunities. Children are provided with the chance to move through carefully selected tasks starting at the level most appropriate to their starting point; aiming to support pupils take ownerships of their learning and develop independence.
At HCPS, we give children the opportunity to develop their fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills throughout each concept in maths, ensuring deeper learning and understanding.
Fluency in maths is about developing number sense and being able to choose the most appropriate method for the task at hand. Through frequent and varied practise, this allows children to know and recall key mathematical knowledge and be able to and then be able to apply these skills in various contexts.
Problem solving is at the heart of Maths. Children are given opportunities to apply what they know to more challenging and deeper learning tasks. The main focus is how the children get to the answer through their use of the concepts and skills which have being taught during the fluency phase. These problems are based on real-life situations, and also to those which are unfamiliar too.
This is where children apply their ‘reasoning’ skills. Reasoning can be described as ‘strategic thinking’. Working on Explain tasks, children develop their deeper level of mathematical understanding and then explaining their methods and answers. Throughout a taught concept, children will use explain tasks to not only to say how they will attempt to work out an answer, but why and how they can be sure it will work. This helps to develop a deeper level of mathematical understanding, allowing children to come up with their own strategies and solutions and work in a way that shows their strengths in understanding.
Mental Arithmetic skills are essential in order for children to apply mathematical concepts to immediate real life problems. Teachers plan to rehearse and embed these skills through the use of a range of real life situations and quick recall activities. They focus on teaching mental skills and applying these through games and problem solving activities. The teaching of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division should be introduced through mental strategies which support the use of appropriate strategies and jottings. Children are encouraged to choose and use methods that are appropriate for the question/ task. Formal written methods are introduced in year 2 and progressed throughout KS2. (see also HCPS Calculation Policy)
The learning of times tables is practiced throughout all year groups as an essential mathematical skill that impacts upon all areas of mathematics. This is taught daily in Year 3 and 4. It is expected that all children will know their times tables to 12×12 by the end of Year 4, in line with Government expectations. Year 4 children sit the official Multiplication Timestable Check (MTC) in the Summer Term. Times tables are taught using the ‘Times Table stick’ to help children make connections to all times tables. Use of games and interactive activities, aimed at creating mental agility and adaptability. The use of Times Table Rock Stars encourages children to practice at home as well as in school. Those children that have progressed beyond this focus on developing their rapid recall speed and using and applying their times table knowledge in real life situations. (eg using their times table knowledge to calculate percentages of amounts, and applying their times table knowledge to algebra, exploring tables beyond 12 x 12). Every term, children take part in a intra/inter-school competitions across year groups and schools within the trust.
Assessment and Record-keeping
At HCPS our curriculum is ambitious for all pupils, including those children with SEND. Curriculum designers and teachers have high expectations of what SEND pupils can achieve and the curriculum is not diluted or unnecessarily reduced for SEND pupils. Every pupil is different and so what works for each pupil varies. Pupil’s individual needs are considered and adaptations are planned to ensure the success of pupils in all subjects. The way that our curriculum is designed ensures that chunks of learning are sequenced in a coherent way to enable all pupils, including those with SEND, to build on prior knowledge. Too much information at once can be a barrier to learning which is one of the reasons why we have chosen half termly curriculum drivers. Where pupils are identified with having complex needs it may be appropriate to provide a personalised curriculum which will be based on individual needs and will retain ambition for the pupil. Where working memory is an issue for pupils, including those with SEND, we look to reduce extraneous load as much as possible as well as identifying key information when teaching. This helps pupils to pay attention to the content which they are expected to learn. Adaptations to support individual pupils will be recorded on personal school support plans.
At HCPS we do not assume that pupils with SEND learn content better through practical work as this can cause distraction and cognitive overload rather than increase clarity or accessibility. The curriculum is not narrowed for any pupils. Knowledge is taught and then pupils are provided with opportunities for scientific enquiry to test and investigate the knowledge taught. Pupils’ specific needs determine the types of adaptations which are required. These adaptations are in how the subject is taught rather than the content pupils are expected to learn. Where appropriate, learning will be chunked into smaller steps and pre learning and consolidation time in planned in to support need. Time is also planned to ensure pupils with SEND are pre taught vocabulary to support their understanding. Adaptations may include supporting pupils to pay attention to key aspects as well as reducing excessive or unhelpful demands on working memory.