CURRICULUM – MATHS
“Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is a number.” Shakuntala Devi
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. 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)
You can find out more in our 3 Is; Intent, Implementation and Impact.
Our Outline Aims
At Garden Fields, we are passionate about maths and it is our aim to inspire children to develop this same passion. We want our children to feel confident to explore, to make mistakes, to ask questions, to reason, to try a different approach and to work together in their maths learning. As well as understanding its practical applications, we want to capture the joy and wonder of mathematical patterns in the world around them.
Our Mathematical teaching and learning philosophy
Our pedagogy is derived from our belief that we learn best when:
- We can relate to, feel comfortable with, like and feel liked by the person we are learning from
- We can make learning our own by relating it to our own experience and understanding
- We feel included and active in the process and not just a recipient
- We understand the purpose/reason for learning something
- We have a strong sense of self-efficacy and self-esteem
- We feel valued, seen and heard and are given regular opportunities to develop our voice
- Our focus looks at learning within and beyond the classroom, supporting personal growth for each individual. We recognise our responsibility to support the health and happiness of our students as well as prioritising the full scope of a child’s developmental needs as a way to ensure that every child reaches their fullest potential.
- At Garden Fields we understand that a child’s education and life outcomes are dependent upon their access to deeper learning opportunities in and out of school, as well as their school environment and relationships.
- We believe every child should be happy, healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged to grow during their time with us. Garden Fields promotes a culture that ensures our pupils are given time to develop their interests and learn wider skills in a safe and supportive environment, while still being excited academically, engaged and challenged so that they become an effective learner and begin to understand how they learn best.
As a school we don’t just ask, “Am I teaching well?” but “Are the children learning and developing well?”
We are guided by the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum:
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 Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage requires that mathematics involves:
- providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure
The early learning goals for mathematics are:
- Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
- Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
Rationale – why we have used this curriculum design?
- To develop all children and young people’s understanding of the principles of mathematics; to promote curiosity and fascination – to become an active learner with a passion for mathematics
- To deliver a mathematics curriculum which places the child at the heart of the process
- To develop well-rounded and successful mathematicians, informed by the National Curriculum, and exposed to carefully designed lessons with opportunities to explore and challenge, taught with a clear mathematics objective
- To deliver a mathematics curriculum which is based on small steps teaching, allowing the majority of children to progress together and building in opportunities for challenging and deepening understanding
- To deliver a curriculum which allows time and flexibility for children to fully master a concept before moving on
- To provide opportunities to develop fluency and to be able to apply this knowledge through reasoning and problem solving
- To provide and make explicit, the opportunities to build year on year on their prior mathematical understanding
- To ensure there is continuity between year groups and phases, narrowing gaps in our three-form entry school
- To use 21st century technology such as online tools, resources and expertise
- To provide a framework for teachers from which they have autonomy to deploy their specialised skills and learning strategies, whilst ensuring a consistent approach to the use of models designed to support children in their understanding.
Ambition – what do we want to achieve?
- To develop progression of mathematical recall and application across all key stages, with measurable outcomes, based on formative and summative assessment
- For all children and young people to know what it means to be a mathematician with transferable problem solving and reasoning skills
- For all children and young people to take responsibility for their own learning, making memorable learning experiences
- For all children and young people to think critically, question and challenge their own understanding
- For all children and young people to flourish, be their very best and have fun
Key concepts and skills – how are we going to get there?
Our children will have a knowledge and understanding of:
- Number and Place Value and rounding
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Decimals (from Year 4)
- Percentages (from Year 5)
- Properties of Shapes
- Position, direction and movement
- Ratio and proportion (in Year 6)
Our children will be able to:
- Recall a range of number facts fluently and automatically
- Consider a range of problems, work out the steps needed and apply the appropriate mathematics to solve them
- Use a range of concrete materials to support their calculation, reasoning and to provide proof
- Use the correct mathematical language and terminology to discuss their maths and to explain their reasoning
- Learn without limits, making cross-curricular links to secure application and mastery
The curriculum we have planned will:
- Ensure continuity and progression across key stages, focus on fluency, reasoning and problem solving, deepening knowledge and understanding, supported by robust assessment
- Encourage enquiry and the ability to use high-order vocabulary, questioning, curiosity and communication
- Ensure that children acquire the skills and knowledge needed for future life-long learning
Maths is taught daily, to provide adequate time for children to develop their maths skills. Lessons are taught with a balance of whole class work, group teaching, practical tasks and individual practice to encourage mathematical talk, support and independence.
Whilst children work within mixed ability class groups, teachers may group by ability if they feel it best suits the needs of the children within a specific lesson. A scaffold is provided for children who may need support (e.g. teacher/TA support, use of resources, smaller steps …), whilst those who need stretch are given an extension task to challenge and stretch their thinking.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we follow the EYFS statutory framework, which sets out Early Learning Goals for number and numerical patterns. Teachers use the White Rose scheme to support their planning.
Throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, Mathematics is taught primarily through the White Rose schemes of learning. White Rose promotes blocks of learning to allow children the time to fully master a concept before moving on. Throughout the scheme, learners move from the concrete (using resources such as bead strings, counters and cusinaire rods), to the pictoral (drawing pictures or diagrams) and then the abstract (using symbols – e.g. numbers).
We teach using Concrete and Pictorial methods when introducing new concepts, often showing the Abstract alongside before completely moving to Abstract only.
More information about the White Rose approach can be found here. https://whiterosemaths.com/
To ensure that key skills taught early in the year are not forgotten by the end, long term plans for each year group indicate when concepts should be revisited. Regular fluency sessions revisit and revise these concepts, along with those taught in previous years, in order to strengthen children’s memories. In addition, staff use opportunities for cross curricula skills practice.
Throughout the school, displays including working walls provide a rich osmosis for learning.
By implementing the intent, children should be confident in the following areas:
- being fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- solving problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios
- reasoning mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
- having an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately to be successful in mathematics.
Maths assessments are conducted both formally (via school assessment weeks) and informally (within the classroom) in order for teachers to identify elements in children’s independent work, judging them as working towards, at age related and greater depth within their current year group. Throughout the cycle, the teacher will be responding to children’s work providing praise, support, encouragement and future thinking points to move their work forward.
As maths subject leaders, we use book looks, learning walks, pupil voice and data analysis to ensure continuity and progression across the whole school. This information is used to amend any intervention groups and ensure that those children who are not working at age related expectations are provided with the support they need in order to progress.
The Learning Journey below illustrates the Maths curriculum for children from EYFS to Year 6.
Click the red stars to view the Learning Journey for each year group.